What Is Lampwork Glass?

“Lampworking” is the technical term for the art of melting and forming raw glass into shapes by using a special high-temperature torch. Although “hand blown glass” is frequently used to describe this form of glass art, the technically correct term is actually “lampworking”. Since many people are more familiar with the term “hand blown glass” I regularly use both “lampwork” glass and “hand blown” glass to describe the art that I create.

I use a 3,000°+ degree oxygen/propane torch to melt the special “borosilicate” glass rods that I use. You can see the green and red knobs on top of my torch that I use to control the mixture of gases. Although it takes considerably longer to work this type of glass, the finished piece is much stronger and more durable than the more common “soda-lime” glass. Colors are produced by various metals and metal oxides added to the glass. I also use precious metals such as gold and silver in different ways to achieve special effects.