Embossed Lampwork Beads – A Mini-Tutorial and Eye Candy!

April 2, 2013 , In: General

You’ve seen them – you love them – embossed lampwork beads!  They are fun to make.  The tools are fun to buy and use!  Really fun to buy… These are some embossed lampwork beads that I recently made. 

There are many places you can get “embossing tools” I’m sure, but two that I know of are Arrow Springs and Leonardo Lampwork. You aren’t limited to using “lampwork” tools, you can use any brass tools that won’t stick to the glass, like ceramic clay brass molds.

 Arrow Springs Wave Press
Leonardo Lampwork Lollipop Press

The blue bead was made with sky blue glass and white enamel – a really great effect for a winter bead.  The skull was simply pressed into a bead and would make a great earring bead!

It’s pretty easy to use an embossing tool, I won’t go picture by picture, but I’ll explain it to you.  Make a base bead.  For my beads, I used a Zoozii bead press to make a lentil-shaped bead.  When you are happy with the bead shape, heat one side of the bead.  Make sure not to heat the bead too much or the bead will get out of shape.  Place the bead on your torch-mounted marver (if you have one, if not, use your graphite marver) and press the tool into the heated side of the bead.  This is trial-and-error – make sure you don’t heat too much or press too hard.  Take it out of the flame, and make sure you like your press.  If you don’t, heat the bead up and shape it again.  When you’re happy with the press, turn the bead over the repeat (if you want the design to be on both sides), making sure not to heat the bead too much or you’ll lose the design on the first side!

 You can also make cute little headpins using the embossing tools!  There are many things you can do with them, your imagination will help you!

Donna Millard is a bead artist who uses embossing tools to make amazing beads, and she embellishes them with patina. These beads are gorgeous!

Genea Crivello-Knable is another bead artist who uses embossing tools on her beads!

In this case, these gorgeous beads were made with baking soda and the embossing tool.  These are so fantastic and beachy!

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial/eye candy post!  You can see that you can really add many elements to your lampwork beads to make them stand out! 

Susan Kennedy

Susan Kennedy Susan, the owner of SueBeads, started making glass beads in 2005 because she loved lampworked beads so much, but wanted to make her own instead of buying them on ebay! She also makes enameled components and dabbles in polymer clay, but her first love is glass. She has attended jewelry-making classes at ArtBLISS and has taken classes from Barbara Lewis (torch fired enameling) in addition to several classes at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.
  1. Reply

    I love empossing too and I won't miss the great tools of Leonardo Lampwork! Thanks for the eye candy! Hugs, Doris

  2. Reply

    I have been noticing them more lately and you gals are doing a great job with them. Thanks for showcasing them.

  3. As a "non-lampworker", it's always interesting to read about how you lovely glass artists create your pretties (not that I need MORE reason to buy). Thanks for sharing, Sue.

  4. Reply

    Thank you thank you thank you!! I have been wanting to find some of these since the first time I saw them 🙂 I can't wait to try some!

  5. Reply

    I have used your embossed headpins and have loved the results. Thanks for the post. Now I understand more about how these beauties were made.

  6. Reply

    First place I visit at an estate sale is the basement or even nick nacks made of brass to press in hot glass. The tool I use to emboss my headpins are intended for leather.

  7. Reply

    Great post Sue, thanks for using my beads! I love love making embossed beads and the hunt is on every day looking for new tools to use.

  8. Reply

    Oh SUE!!!! they are all so gorgeous and amazing!!!!

  9. Reply

    Beautiful beads! Some look like candy! Love the look. Thanks for telling us more about them!

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