Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads & Trach Cover Jewelry

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Gillianbeads is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Please Note: May 2, 2021 I am putting my shop in vacation mode for a week or so while I catch up on orders.

I will reactivate my shop once I'm caught up.
Thanks for your understanding!

Note from shop owner

Last updated on May 2, 2021

Please Note: May 2, 2021 I am putting my shop in vacation mode for a week or so while I catch up on orders.

I will reactivate my shop once I'm caught up.
Thanks for your understanding!

Gillian Soskin

Contact shop owner

Gillian Soskin


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
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Quality 189 Shipping 386 Customer service 440

About Gillianbeads

Sales 5,932
On Etsy since 2007

A Love of Bright, Shiny Things

I have always loved bright, shiny things and as a child collected all sorts of pretty stones, shells, and beach glass. I still have many of those cherished objects.

Beads have fascinated me for years and I have been embellishing clothing with them for a long time. I made my own wedding dress and beaded the bodice and sleeves in a vine and leaf pattern.

In my professional career as a dentist, I work with my hands every day but found that I needed a creative outlet. Jewelry making was a natural extension of this, requiring a degree of fine motor control and skill. My hobby has happily turned into a small business for me.

I discovered lampworking, also known as flameworking, two years ago, and was hooked after I took my first course. My husband recognized this newfound passion in me and very kindly agreed to build a glass studio for me in our home.

Lampworking involves melting rods of different colored glass in the flame of a very hot (2000 degree) propane/oxygen torch, and winding the molten glass around a stainless steel rod (mandrel) which has been coated in a releasing agent...otherwise the glass will melt to the rod forever. When this happens it is known as a "pot sticker". Glass rods get their color from various metal oxides, much like paint, but the colors don't mix the way paint does...the reaction of the different metals within the glass can give rise to completely different effects at the edges where the colors meet. This can also be affected by the proportion of oxygen in relation to oxidizing flame or a reducing flame.

Proper ventilation is crucial when working with glass; both the metal oxides and the fine particulate matter can be harmful. Special glasses are required to protect the eyes from the flare of the glass as it melts. Other safety equipment includes proper regulator valves for the controlled flow of propane and oxygen, high volume ventilation hood, fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector.

After the bead is made, a process which can take from a few minutes to over an hour for a single bead, the mandrel and bead are placed in a hot kiln (approximately 1000 degrees) to "soak" for a period of time, then very slowly cooled over a period of many hours, to relieve the stress in the glass. This process is called annealing, and is a critical part of lampworking. Without being annealed the glass will be prone to cracking, shortly after being made or many months in the future. When buying lampwork beads, be sure to ask if the beads have been properly kiln-annealed. Inexpensive, commercial, or mass produced beads often are not, and will be prone to cracking.

Lampworking has given me more freedom and flexibility in my jewelry designing than I ever thought possible....colors, patterns, and shapes can be created for custom designs, as focal pieces, or accents.

As much as I love designing jewelry with my own lampwork beads, I also love to see what other jewelry designers create with the beads I sell as components.

Shop members

  • Gillian Soskin

    Owner, Designer, Maker, Curator, Photography, Chief Cook And Bottle Washer

    Gillian Soskin is a dentist by day...and a lampwork glass bead maker and jewelry artist by night, evenings, weekends, and well yes, very early in the mornings too!

Shop policies

Last updated on October 30, 2016
All my beads go directly from the torch to kiln for controlled annealing. All beads are inspected for flaws and thoroughly cleaned for you. Any white spots are only from the camera and lights.

I am a self-representing glass artist (SRA # S107) which means that my beads are individually made, by me, and not mass produced. I am also a member of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers.

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Mastercard Visa American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I want you to be pleased with your purchase. I will accept returns, less shipping and Paypal charges, within 14 days of receipt.
I accept Paypal, credit cards, debit cards, and Etsy gift cards as payment for purchases and custom orders. Payment is due at time of purchase. Unfortunately I have had several orders not completed in the past because of insufficient funds in Paypal accounts, so no echecks will be accepted.
Shipping is via CanadaPost in a secure bubble envelope. I do combine shipping for multiple purchases paid for at the same time. The basic shipping rate does not have a tracking option (but I've never had a package lost in the mail). If you want insurance please let me know as I can not be responsible for packages lost in the mail.

Please note that shipping from Canada to the U.S. does usually take 10-14 business days to arrive.
Additional policies and FAQs
Custom orders are welcome.
If you have any questions, please email me at brilliantbeads [!at]