About Heather Kelly Glass

About me

My name is Heather Kelly. I had my first lampworking lesson in November 2009 with Jolene Wolfe of KitzBitz Art Glass and fell in love with glass. Such a fascinating and beautiful material to work with! I soon had my own setup and was busy making glass beads.

In September 2010 I started the process of becoming a UK distributor for Lauscha lampwork glass. You can find the glass on my sister site at Lauscha.co.uk.

My beads

I started making beads with a Hot Head torch and bulk propane. I now have a Nortel Minor and an oxycon. I work mainly in CoE 104 glass - Effetre, Vetrofond, Creation is Messy, Lauscha, Reichenbach, and Double Helix for their shiny reactive silver glass. I have some Plowden & Thompson CoE 100, a little CoE 96 and a growing stash of Bullseye...

Annealing

All my beads are annealed in a digitally-controlled kiln. This evens out the stresses that are introduced while making the bead - unannealed beads are in danger of cracking at an unspecified time in the future: tomorrow or ten years from now. Annealed beads will last lifetimes (provided they are looked after! Concrete floors are not the friend of any glass object).

Cleaning

I make sure the bead release is cleaned out from my beads. Bead release stops the beads sticking to the mandrel while they're being made, but it contains silica and is dangerous to breathe in or ingest when it is dry. It looks like a greyish dried clay lining the bead hole - you should never see it in artisan lampwork beads. Note: the bead hole will still be visible going through the centre of transparent beads - this is normal as the inside surface cannot be as smooth as the outside.