Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 15:40:46 -0500
Subject: [SCA-AS] Links: Historical Lampwork Beads


Recently I found myself in Carolingia (Boston area) at a Costuming Lecture, and was able to stay with a kind and tolerant local couple in their home--you know who you are. Thank you! As the lady in question was a very talented Glass Bead (lampwork) artist, this list is in thank-you to those kind gentles who were such wonderful hosts to myself and my apprentice. There is very little SCA-relevant information on Lampworking on the Web, so I encourage those of you who practice this artform to put your information out there for others to see.

I hope you find this list, as always, useful and enjoyable. It is designed to be forwarded on to others who would also find it enjoyable, so please do so with my blessing, remembering that not eveyone enjoys multiple copies of lengthy messages. I am always looking for topic suggestions for future Links lists and also for guest Linkers. If you have a suggestion or are interested in subbing for me on any given week, please reply directly to me at . This list goes around the world untracked, and I do not subscribe to all the lists upon which it appears, so a direct response is
always the best bet if you require an answer.


Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon
Riverouge, Aethelmearc

Clare's Medieval Lampworking
A list of links, sources, and projects on medieval lampwork beads. See espescially her bibliography for each piece.

A List of examples (few beads but still fascinating stuff). Hit the Home button at the bottom to surf their other pages, which have quite a few examples of medieval beads.

Stefen's Florilegium: Bead information
(Site Excerpt of ONE post in a list of gathered messages) And of course beads of glass (from Sidon, Tyre and Egypt), onyx and carnelian beads (from Yemen and India), emerald and sapphire beads (from Burma and Sri Lanka) and ivory beads (from Africa by way of Constantinople) were imported at various times throughout the period. The best general work on the history and provenance of various beads is:
Dubin, Lois S.. The History of Beads from 30,000 BC to the Present. NewYork: Harry N. Abrams. 1984. ISBN 0-8109-0736-4. The hardcover is expensive... at least $70, but I've been told that a paperback edition recently became

SCA-ARTS Citation List: Glass
(Site Excerpt) Information
Anglo-Saxon and Viking Crafts - Glass and Amber Working
Brian Kerkvliet's Glass Articles
Council for British Archaeology Research Reports - Medieval Archaeology
(Anglo-Saxon glass)
Flameworking Health and Safety Guidelines
The Enamelist Society
Glass Line Newsletter
Glassworkers Reading List
Historic and Modern Glass
Lampworking Lingo
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters
Mike Firth's Revised Glassblowing Home Page
and much more.....

Sundance: Using a Torch to Make Glass Beads, Marbles and Sculptures.
(Site Excerpt) Keep adding glass by heating the glass rod and dripping the molten glass to build up the bead. Do not aim the flame at the already applied glass, direct the flame toward the glass rod. Rotate the mandrel to make the bead round. Making the bead symmetrical takes practice.

Online Glass Museum
History of Art Glass Lampworking
(Site Excerpt) These 'beehive' furnaces have been recorded in a great many ancient civilizations, indicating that making and working with glass may have originated from a single source. Furnaces found in Japan are nearly identical to furnaces found in North Africa. These furnaces dominated glassmaking worldwide before the birth of Christ. Since beads are known to have been an important medium of exchange in ancient times, the techniques of working glass are likely to have spread far and fast across the ancient world.

The History of Lampworking
by Robert A. Mickelsen
(This site is apparently a verbatim duplicate of the site above. Not knowing which is chicken and which is egg, I give you both. Site Excerpt)
Ancient man is widely presumed to have discovered glass by accident in a campfire, and subsequently learned to make it in small earthen furnaces shaped like beehives. Wood was the energy source and ceramic crucibles were used to contain the compounds used to make glass. Air to fuel the combustion was allowed to enter through portals at the bottom and was exhausted through a round vent at the top. Tools were very simple, and mainly used to draw cane out of the small, molten blob within the crucible. information
A must-read as the author gives good information on material sources and links.

St. Louis Lampworkers Society: What is Lampwork?
(Site Excerpt) The first book on glass making was published in the 17th century by a Florentine glassmaker named Antonio Neri. Beads then became relatively cheap to produce and were carried as ballast in the trade ships of early explorers and used as currency at their destination. Glass beads were exchanged for furs, tobacco and sugar in the Americas and for slaves, ivory and gold in Africa.

Snodgrass Glass Supply
Dates in the History of Glass

Rosary workshop - a history of the rosary
Gathered from church documents and tradition, bead resource books and general history.
(Site Excerpt) This little chronology, is like stringing the beads of history into place. It opens up two thousand years of time and becomes a wonderful telling of how important it has been for people to keep track of their prayers over the centuries so none are left unsaid. The bead keeps us connected.

Center for Bead Research: Ancient Beads
A list of links

Lady Sveva's Bead Page
A showcase of "historic style" beads

Hands on Glass Beads!
Note from class taught by Lady Sveva Lucciola
(Site Excerpt) Making a Basic Bead
1. Proper posture and form are the first things to learn!
2. Apply bead separator to mandrel and dry
3. Heat glass rod
4. Wrap glass on mandrel
5. Spin to form round bead
6. Cool for moment and place in blanket
7. Take off mandrel
and more.....

See also History of the Glass Bead at
(Site Excerpt) Recently there has been excitement about the role India seems to have played in early glass and stone production history. We have know for a while that as early at the 4th c. BC glass was used to create false gems
and there was established glass manufacture in Ceylon from the 3rd c. BC. India is also believed to be the first to develop the method of creating gold and silver foil beads, which they exported all over the world.