What is lampworking?
A centuries old process of melting glass in a flame to form beads and small objects. Orginally this was done over an oil lamp...hence the name lampworking...but now we use torches powered by oxygen and propane or natural gas...once the bead or object is completed it is put into a kiln to anneal it. Annealing is bringing the entire piece to one temperature...then cooling the object gradually to reduce stress and cracks inside the object...this process takes several hours so most of us lampworkers use digitally controlled kilns that allow us to leave the glass in the kiln overnight...in the morning we get to open our kilns and discover what's inside...almost like opening packages on Christmas morning...always full of surprises!
What is stringer?
Stringers are thin 2mm or smaller rods of glass that we use for surface decoration on beads...they can be purchased as 1 or 2mm rods or we melt gathers of glass in the flame from our larger rods of glass and use a pair of pliers or tweezers to pull the stringers from the gather into smaller rods or "stringers" of glass.
What is SIS?
SIS is an abbreviation for silvered ivory stringer. This is where we melt a gather of ivory glass then cover it with real silver foil, burnish it in, then melt and pull the gather into slim rods of glass...or stringer. This allows the silver to adhere to just the outside of the stringer and cause wonderful reactions when used with different types of glass.
What is aventurine...or goldstone?
Aventurine also called goldstone...is actually bits of copper flakes suspended in glass. We melt chunks of goldstone in the flame and pull it down into stringers to use as surface decoration on our beads. It can be added to different colors of transparent glass...hence...green aventurine and blue aventurine...just refers to the color of the glass base. Adds a wonderful sparkle to our beads.