Lampworking (otherwise known as flame working and torch working) is a form of glassblowing which uses a compressed gas fuelled torch to melt tubes and rods of coloured and clear glass. When the glass is heated , it is then formed by blowing and shaping, using tools and moving the glass in the hands with gravity.
The art form has been practiced since ancient Syrian (1st Century BC) and was practiced in Italy in the 14th Century.
Lampworking became popular primarily in France in the mid 19th Century where lampworking technique was extended to the production of paper weights.
In the early days, lampworking was done in the flame of an oil lamp, and air was blown into the flame by the artist to create the heat necessary to work the glass. In modern day torches, LPG or natural gas, and in some countries butane is burnt with air or oxygen to create the temperatures needed.
Lampworking is used to create sculpture, scientific apparatus, lighting, beads, wine glasses and all manner of functional and artistic glassware.