Welcome to the first post of Monthly Blog Topics, where Frit-Happens Forum team members share their thoughts on random questions about beads, glass and jewellery.
This month's question was:
What do you love most about lampwork beads (making or using them)?
Here's what some of our members had to say - come back next Wednesday to read more members' thoughts on the brilliance of lampwork!
helbels: I like the fact that they are difficult to make, that you could make them for 100 years and still not know all there is to know. I like the fact that the glass is unpredictable, that things never come out the way you want them to, and that you have to put in hours of practice in order to be good.
A lot of those things might put people off, but they all appeal to the perfectionist in me. On a bad day, the sheer difficulty of making lampwork drives me crazy, but ultimately, it's the same difficulty that holds my attention and keeps me coming back again, and again.
HelenJewellery: I love the immediacy of glass. It truly captures a moment, because it isn't work you can just pick up or put down whenever you want. Thats what makes it so special for me.
BlueKilnBeads: I like the way that glass responds differently for each person. Two people can try to make the same design, a flower for example, using the same colours but the resulting beads will be very different. Some makers are better at organic styles while others are better at more uniform designs.
The possibilities are endless with glass be it shape, colour, design, size ...... That is why it is so absorbing and addictive.
NemeaDesigns: As a jewellery maker, I love using glass for its versatility. From soft glass to boro, I am always amazed at the colours that are produced. Combine this with the surface effect: glossy, etched, with fine silver glass, murrini. The possibilities are endless!
But what makes artisan glass truly special to me is the people who use it. It makes me very proud, when selling a piece, to be able to tell my customer something about the person who made the beads. It makes the piece of jewellery really special and the person who buys it feel involved in the process. You can't do this with gemstones!
DolmairicDesign: I started with silver chain maille....then I bought glass beads and fused pendants to go with the chains....then I started fusing myself....and then I stumbled upon Frit Happens! and bead making. Since then there has been less and less jewellery making, and more and more bead making. The tale speaks for itself Apart from the immediate result from melting and finishing a bead in the fire, I find the thought that that these little pieces of craft/art are able to survive for thousands of years fascinating.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this question - pop your answers down in the comment box below :)