Welcome to BonKel's Beads

Wonderful & Whimsical Glass Art Beads

Hello and thanks for surfing over! Welcome to our virtual gallery. We are Bonnie and Kelley Noe, self-representing lampwork artists. Our little space on the web was designed to share with you the art we create as well as information on handmade lampwork beads.

Lampwork Bead Gallery
Some recent creations in glass!

The beads shown are not for sale - all were custom orders or sold on eBay.

Want to share your thoughts about beads?
Want to see what new beads are just out of the kiln?
Visit BonKel's Bead Blog!

How Lampwork Beads are Made

After studying the art of lampwork beads under the guidance of Gini Behrendt at Toledo Bead we designed an in-home studio. Each bead begins its life as a 5mm thick rod of Moretti Glass from Italy. The glass rod is warmed in a torch until molten (about 1500 degrees F) then wound on a stainless steel rod, a mandrel. After adding color and design, the bead is briefly flame annealed in the tip of the torch. From there it makes its way to a good old fashioned crock pot. If the bead cools to quickly at this stage, it will fracture. Afterwards, each bead is then digitally kiln annealed to remove stress from the glass. Finally, the bead is ready to be cleaned. Mandrels are coated with bead release to prevent the bead from sticking to the mandrel and this must be cleaned. We use a Dremel with a diamond tip reamer. Now the beads are ready for new owners to design fantastic jewelry.

If you want to learn about The History of Flameworking (lampworking) visit this link!

Make sure you are buying quality art!
A good way to differentiate mass production beads from artist made is by quantity available. Six beads per hour is about average for nice detail. Spacer style beads can be handtorched at a rate of 20 per hour. Some of my figurals take nearly 2 hours per bead. If a seller has 50 sets of 20 nice beads listed per week - that would take over 160 hours of labor.
Not very realistic that they made those beads.

An informed buyer is a happy buyer!

If you have questions about lampwork beads,
please feel free to contact us by e-mail!

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