Are lampwork glass beads durable enough to use in my projects?
If the beads are properly annealed they will be extremely durable. Annealing cools the bead uniformly and releases the stress created within the bead, resulting in a uniform structure. Add to that the spherical shape of a bead (a sphere has a lot of structural strength) and you end up with something really durable. Think of marbles. They are glass, treated in the same way, and no one thinks twice of tossing them around. However, you should be careful to purchase only properly annealed beads. Many factory produced beads are not annealed properly and these beads will break.
Why are some lampwork beads expensive while others are not?
It helps to understand that there are two types of lampwork beads:
- Factory lampwork beads
- Artist/Artisan lampwork beads
It is possible to buy cheap lampwork beads, these beads are manufactured in a factory in a third world country in substandard conditions. Factory made lampwork beads tend to not be annealed properly and the beads break easily. Also, they are almost never cleaned (since they break in water) so the bead release is still in the hole. It's not a good idea to breathe in dry bead release. Because these beads are cranked out by hand by factory workers only interested in volume, the holes are usually not dimpled and may have sharp edges which will cut through your stringing cord. The glass is also usually significantly inferior to what an artist will use.
Artist or artisan lampwork beads, on the other hand, are made with care using quality glass and proper annealing techniques to give the beads durability. Any artist worth their salt will toss out the beads that don't have smooth holes or other flaws.
So, yes, you will pay more for the better beads but they will last longer, look better, and be worthy of your time and effort. You get what you pay for.
Are all handmade lampwork beads artist beads?
No. Even the beads made in factories are made by hand so they can legitimately claim to be handmade. They are not, however, artist beads. Look for self representing artists when buying lampwork beads and beware of "studio" beads which may actually come from some factory somewhere.
Why is it called lampwork?
Lampworking is actually a very ancient technique and before there were oxygen/propane torches it was done with lamps. If you're really interested in learning more, check out the following:
Lampworking on Wikipedia
What kind of payment methods do you accept?
All major credit cards are accepted.
Is this site safe for me to shop on?
Absolutely. Credit card purchases are handled by Amazon with their security to back it up. Also, I respect your privacy and would never do anything to violate your trust. Please see my Privacy and Terms and Conditions for more information.
Will I be charged tax?
Only if your ship to address is within Idaho, then there will be a 6% sales tax.
Can I check on the status of my order?
Sure. Log in and go to the Your Account section to get the latest status.
How can I be sure my item will arrive safely?I pack each item with care and will purchase shipping insurance for any order over $100.
Is there any kind of guarantee for your work?
Absolutely. I guarantee my lampwork beads to be free from defect. Also, I want you to be happy with your purchase. For more, check out my Return Policy page.
Where do you ship to?
USA, Canada, UK, and Australia but for more, see my Shipping Information page.