Introduction to Torchwork: Beadmaking

Glass Arts

Introduction to Torchwork: Beadmaking

This beadmaking boot camp is designed to get you up and running when it comes to making torchworked beads.

Meeting Times
  1. Sat, 11/11/2023 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  2. Sun, 11/12/2023 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sat, 11/11/2023 - Sun, 11/12/2023

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Class, No Prerequisite, Has Prerequisite

Glass Studio

Glass Torchworking


Learn to prepare your glass for shaping, how to use basic tools, and how to apply glass to achieve donut- and tab-shaped beads. If your torch skills are rusty, we'll review the basics. You'll develop confidence and muscle memory for the skills being taught. Each session will cover specific skills and practice time. You'll also be provided with mandrels and a glass rod assortment to take home and use for future use during an open studio.


  • Day 1: After a brief introduction, you'll learn the basic properties of “soft” glass, the compatibility of glass (COE), reactions between different colors of glass, how heat can affect glass, embellishment techniques including applying stringers and dots, and simple manipulation of embellishments.
  • Day 2: After reviewing and practicing skills from the previous day, you'll learn the techniques of two-color twists, filigrana, and applying stringers and/or twists onto a cylinder bead. You'll 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.


A materials fee of $55, included in the price of the class, covers everything needed for the class. 


You must have taken the glass studio orientation to sign up for this class, but beginners are welcome!

Class Policies

Ages 14 and up are welcome.

BARN Policies

Instructors or Guides

Michele Benson

Michele has a bachelor's degree in studio art from Potsdam State College in New York and a master’s in social work from Portland State University. After many years in child welfare, Michele retired and opened Sandhill Glass Studio where she taught lampworking (torchwork) for more than 10 years until she moved to Washington state. She has taught lampworking (torchwork) at the Oregon Institute of Technology and Klamath Community College, and has written articles for Soft Flex Jewelry Company. Michele is a long-time member of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers and is currently a member of the Florida Glass Dragons. When not in her studio, Michele volunteers for the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County and for the Kitsap Humane Society.

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