Lampworking (flame-working) is an ancient art developed thousands of years ago. It is the art of melting rods of glass in the flame of a torch and winding the molten glass around a steel rod or "mandrel" which has a clay-based release agent on it to keep the glass from bonding to the steel itself. The steel rod must be evenly rotated to center the hot glass. The bead can be shaped and decorated using a variety of simple tools, all the while keeping the glass at a molten state by moving it in and out of the flame. Some of the tools used for intricate patterns, textures and designs are called: frits, powders, stringers and foils. The flame-worked bead is then placed in a kiln and held at 950 degrees to anneal (to toughen and reduce brittleness) making the glass bead stable. I then combine my lampwork glass beads with findings of sterling silver to complete each piece. I am always expanding my knowledge of bead making by attending several workshops and working with the "Masters"!