All the glass beads used in my pieces are made by myself. The process of making a lampwork bead involves melting rods of glass in the flame of a propane and oxygen fueled torch (called a mega minor), then wrapping the molten glass around a metal mandrel dipped in bead release, and applying decoration. The number of layers of glass/color that are applied and the 'change' processes that maybe applied (example: gold fuming) can be many and varied depending on the desired outcome. This is the artistic process.
The beads go from the flame to the kiln to be annealed. The annealing process allows the glass to cool at a even rate, thus ensuring top quality, crack free beads. Once the beads are through the kiln cycle they are removed from the mandrels, the bead release is cleaned out and they are carefully examined to ensure they are free of flaws. They are then ready to be made into jewelry.
I do my own silversmithing. The process is again done with a torch, this time a smaller propane torch. Sterling silver is hand cut, stamped, designed; and then soldered together to make a wide range of clasps, earrings, toggles and many other custom components. Each piece is sanded and buffed to ensure there are no scratches and the finish is top quality.
I also employ a technique called 'riveting, which involves any number of metals, sterling silver, PMC ( precious metal clay), and copper. These clasps/findings/finishing pieces are custom created to enhance the lampworked beads, combining to make unique signature pieces of wearable art. This allows me to offer a range of prices to suit most budgets.
When stringing necklaces, bracelets and earrings I use softflex as a stringing material, as it is proven, strong and durable, ensuring a lasting work of art to enjoy. Often I use sterling silver beads, pearls, swarovski crystals and stone as accent beads. Each piece of jewelry is an original, hand crafted by myself.