This is a question I am asked often when I am selling my work at a show. It is difficult to answer simply. It depends on the style and the amount of detail in a particular bead.
However, at a recent show I had a customer, who has just begun to learn the process of lampworking. She called her husband over and explained in detail how I make one of my bejeweled beads.
She and I began talking and she brought up the point of how people often ask how long it takes to make a bead. She informed me that this is the wrong question to ask. The question should be, "How many YEARS did it take to get to the point that you can make this bead?"
I have been thinking about that statement and have come to realize how absolutely right on topic this statement is. I have been lampworking for more than 5 years now. It took me four years to develop the stringer control necessary to place so many dots in just the right spot to create the bejeweled beads that I consider good enough to sell. I continue to work on my stringer control because I love to draw on beads, as in my OM beads, enameled hearts, or my butterfly beads. Some days the control is better than others, so the skill is still developing.