Monday, June 22, 2015

How it's Made : Glass Sputnik Earrings

Our sputnik shaped earrings may not enable you to transverse space; however, they will enable you to orbit a room with electrifying style! We wanted to provide you with a little background on these bulbous bobbles, so you can see how personal a process it is to create each one.

All of the glass beads are handmade in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Hamilton used to be the heart of the steel industry in Canada, and as the steel mills shut down the artists moved in and developed galleries, studios and theatres — the arts took over, and rejuvenated the town. Now, Hamilton boasts a burgeoning arts scene; its unofficial slogan is “Art is the New Steel.”

The glass is imported primarily from Italy. The earrings are made using a technique called lamp-working, and it is a practice with a long history. There is no definitive date for the first lamp-worked bead, but the tradition of lamp-working dates back at least to the first century B.C.

Modern lamp-working involves taking long rods of glass of various colors, heating them in an open flame, and spinning the molten glass onto a rod to form a bead. 

Once details such as fine lines, dots, and other flourishes are added, it is applied to the flame once more to give that perfect shape. The flame, combined with the flexibility of the medium, glass, allows creativity in shaping, from the classic round bead, to more sculptural pieces.

Click here to see the entire sputnik series.

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