Harold Williams Cooney — Zanfirico Glass Beads

Harold Williams Cooney

I have never met Harold Cooney in person but his personality comes across big, happy, funny and full of life.  He has a love for glass.  I first “met” him on the forum Lampwork Etc., a forum for flameworking glass artists, and have followed him on Facebook.

Zanfirico Beads. (That’s Zanfirico: Zan-fear-ah-co, kinda weird I know)

– Harold Cooney

Harold Cooney is a master of the Zanfirico technique, although I suspect he would deny that distinction.  His beads are blown and sculpted borosilicate glass, formed in the flame after the Zanfirico glass cane is pulled.  This is very time consuming process so many hours of preparation go into making each one of these beads from the building and pulling of the cane to the flameworking to the time spent in the kiln.

“If I could master one thing in my glass life it would be the technique used to make these beads. I have begun making vessels with this technique and in all reality I have a lot of work to do. The Zanfirico beads have a solid color background and that is a trick that I have had only experimental success with in vessels. The Zanfirico beads sell slowly because of the price/time thing, but they have been widely published and people seem to be encouraging, telling me to keep working on them and my vessels with the same look. I have seen a few finished pieces strung up with Zanfirico beads and I am always impressed that somebody has spent all that time with my glass work. For me, this is the oddest part of being a lampworker; people do stuff with my stuff. They wear it, they string it, they drink out of it, or they put it on a shelf. God bless them.”


Harold also does extensive coldworking on some of his pieces, using tools to cut, grind and polish.  After spending an entire afternoon on one piece in the coldworking shop at Third Degree Glass in St. Louis, Missouri, I developed a huge respect for the time and patience it takes to do this kind of work on a glass piece.

You can see and purchase his work on Ebay.


~ by ginkgoglass on May 5, 2010.

5 Responses to “Harold Williams Cooney — Zanfirico Glass Beads”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lana Chu. Lana Chu said: Harold Williams Cooney — Zanfirico Glass Beads: http://wp.me/pPF1N-3d […]

  2. I have worked with hand pulled zanfirico canes but I have never seen this style before. Truly magnificent work. Thank you for posting it.

  3. […] I blogged about Zanfirico cane a while back in a post about Harold Williams Cooney here. […]

  4. Harold,
    Went to look at your beautiful glass beads on Etsy, and hardly saw any selection. Is there somewhere else I can look

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