FAQ

Welcome to my Fequently Asked Questions Page!

I hope to have covered many of the basic questions that are often asked about me and about my beads. I will warn you...many of these questions have long answers and I tend to ramble and chat a lot.  I don't mean to..it just happens! But it's a great way to get to know me along the way as well. hahaha.  If you can make it through them and still have a question that I failed to answer...please don't hesitate to email me!

Who is the creator of Beastie Beads?

My name is Teila Hanks and I've been making glass beads since 2003...Working in my home studio located in Oklahoma.

 

I am a stay at home wife and mom of eight beautiful and very wonderful kids!  I have found bead making to be my so-called therapy...if I can get some "me time" I run for the torch to play!  Creating beads started as a hobby but quickly turned into a passion.  I was hooked the first time I sat behind the torch. After a  couple of months of practicing the basics I quickly began my self taught adventure onto sculpting animals. The rest is history as they say...

 

What Materials Are Your Beads Made With?

All the beads are made from or with a mixture of what is called soft/soda lime glass. Most of this glass that I use comes from Italy, U.S.A. and Germany. From factories such as Moretti/Effetre, Vetrofond, Lauscha, ASK, CiM, Tag, and Glass Works just to name a few.

The glass comes in a wide variety of colors... So...NO I do not paint my beads.

I start my beads out by winding the glass around a special coated steel rod called a mandrel. All the sculpting is done right in the flame of my HotHead Torch. Most of the time, all I use to shape the glass is my special razor blade, tweezers, and a graphite paddle. And of coarse, the best tool of all...Gravity.

Are The Beads Annealed?

Yes, Always!

In fact, my beads go straight into a pre-heated digital kiln the moment they leave the flame.

What Does Annealed Mean?

Beads that are not annealed have no guarentee that they will not self destruct at some point in the future.  Beads that are not annealed can explode at the slightest temperature changes and No bead should ever just up and blow up in half or into tiny little shards on it's own!

When glass is melted & shaped into beads (or any other kind of object)there is built up stress that remains inside the beads after cooling them. This is caused by the glass expanding when hot and contracting when cooled.  Glass cools from the outside to the inside. Therefore the temperature needs to be controlled to come down slowly and allow the atoms in the glass to move at a rate that stress can flow quickly out of the glass.  Annealing glass is the best way to remove as much stress as possible from the glass.

A properly annealed bead should withstand the test of time as long as long as you take care of it.  Annealed glass is still glass. That means it is still fragile. You can't drop it and expect it not to break.  This is especially true with sculpted glass because of all the cross sections at different locations in the bead that are made up of different sizes and thickness.  When you add manes, tails, ears, and other small details you must heat the area where you are adding the details to assure proper attachment. Then when annealed in a controlled environment it makes these joints even stronger but not unbreakable.  You can expect the smaller parts of the bead to break off first if dropped or banged around harshly. So you need to take extra care of sculpted beads.

   

 

  

 

Are Your Bead Holes Cleaned?

Yes, Always!

When making beads you first coat a steel rod, called a mandrel, with a clay substance called "bead release". This prevents the bead from sticking to the mandrel which forms the hole of the bead. When dried this stuff makes a powder.  In large amounts this stuff is toxic and should not be inhaled.  So after my beads come out of the kiln they automatically go into a tub of water to soak. This eases the removal of the bead and helps trap the powder from the bead release from getting into the air.  After the beads are removed they soak a few minutes longer and then I take a diamond coated file and clean out the hole of the bead. Rinse the beads off and throughly check them for stress fractures or major defects. 

What Is The Guarantee On The Beads?

My Guarantee.... All my beads are thoroughly inspected for quality and I stand behind my work.  I love my creations and enjoy all the time that I spend making them.  Every bead is made with tender-loving-care and with great attention to details.  I only sell my best beads & I do guarantee them against stress cracks

No bead should ever just up and blowup in half!  If a stress crack is overlooked accidentally I will refund your money or if you desire we can make arrangements for an exchange of equal & comparable value once the item is received. 

This guarantee does not cover beads that are broken from being dropped, banged harshly around, or used improperly in designing, or mistreated in any other way.

 

Do you offer Wholesale Pricing for Resellers?

I am not a mass producer or a huge business. Therefore...No...I do not offer wholesale prices to resellers.

Lampwork Beads are pieces of art. A lot of time, hard work, and love goes into each bead!

 Prices depend on several things that are involved with making them. I price my beads by the size, color, and complexity of the bead design. Pricey colors and extra materials used such as cubic zirconias, silver, aventurine, and certain frits will add to the cost of a bead.

  I also take the time it takes to create the bead into consideration. It can take anywhere from 5 minutes to make a plain basic bead up to over 2 hours to make a sculptural bead. I make my beads with my heart involved, so it often times takes me well 1 to 2 hours to make just one animal bead. 

 I do my best to keep my prices fair and honest for the collectors of my art beads and for those that want to add them into their own jewelry and crafty projects. 

I do run sales from time to time and volume discounts are available when beads are available!

 

   

Can I Use These Beads In My Jewelry Creations?

I focus on making collectible animal beads, beads that are special and that can be cherished, each one being unique and that no one else will have. 

 Not all my creations are wonderful for jewelry designs. Please take this into consideration when buying my beads if you are a jewelry designer. 

 Most of my beads will work great as focal points or as pendants but you do need to make sure that they are stationed stable and free from being hit, banged and bumped around. Most of my beads have multiple cross sections (such as legs, manes, tails, ears, etc.) and the thickness of glass at these sections varies...thus  making them more fragile than a common round bead.

I never recommend any of my sculpted animal beads for designing into bracelets. 

Handle with care, Glass is Glass & even properly annealed glass is delicate! If you are adding my beads in your designs that you sell, please make sure your customers aware of how fragile they can be and that care is needed to prevent breakage.

What Do I Use These Beads For?

Your imagination is the limits!

I strive to make each one of my sculpted beads free standing.  Therefore they are great just to sit around on your favorite shelf, stand, or desk! 

Since they are each unique they make great gifts for those loved ones that seem to have everything and are hard to buy for.

Besides making jewelry/pendants with them, there are many ways you can design them into your own crafty projects. Depending on fragility here are some ideas are the following...

Fan/Light Pulls, Curtain Tie Backs, Wine Stoppers, Pens, Letter Openers, Ornaments, Lamp Finials, ID Badges, Rear View Mirror Buddies..just to name a few!

What Does SRA Stand For?

SRA means Self Representing Artist.

A Self Representing Artist is someone who creates and sells their own or their immediate families work.

As a SRA member I strive to bring you only top quality beads. Made by me, in my own home studio. My beads are not mass produced.

They are each made one by one, while striving for quality and perfection in each bead.

The quality of my beads and your happiness with them are my top priority. Should you ever be unhappy with your purchase, please contact me immediately so that I can work with you to make it right.

To learn more about SRA Members, and for a whole list of more dedicated glass artists please visit the following link.

SELF REPRESENTING ARTISTS