Introduction to Torchwork: Beadmaking

  • Saturday, December 10, 2022
  • Sunday, December 11, 2022
  • 2 sessions
  • Saturday, December 10, 2022, 10:00 AM 4:00 PM (PST)
  • Sunday, December 11, 2022, 10:00 AM 4:00 PM (PST)
  • Glass Studio, Class Code GL121022MB
  • 6


  • $275 + $45 materials fee
  • $210 + $45 materials fee


This class has a prerequisite. Please see below. 

In this two-session class, you will learn how to prepare your glass for shaping, use of basic tools, and how to apply glass to achieve donut- and tab-shaped beads. If you are rusty on your torch skills, the basics will be reviewed in this workshop.

The Workshop is two days long divided into two sessions each covering specific skills and practice time. There will be a one-hour lunch break each day and two 15-minute breaks should you want to take one. 

Session 1  

Getting Started
Students will become familiar with the studio and review safety practices. You will be given time to familiarize yourself with the BARN torches and their operation. A brief history of lampworking will be given which will launch you into the skills and techniques portion of the session. You will learn how to prepare your glass for shaping, use of basic tools, and how to apply glass to achieve donut and tab shaped beads.

The Personality of Glass and Basic Embellishment
Students are introduced to the basic properties and idiosyncrasies of “Soft” glass. You will learn about the compatibility of glass (COE), reactions between different colors of glass, and how heat can affect glass. Skills and techniques focus for the afternoon will be on making and applying stringer, applying dots, and simple manipulation of the embellishments.

Session 2

Details that Matter, More Design and Shaping
Students will review and practice the skills from the previous day. The creative techniques to be learned are basic 2 color twists, working with Filigrana, and application of stringers and/or twists onto a cylinder bead. You will learn how to make cased beads, which will prepare you to make a tiger bead. And finally, you will work with frit and its application techniques.

Materials:  Tools, glass rod, and mandrels for the class are provided. 


  • Prerequisite: Orientation to Torchwork (Dec. 8) or previous class enrollment in Introductory Lampworking with Borosilicate Marbles or Beginning Lampworking required.
  • Remember to wear close-toed shoes & long pants in the Glass Studio at all times. This is a strictly enforced safety policy. Thank you.
  • Please bring a lunch. We have a refrigerator and microwave located on the lower floor.
  • Please click here for BARN's current COVID-19 health & safety protocols.
  • BARN is committed to accessibility. Tuition Assistance is available - click here to fill out the simple application before registering for a class. For those who might need physical assistance, please learn about BARN's Companion Program here.

Instructor:  Michele Benson
  • Michele has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from Potsdam State College in New York and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Portland State University.

    After many years in the field of child protection, Michele retired and opened Sandhill Glass Studio (formerly Cuttlefish Glass Studio) where she taught Lampworking (torchwork) for over ten years until she moved to Washington State.

    She has taught Lampworking (torchwork) for OIT (Oregon Institute of Technology), for Klamath Community College, and has written articles for Softflex Jewelry Company.

    Michele is a long-time member of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) and is currently a member of the Florida Glass Dragons.

    When not in her studio, Michele volunteers for the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County and for the Kitsap Humane Society. She enjoys travelling, scuba diving and underwater photography!

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