A Condensed History of Lampworking


Flame work has a long history. Examples of beads and bottles have been found in Viking graves, Egyptian tombs and Roman temples. Thankfully glass was highly prized by the ancient cultures so there are glimpses of its past.

It’s believed that Egyptian glass dates as early as 1550BC. While there is no evidence of the exact methods, according to an article by the Glass Museum these bottles were made by a technique called ‘core form’. It’s thought that small clay kilns directed a fire to a narrow opening to heat the glass to molten before being wrapped around a clay and fibre core. While not exactly a torch or lamp, it would have been a form of flame used to heat glass. Modern lamp workers still use similar techniques.

Oil fuelled  hand lamps began to be used in medieval Europe. This gave rise to the term lampwork to describe all glass held in the hand while being melted in a direct heat source. Lampwork was used to form vessels, jewellery and figures from the fourteenth century. Murano, Italy was one of the first centres of excellence and later Lausha, Germany and Nevers, France.

For more information consider visiting these great sites.

Corning Museum of Glass

Glass art society

The Glass Museum

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.