D.D. Hess sent me some interesting Raku-style lampwork beads she has been experimenting with making, and I asked her to explain the difference between making a normal lampwork bead and a Raku lampwork bead. This is how she explained it to me.

1. First, she starts with an actual base bead, just like you would normally make with a torch.

2. Then she rolls that bead in reduction frit.

3. While rolling the bead in the reduction frit, she uses what is called a “reduction flame,” turning the oxygen nearly off and using a bushy, propane flame.

The use of the frit and flame together creates a metallic luster to the bead. If you soot up your bead too much, to the point where it looks like mud, just increase the oxygen and burn it off. Then repeat your reduction process.

I love the look of these beads. You can make them in any kind of color combinations and they each come out with a sort of combination earthy and sparkling finish.

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