Book Review of Frit Secrets: A Flameworker's Guide to Using Reactive Frits

Frit Secrets: A Flameworker's Guide to Using Reactive Frits by Val Cox was a highly anticipated book in the lampworking world. I know I sat on the edge of my seat and read every update about Val's progress. Unfortunately for those of us that are impatient, the process was longer than initially expected. However, as the saying goes, good things come to those that wait.
In spite of my anticipation, when the book was finally listed on her website, I initially balked at the price. $40 for a softcover book about frit seemed rather pricey. So I waited and thought about it. Sometimes I need to put things in perspective. For example, maybe I don't like every issue of a magazine I have a subscription to, but if I get even one or two great inspirations or learn one new technique or whatever the purpose that magazine serves, isn't it worth the $20 or so I spent for the year? That is how I justified spending the $40 for the frit book. After all, I probably have hundreds of dollars in frit (oh wonderful husband, if you are reading this, that hundreds of dollars thing was a total exagerration!) and I am sure I could use more info that what I had at my disposal to get the most for my money.
Over the course of 2 days I read the book cover to cover. It is beautiful. The photographs are vibrant and lush. It really could practically be a coffee table book...for a lampworker. The book covers lots of information that I didn't expect. For example, Val shares not only the frit manufacturers, but also their various "quirks". Val also covers how to make a frit blend, tips for choosing colors to make a custom blend and so much more.
What I was most looking forward to was how to make certain beads. Now, I don't want to make a bunch of copies of "Val beads", but there are times I would like to know how a certain look was achieved so that I can do something and make it my own. There is the section on how to make a faux boro bead, but I believe that is the only bead type described from start to finish. There are tips on using frit to make a ribbon or twisted cane, using it in a "painterly" fashion on clear. Val also describes how she designs with frit and color.
Because of all the other information included, I was not disappointed in the lack of bead "tutorials". I think what I enjoyed most of all was Chapter 21 titled "My Notebook" in which it was a summary of how she approaches bead making. I would definetly recommend this as a gift for your favorite lampworker (perhaps yourself?). I am glad I spend the money on it as I learned many things I did not know and the tips for design alone were worth the $40 spent on the book.

If you would like more information about Val Cox's book about Frit Secrets, click here. Make sure to scroll down and see the pages she has on her website, including the table of contents.


Cindy Gimbrone

Hi Jennifer,I love Val's book too! The photography is just luscious! Val's written a wonderful book on using frit.Cindy

Jennifer Cameron

I totally agree. I am glad I got it and made the time to read the entire thing. I rarely do that with the various glass/jewelry/craft type books I get.


I just tripped over that book yesterday... but hated to buy it without seeing an independent review! Glad you liked it... If I ever get any $ in my paypal account I'll have to get a copy!Thanks Lynne

Ramblings of a lunatic mom and lampworker

Hi Jennifer,I was fortunate to be gifted with Val's book!! From the photography to the information - I was in love!! M.

Jennifer Cameron

Lynne~I definitely think it is worth the money if you love frit or would love to love frit but don't know how to make it sing.M.~you are so lucky! What a wonderful gift to receive.

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