Metalwork For Your Lampwork - Interview with Gisela Kati
What have you been working on lately?
We have been working on two fronts, one having the compilation of the Metalwork for your lampwork tutorials series in printed book form.
Second, a book and online jewelry making class for any age students. Covering basic metalworking skills with no-solder projects.
Tell me about the Metalwork for your lampwork series.
The first book: Metalwork for your lampwork I , includes 12 projects of rings, bracelets and cuffs.
The second book: Metalwork for your lampwork II: covers all the pendants, necklaces and chains.
The third book: Metalwork for your lampwork III contains all the earrings projects, including some new designs.
What gave you the idea for these series of projects?
About half way through my two and a half years of metalworking classes, I took a 2-day lampwork and fusing workshop. I loved making glass beads, the color combinations are infinite and the variety of glass available (frit, stringers, rod, sheet) gives you a very wide field for experimentation. But, after making the first boxful of beads, you go: “Hmm… what do I do with them?” I made lots of bracelets combining my glass beads with leather and some commercial findings, but soon I wanted findings as unique as the handmade beads I was making.
The natural progression was to use my lampwork beads on my metalwork jewelry. As I worked on a couple of projects, it occurred to me that there were a lot of people out there like me, making lots of beads and looking for one-of-a-kind handmade findings to display their beads at their best.
This set of tutorial books, was conceived with the idea of offering lampworkers, beaders and wire workers an alternative way of incorporating their beads onto unique jewelry pieces using metalworking techniques.
The projects will teach you how to fabricate a fully handmade piece of jewelry out metal sheet and/or wire and say goodbye to commercial findings.
Here is the chance of honing your jewelry making skills on smaller projects.
Although the projects are made with lampwork beads, they can be made using other beads (wood, coral, bone and semi-precious stones).
Tell me about the book, what it covers, how many projects are there in it?
The first chapter of the book goes over the materials we will be using, glass and metal.
Next we have a comprehensive list of the tools and supplies used in each metalworking task, like cutting, sanding or soldering. I have grouped the tools on 3 lists, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Most of the tasks can be done with the beginners tool set, but they can be done better, faster or easier with tools from the intermediate or advanced lists.
Next we have how to organize your workspace and set up a soldering and work station.
Finishing this chapter we have the safety rules for working in the studio, if you are a lampworker, you probably do some of these things automatically, but is always good to go over these safety rules.
The second chapter covers metalworking skills, what tools to use for each task and how to use it.
Here we will go over:
How to cut and make holes in metal sheet, wire and tubing, filing, sanding and polishing.
How to texture metal with hammers, steel stamps, etching, rolling mill.
How to shape metal by coiling, forging, bending and dapping.
How to add color to you metal with enamels and patinas.
How to solder and fuse.
How to use “cold connections”
The third chapter contains the 12 projects of rings and wrist ware.
All the projects are explained in detailed, easy to follow step-by-step full color, up-close photos. The instruction also include lots of helpful tips to make the work easier to execute.
In this project compilation, you will find instructions for every level of skills; simple rings for beginner metalworkers, some for the intermediate skill set and some more challenging designs for the advanced jewelry makers.
What type of projects are included in Metalwork for your lampwork I?
This first book includesthe type of jewelry you can use on your hand and wrist, like rings, bracelets, bangles and cuffs. The first half of the projects are rings.
As you know rings are one of the most popular pieces of jewelry, and they are a perfect venue to showcase you smaller beads.
Rings are also good introductory projects to working with metal sheet.
The other half of the projects embodies a collection of wrist ware: bracelets, cuff and bangles. I tried to stay away from the more traditional lampwork bead wirework link bracelet designs.
The tutorials cover a wide spectrum of metalworking techniques. Some of the tutorials include instruction on making special shaped glass cabochons like the Pyramid cabochon or the screw-on-cab.
Each project covers in-depth instructions on how to fabricate different types of settings for the beads. There is a project for everyone.
How do you attach those delicate glass beads to metal without breaking them?
Trying to use “hot connections” like soldering and fusing to attach lampwork elements to metal jewelry would shatter the glass because of thermal shock.
That is why we use mechanical ways to “trap“ the glass onto the settings, like tabs, rivets and screw & nut connections. All of these come under the name of “cold connections”.
"Cold connections” and lampwork glass beads are a pair made in heaven, taking advantage of that we will be using them through the different projects.
What size beads are used in the projects?
They are mostly medium sized beads around 11-20mm diameter.
The majority of the beads used in the different projects are made on 3/32” mandrels, some are made on large hole mandrels.
Head pins are usually made on 20 gauge wire but can be made on larger gauge wire.
I have also included a bracelet project with large hole beads as they have become a staple for many lampworkers.
Which is your favorite project?
Wide cuffs are my favorite pieces of jewelry, so I had to have various big cuffs with lampwork beads incorporated into the design.
Where and when are the books available?
The books of the series Metalwork For Your Lampwork is already available for USA here in my website and I offer free help and support for the projects with the purchase of the Paper Book.
If you are outside of US you can purchase my books worldwide through Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it, Amazon.nl, Amazon.co.jp, Amazon.in, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com.br, Amazon.com.mx and Amazon.com.au .