Amanda Glanville – Lampworked glass beads and jewellery

My beads are made by melting a large drop of glass from a solid coloured rod around a thin metal rod (mandrel). This is how you form the hole, as part of the bead when it’s hot.

The mandrel has been dipped in a bead release liquid – similar to kiln wash used by potters – and the initial round shape can be gently manipulated and patterned using more glass and small tools – some dentist tools are particularly good!

Each bead takes between 5 minutes and ½ an hour to make. Some complex beads can take an hour or more. Once finished they have to be cooled very slowly in a special Bead Kiln and finally I remove them from the mandrel, clean out the bead release and file the glass to ensure a smooth hole. Only then I begin my jewellery design.

I began bead making in 1996 and more recently have incorporated my very small beads into bespoke feather Fascinators which I hand dye. My latest beads are miniature birds, blossoms and acorns – intricate but highly satisfying to make!

Most traditional glassmakers (and many bead makers) think I’m a bit bonkers.

Click the images below to see Amanda’s work