Little Tips for Lampworking with Tools

We all know that lampworking isn’t for everyone, but if you dare play with fire make sure you follow these tips for using tools.

 

 

  1. Okay this first one is obvious, but always always always use bead release on your mandrels – if you aren’t new to lampworking, this one is super obvious, but for you newbies – glass sticks to metal and the only way to get it off is to shock it in cold water – not always safe and a little wasteful 😦 ,so never try to do any glass lampwork without it!
  2. When your bead is cooled and complete you can soak your mandrels in water and use a green scrubby to clean the excess bead release.
  3. Proper bead making technique is to heat glass in the flame while working in direct heat with the tools. If a tool is used to hold hot glass make sure it is not placed directly in the flame.
  4. Again, hot metal tools will stick to glass. If you are using a tool to hold glass, you want the metal warm, but not hot. It’s okay to warm a metal tool by quickly placing it near the flame.
  5. However, if you are using a metal tool to poke, scrape or rake the glass, the tools should be as cool as possible. If it becomes too hot, switch it with a backup tool or immerse the metal tool in water to cool it down.
  6. Keep a back up or two of your most used tools, it helps much more than you will know – trust me there is nothing worse than ruing a bead because you let your tool get too hot!
  7. Read my post on quick and simple tips to keep your sanity while lampworking – the first two tips are the most relatable – be patient and use one color of glass or tool at a time until you start to understand how each color should look and what each tool can do – don’t confuse yourself by trying to use all of your tools on the first bead

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