hammer and flame

Jane is one of the “regulars” working in the Rowanberry glass studio on Saturdays.  Way back in our stained glass days, we started looking at the other things that could be done with this glorious medium.  First we bought the kiln to try our hand at fusing, then Jane bought a “hot head” torch so that we could try bead making.

Jane McCauley:  lampwork beadsJane McCauley:  lampwork bead bracelet with silver spacers

Creating beads this way is called “lampworking”, because they are formed by melting long, rigid, spaghetti-like strands of glass over an open flame.  Years ago, the flame was from an oil lamp.  Today, the “hot head” attachment screws onto a can of MAPP gas.  There are more extensive set ups, but this is the simplest and least expensive way to begin.

Jane creates a basic bead form, then touches other stringers of glass to the base to create decoration on the bead. In the photo above, she used a type of special paddle to flatten the beads into square forms.

Jane McCauley:  braceletJane McCauley:  lampwork bead bracelet with copper findings

It takes a great deal of regular practice to get a nicely rounded bead — one that isn’t lopsided, or with sides that slide out to create a raindrop shape.  Jane has been the only studio worker to devote the time to this craft, and her bracelets are works of art.

Jane McCauley: jewelry setJane McCauley:  jewelry set with hammered copper

Her latest venture involves a tiny hammer and anvil, used to flatten and shape copper wire.  The jewelry set above is the result. I recently posted more of her work on the Rowanberry website – visit us and see what’s new!

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One thought on “hammer and flame

  1. How absolutely BEAUTIFUL these pieces are! The beads are luminous almost- pieces to wear and love and treasure forever. Your Jane has some talent- keep her!!!

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