Author: Beth_Boal, Contributing Editor
|This zebra design bicone is made using gravity as the primary "tool" for shaping the base bicone bead as well as creating the zebra design.|
|While this is not a complex bead to make, these instructions assume you already know how to make a bicone (or other cylindrical/barrel shaped) bead. Its use of gravity as the primary tool in shaping the design on the surface of the bead is well explained in Jim Kervin's book, "The Classic Bead Shapes of Jim Smircich and His Amazing Control of Heat" published by GlassWear Studios, in his tutorial on Jim Smircich's Wavy Bead.|
|Here is an example of a basic Wavy Bead created using gravity to create the "waves" in the the colored lines. The 6 lines of color were drawn straight across the already shaped black bicone, bead hole to bead hole, and evenly spaced around the bead. A focused flame combined with gravity were used at two points along the bead to make the "waves".|
|Adding The Stripes
Using a white stringer (in this case, I used a premade stringer from Frantz Art Glass), stripes are drawn down the length of the bead; bead hole to bead hole. This varies from the traditional Wavy Bead in that they are not all perpendicular, nor are they necessarily evenly spaced around the bead. The specific design is up to you, but I suggest running some the full length of the bead, others only partially down the bead. Some lines should be perpendicular, but what really makes the zebra design somewhat "authentic" is the lines that meet another line at approximately a 45 degree angle or less, forming sort of a "Y" shape.
Remember, all stripes drawn are straight - no curves! I apply the stripes to the bicone a little differently than other stringer work. I hold the mandrel perpendicular to (and just to the left of) the flame. I start from the far end of the bicone and draw a fairly thick stripe toward me. If the stripe is to extend all the way from end to end, make sure you start and end the stripe at least at the "shoulder" of the bead hole, which is the point where the bead starts to round down into the "pucker" (another Jim Smircich "classic"). This will help keep the pattern all the way to the end of the bead, even after remarvering the ends.
|Melting In The Stripes
Next, heat the stripes until they are fully melted into the bicone. The only thing to remember here is that you aren't trying to modify the design just yet, simply melting in the stripes without losing your well-formed bicone. To do this, you do not want to get the bead yellow hot - you just want it heated enough to melt in the stripes without disturbing the core of the bead too much. You may need to remarver the ends, but it isn't necessary to make it "perfect" at this point as you will do final shaping later. However, you always want to minimize the amount shaping required after you finish the design, as too much final shaping will likely alter the surface design.
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