emubeads – FAQ- on glass beads

handmade-glass-beads-bespoke-lampwork-in-the-flame

do you really make the beads?
yes, it’s my work. Australian made. although, when I am at our local markets, I am often asked where I get the beads from. I guess those queries come from the reality that much of our base materials are brought in from overseas.

how do you make beads?
I used a dual gas torch, an oxygen and propane mix, to create a working temperature of about 760C. slowly heating the glass rods, I wrap the molten glass around the mandrill – the rod – that determines the hole size of the bead.

do you use the ashes of pets in your beads?
I have been approached to use the ashes of a beloved pet within a bead.

how long does it take to make a bead?
this varies greatly. some of the glass I use is slow to warm it up: it needs more attention to bring it to a fluid state without burning, and other glasses are quicker. another time factor is the size of the bead: how much glass is needed to wrap around the mandrill and how many layers to create the bead. the simplest bead would take a few minutes. after the bead has cooled, it needs to be cleaned off the mandrill. there is pre- and post- bead making preparation.

can you use broken glass from a bottle?
potentially I think it is possible, however I don’t. I buy glass rods specifically for lampworking, as it is essential that glass with differing coefficient of expansion (coe) values are not mixed together. I didn’t believe that a coe 90 and coe 104 couldn’t be mixed. so I trialed it, the beads cracked every time.

if I describe a bead, can you make it?
commissions are one of my favourite options for bead making. if you know the style, colours and inclusions you would like, I work with those parameters and create beads. you choose from the made selection.

where to buy emubeads?
I attend northern river’s markets and I have an online shop or you can contact me directly for commissions.