TurtleBeads Studio

~ A glass turtle for everyone! Flameworked artglass beads and custom jewellery by Ania Kyte.


~ Tutorial:

~ Creation of a basic lampwork bead ~

~ If you are curious to see how I melt glass rods to create a bead while working at the torch, please take a look at the step-by-step photos of the demo below.  Each photo has detailed descriptions of the bead-making process...

Tools and Materials:

Torch, Glass rods, Frit (crushed glass), Steel Mandrel, Bead Release, Didymium/Safety Glasses, Kiln or Ceramic fibre blanket.

(Please note that there are many photos on this page and it might take a while to load them all, so please be patient...)

Before starting:
  • Dip your mandrels in bead-release
  • Prepare your workspace
  • Arrange your tools
  • Clean your glass rods
  • Turn on the kiln
  • Put on your safety glasses
Step 1:
  • Warm up the mandrel
  • Warm up the glass rod
  • Touch the glass to the mandrel
  • Wind off enough glass to make a bead
Step 2:
  • Continue turning the bead in the flame
  • Let the bead round out to a nice shape
  • Allow the bead to solidify it's shape out of the flame


Step 3:
  • Heat the surface of the bead
  • Roll the hot bead in some frit (crushed glass)
  • Repeat as often as you wish until the bead is coated in frit


Step 4:
  • Take a look to see that the entire bead is covered in frit
  • If there are bare spots, heat the bead again
  • Dip the bare spots in frit again to cover the bead surface


Step 5:
  • Heat the entire bead in the flame, taking your time
  • Make sure the frit becomes incorporated into the bead surface
Step 6:
  • Take a look at your round bead
  • Admire the new frit coating the surface
  • NOTE: you can stop here if you wish and place the bead in the ceramic fibre blanket for cooling, or in the kiln for annealing.
  • Or you can continue...


Step 7:
  • Heat up a clear glass rod
  • Encase the entire bead in clear
  • Make sure the entire surface of the bead is covered in clear


Step 8:
  • Heat the entire bead evenly in the flame
  • Watch the clear encasing layer round out over the core bead


Step 9:
  • Allow your bead to round out
  • Continue turning the bead while removing it from the flame



Step 10:

  • Admire your round, encased bead (but not for longer than a few seconds)
  • Place the bead in the ceramic fibre blanket for cooling (and annealing later), or directly in the kiln for immediate annealing.



~ The above technique can be applied in various ways, and the bead can be shaped anyway you like using various tools to get different results:

  • Tutorial created entirely by Ania Kyte. Photos and text by Ania Kyte. 
  • For personal use only. Please ask permission before printing/distributing.

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