Heart Bead Art Glass

27 Feb

Kim Wertz and Greg Galardy "escaped" from the high-tech world, and opened one of California's premier bead stores in 1990. After five years of buying, selling, and admiring contemporary American Lampwork beads, they began lampworking in the spring of 1995.

After a few weeks of learning what they could do using a "hot head" and vermiculite, they purchased a Nortel minor burner, and fabricated a gas-fired annealer for their studio. Fully self-taught, they always strive to produce beads unlike any they have seen.

I love these Fritter Beads:
lampwork beads
jewelry beads
Inspired by wild rivers, these beads use the properties of reduction frit to achieve their look. The colors vary from neutral tans and beiges to deep vibrant blues, greens, and lavenders, and the colors go from transparent to opaque and even metallic.

Lampworking is a skill that requires a great deal of practice and patience. You have to learn how much heat it takes for the glass to flow, when to add decorative elements, and how different colors of glass interact with each other. And that's only the beginning. There are many other techniques involved.

To create glass beads, lampwork artists melt narrow rods of glass in the flame of a torch. Early lampworking was done in the flame of an oil lamp, hence the name. Most artists today use torches that burn either propane or natural gas.

The molten glass is wound around a mandrel, which is a thin rod of stainless steel. By turning the mandrel and holding it in different positions, gravity helps the bead take form, but there are also tools that can be used to push and pull the glass beads into shape.

bead jewelry
Lizard Eggs Necklace
Lizard egg beads, Chrysoprase, and Vermeil
Lizard eggs are the large round beads with tiny aqua dots.

Kim's and Greg's work has appeared in several publications, and is available in stores across the country. Taking their inspiration from their natural surroundings, their art has evolved to a point where the process is a pleasant step on the way to the desired end.

Heart Bead Art Glass

Related posts:

  1. Break Your Heart Glass Rings
  2. Schermo Beads
  3. Czech Glass Beads
  4. Venetian Glass Beads
  5. South Africa Bead Show

No Responses to “Heart Bead Art Glass”

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    Nice stuff !!

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