View Full Version : Lampwork Cross Tutorial

04-14-2007, 04:15 PM
I have made several of these lately, and if you follow the Wearable Arts forum, I am also working on an all lampwork bead rosary. It was suggested that I write a tutorial for the cross, so here goes.

The hole in this tutorial runs top to bottom on the cross. I am sure you could do a horizontal one in a similar way.

Step 1. Prepare glass/tools/twisties etc.
I use twisties to decorate my crosses with raised flowers and leaves. Make sure you have all this prepared ahead of time.

Step 2. Make a barrel

Step 3. Using a marver or parallel press tool, square off the tube and fire polish the chill marks

Step 4. Add large dots on either side for the beginning of the "arms". Make sure you get them even.

Step 5. Flatten the dots

Step 6. Repeat adding and flattening dots until you get the length you want for the arms.

Step 7. Heat the arms. Use marver, parallel press or other flat tool to square off the arms even with the body of the cross. Don't forget to flatten each end.

Step 8. While flattening the arms, be sure to check from all angles. This picture shows how you can get "wings" instead of arms if you don't look down the length of the mandrel during the process as well.

Step 9. Decorate. I used a twistie of red/coral/white and placed a dot and then used a marver to flatten it, leaving it partially raised.

Step 10. Add leaves. I use a twistie of pea green and mosaic green (I think). Then I use a pointy tool to put in the middle vein and pull the leaf a little pointy (some are better than others :p )

Step 11. Dot the center of the flower. In this photo I used red to dot the center, which I also heated and smooshed slightly.

Wah-lah, you're done. Anneal properly.

One thing to note, during the entire process don't forget to heat the bottom along with the rest. It is easy to forget while worrying about making the arms or decorating the middle. Keep that bottom portion heated to keep it from cooling quicker than the rest and breaking.

Good luck and hope to see some of your crosses in this thread!

04-14-2007, 04:19 PM
And since I mentioned it, here is the work in progress of the rosary.

Back of crucifix:

04-14-2007, 04:32 PM
:clap: Beautiful work lizajayne. And thanks for the tutorial.

04-14-2007, 04:32 PM
Very nice Lizajayne! I am a former Catholic and would have loved to have a rosary like that one!

04-14-2007, 04:42 PM
Thanks Belinda and Ruth! The rosary is going to my (ex)step-dad's wife. She doesn't know I'm making it. I am hoping to have it done for mother's day and surprise her with it.

I am not a Catholic. I'm a Lutheran (aka, lazy Catholic :) ). I had lots of help over in Wearables deciding on whether or not to do a crucifix or just a cross, and then a few attempts at the crucifix until I got this one (done in raku).

04-15-2007, 09:31 AM
Way Cool!! I'm Baptist and would love to have one!!! I have lots of friends that would love to have a necklace made with a cross bead like that---Too Pretty.... Think I'll try some of those!!! Cathy

04-15-2007, 09:38 AM
Thanks so much, that is a wonderful tutorial. I've been wanting to do a cross for some time now. You made it look pretty easy. Thanks for sharing.

Deesigned Beads
04-15-2007, 10:11 AM
Beautiful Work! Thanks for sharing the tut!

04-15-2007, 10:24 AM
thank you so much Cathy, Tricia, and Dee! It is pretty easy.

I've been stringing them on just organza ribbon and giving them away to friends and coworkers.


My most recent story about them is actually quite a sad one. I gave 3 to a coworker whose best friend was in the hospital. The friend had a stomach problem, and after 2 weeks and the stomach problem being fixed, many more organs started shutting down. This friend made many of us at the office crosses out of plastic mesh and ribbon years ago, so I thought she and her family would appreciate the lampwork cross. My coworker kept one, gave the other 2 to the husband and son. Well, a week later she passed away due to complications. At the funeral they all 3 put the crosses in the casket.

I was so touched. I am making more to replace them.

04-15-2007, 12:04 PM
Lizajayne, The tutorial turned out great! Thank you so much for doing this for us. Your crosses and the rosary in progress are all so lovely.

04-15-2007, 12:24 PM
Very nice work. I have made several rosaries all with lampwork and they are hard let me tell you! But man when they get done and you look at it and think WOW I did this it is a great feeling. I just sent one that had a CZ in the cross to my mother-in-law. I too am not catholic but DH and family is so I have had a lot of request for these.

Here are some I have done. I am going to try one from this tut though they have a really nice balanced design and I think they would look great on a necklace.

Here is one I did but it is not all lampwork

04-16-2007, 01:16 PM
Thanks for the tutorial. It is amazing how simple these things are to do but you just don't realize it until that tutorial is presented! lol :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Your crosses look great also. Thanks for sharing. ;)

04-16-2007, 06:14 PM
Maggie and Barbara, glad you liked it.
Cecilia, your rosary is wonderful! Great job.

04-16-2007, 09:47 PM
Great tutorial, Lizajayne, you make it look so easy getting everything straight :).

04-16-2007, 10:15 PM
Fana, the parallel bead press/smasher tongs are my best friend when making these. They really help line everything up.

04-17-2007, 03:49 PM
Thanks Liza I am thinking about getting some of those smashers!

04-17-2007, 04:12 PM
Cool...I've been wanting to make one for my BF. He's catholic, a little lapsed though, but he collects rosaries. Thank you for sharing.

Dragon Myst
04-17-2007, 04:43 PM
Thank you !:heart: :heart: :heart:

05-05-2007, 10:33 AM
Oh, forgot to post this here. The finished rosary.


Glad you all enjoyed the tutorial. Hope to see more crosses posted.