Lampworking is glassworking using a torch to melt and shape the glass. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking, as the modern practice no longer uses oil-fueled lamps. Although the art form has been practiced since ancient times, it became widely practiced in Murano, Italy in the 14th century. In the mid 19th century lampwork technique was extended to the production of paperweights, primarily in France, where it became a popular art form, still collected today.
Early lampworking was done in the flame of an oil lamp, with the artist blowing air into the flame through a pipe. Most artists today use torches that burn either propane or natural gas for the fuel gas, with either air or pure oxygen (which can be produced by an oxygen concentrator) as the oxidizer. It was not until the late 1960s that lampwork became recognized as a serious art form by German born lampwork glass artist Hans Godo Frabel who utilized his scientific glassblowing training to create relatively large pieces of lampwork glass art in borosilicate.
In addition to beads and artwork, lampworking is used to create scientific tools, particularly for chemistry.
Source: Adapted from Wikipedia
Geoffrey Beetem is regarded by many as the master glass artist in the use of dichroic glass in contemporary handmade glass marbles. Beetem’s fascination with glass began in 1980 while he studied stained glass techniques, which involved painting and fusion in creating effects. It was through this exposure to the technical aspects of glass and color theory that led Beetem to enrolled in a hot glass course at Ohio University.
Beetem’s well known Stardust Marbles originated from his concept of cosmic debris trailing comet as the comet fly’s thousands of miles and hour through space. The trailing frozen crystalline objects he refers to as stardust. The dichroic effect is a perfect match in creating the effect.
Collectors acquiring the finest contemporary handmade glass from the studio glass movement will long seek after his work, exhibited in galleries throughout the world and many of the finest permanent collections and museum displays.
Jody Fine, long recognized as a master of his craft, is accomplished in the classical Italian techniques of latticino, murrini, and millifiori, Fine uses these ancient methods to create contemporary “off-hand” blown pieces.
Following studies at New York’s Bard College, the University of California at San Diego, Jody received a National Endowment for the Arts master-apprenticeship grant to study glassblowing under Maestro William Bernstein. After completing his apprenticeship in the 1970’s, Jody formed a partnership with Dick Marquis and Jack Wax in Berkeley, California. He established his own studio, J. Fine Glass, in 1980.
Jody has conducted workshops and seminars at major universities and design schools throughout the country and internationally. His pieces reside in numerous private and public collections, including those of the Marble Collectors Society of America, the Smithsonian, the Corning Glass Museum, and President Bill Clinton’s White House collection.
Glass Act has been in the glassblowing trade since the early eighties. The company prides itself on producing the highest quality glass art at afforable prices. After many years of experimenting, Glass Act now concentrates on the salt & pepper shakers, fine fragrance bottles and pendants. These gems are the collectibles of today and the antiques of tomorrow.
Patty and Dinah Hulet are the creators of Hulet & Hulet Art Glass Confections. In their home studio on the rural coast of northern California, they have been perfecting the recipes for these treats for some time. They strive for the perfect balance of color, texture and design to lavishly translate the sinful decadence of gourmet chocolate and candy into the tasteful persona of art glass.
Dinah’s work with murrine glass portraiture is exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. She also creates unique glass marbles that are sought after by collectors around the world. Patty concentrates her talents on the creation of remarkable pate-de-verre and kiln-cast glass.
Margaret Neher’s glasswork reflects that lifelong fascination with the art found in nature. Four-time finalist and winner of the 2004 NICHE award, she is best known for her finely detailed orchids, which are prized by orchid growers for their realism, and have been said to “capture the soul” of the orchid.
Drawn to lampwork in 1991, Neher soon devoted herself exclusively to this centuries-old tradition in which glass rods and tubing are melted over a 3000-degree flame, and then handworked into detailed sculptural forms. No molds are used, and no two pieces are identical.
Kevin O’Grady is known throughout the U.S. and Japan as the most exciting and talented glass bracelet maker today. His creative and unique use of color is unmatched in the borosilicate world. Kevin’s Pyrex bracelets, marbles, and Splash of Glass collections are both high-tech and artistic.
Kevin is also known for his collectable beads, marbles and paperweights. Each piece is a signed, one of a kind, unique work of art. Kevin has work in galleries and shops throughout the U.S. and Japan including the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.
Mark Payton is one of only a few master flameworkers in the nation, creating unique designs in small to limited editions. The process he employs is most unusual.
Low expansion “hardglass” rods are heated with a torch then manipulated with sculpting tools. This borosilicate glass was first designed for scientific application due to its low expansion and non-corrosive properties. It lends itself perfectly to intricate detail, as opposed to “soft glass,” which is used in the process of glass blowing.
Mark’s work can be found in private collections and in galleries and exclusive shops across the country and in Europe.