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AlexM
03-26-2004, 06:32 PM
This is a long compendium of posts on encasing. I included quite a few posts on this subject because it's a technique that causes many people an enormous amount of trouble and aggravation.

Jinx.Garza
Encase with a thin rod. Last year I took it one step further: I encase with pre-pulled stringers - tres convenient! When wrapping a bead with a clear rod it's hard for me to see the edge of the last row; if I miss it, there's a bubble or worse, the underlying glass will seep through. So the trick I use for thin casing is to pull the lamp on my right side down to table level so that it shines upward, lighting the underside of the previous row of glass. The light from the lamp reflects right where the clear glass touches the bead beneath, making it easy to just press the new row right over it. I hope this makes sense, hard to describe.

Gmdcrafts
I really don't know if this is an actual method, but it works for me:
let the base bead cool, so that it is good and solid, but not going to crack when put back in the flame. Get a good glob of clear melted (Lauscha is best) and when its nice and hot and drippy, "swoosh" it on the base bead in one swipe, trying to apply it as evenly as possible all the way around. Then, take a tool, and in the outer edge of the flame, tease the clear over toward the mandrel on both sides, but not touching the mandrel. This will make the encasing smooth all the way over the base bead, so it doen't "lift" on the edges, up and over the clear. While working the clear, keep attention to the base bead - if your base bead starts to glow, you know its getting soft, and could smudge. Just take it out of the flame, let it harden back up, put it back to the edge of the flame, and continue working the clear, trying to keep only that layer molten enough to move and nudge around.

Lenda

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/10378-lenda.jpg

I have made this really bad drawing trying to explain the encasing process. It would be easier to show you, but I can't, so bear with the bad pic! After you lay on your stripes of clear, you will see air trapped inbetween the stripes, that's ok. You need to start heating in the center, this pushes all the trapped air to the open ends. Think of the space inbetween the stripes as little channels, as you heat the glass in the middle, it pushes the air down the channels to the end, where it escapes. Move your way toward one end, then start in the middle and work toward the other end. It has taken me 9 months with no classes to figuire this one out, and I have almost NO bubbles in my encasing now. If someone would have explained this to me like 1000 beads ago, I would be much farther than I am today, so I hope this helps. For some reason encasing is always a mystery, so here it is unsolved.

Mike Frantz
Yes, you can encase most any color of Effetre, but with some colors you have to trick the glass. And for those of you who have said or heard that Opalino and Alabastro were not compatible with the other colors, this is not totally true.

If you are putting any transparent color over an opalino, you can expect 80% failure, but there is a way to trick the glass. Start off by putting a layer of transparent glass, perhaps 1-1.5mm thick, then put the Opalino and then the transparent. Yes, the glass is incompatible, and the Opalino and the transparent on type do not like each other so the opalino pushes towards the stainless steel mandrel and cracking occurs, but if you have a small layer of transparent on the wire, there is enough give to allow the glass to merge with a greater chance of it working and of course putting it into a Fusebox II kiln almost means success 100% of the time.

Alabastros melts a little quicker than other colors, and when you mix them, the alabastro which melts quicker can boil and since there are so many bubbles in alabastro glass those bubbles can get real ugly, but incompatible, I say not.

Same goes for when casing transparent over Special Colors (ie red, orange) or over pastels, if it cracks, layer clear down first. I got this tip from Murano.

AlexM
Let the bead cool out of the flame until it stops glowing, then while you heat the clear, swipe the bead occassionally through the flame to keep it from cracking, but don't heat it up again. Hold the rod of clear upright, so the part you are heating does not drip. Start encasing only when you have a great big red molten GLOB of clear at the top of the rod. You'll be surprised how easy it is to apply a large glob of very hot clear to a relatively cool bead. You should be able to get all the way around with the molten clear. Once you have the clear around the middle, I put two "tutlenecks" of clear on either side of the clear that you just applied to the bead. Don't put as much glass down as you down the middle of the bead. Now melt in, and voila, you have an encased bead. Trust me, once you get this, you'll wonder why you had so much trouble.

AlexM
03-26-2004, 06:36 PM
Jkittels
Best way to encase, (I think) is to heat the rod until you have a very large gather of clear in a blob at the end of the rod....(I do this prior to making any beads!)..Then squish it so that you have a flat disc at the end of your clear rod...set it aside and make your bead..when you are ready to encase, heat up the clear again and then touch the tip of the flat disc that you have on the bead....once you are ready to turn the mandrel, make sure the heat of the flame is pointed at the clear glass and the bead is below (Jim Smircich calls this something like the sweet spot....or the joint? ...something like that ?) then pull the clear around the bead....This is the best way to get an even coat that I have found thus far...

Lampburke
I think I learned from the Venerable Lenda ~ try pulling some clear stringer. When your encasing is uneven noticeably...and I say noticeably, remember that most of your customers will simply be impressed that they are glass ~ and you see a "thinning" of the encasing, just heat that side up and slap on some additional stringer of clear right where you're lacking. Then round it up again in the flame.

Snootyvixen
I have my base bead fairly cool, but not so cool that it will crack when the hot glass is placed on it! I start at the side of the bead closest to the hand I'm holding the mandrel with (I'm right handed) and wind the clear around, as if I was winding it round a mandrel. As I wind, I twist the clear rod clockwise, pushing it kind of under the last "wind" to minimize air bubbles. (I think I read this in the Kervin/Fairbanks book). When I get to the other end of the bead, I wind off and smooth the clear glass by holding the bead under the flame, so it's just hitting the clear.

Lenda
I am using the Lauscha clear, but in the smaller size from Glassdaddy. The bigger rods were making me smear my petals all over the place, uuggh! I use a couple of different methods, it depends on the bead I'm working on.
Sometimes I spot encase, meaning heat a small glob and push it on the flower. The important part about this method is once you push the glass over the flower, stop and wait about 2 seconds without moving the rod. Then heat heat the rod and melt it off. I found if I did this, it didn't smear the petal when I tried to lift the rod off.

Another method is to stripe encase, I usually use this on larger beads that have lots of flowers all over the place. It's too hard to spot case so this method works well. Get a big blob of clear, start at the top of the bead, and swipe down the length of the bead to the other mandrel. Then I turn the bead over and put a stripe on the other side. You rotate back and forth, so you keep the base bead and the flowers out of the heat, until you get the whole thing encased. You have to use a little pressure, otherwise you will catch air and get bubbles.

Sometimes on a small bead I will do the around the world method. You start with a hot glob and encase around the bottom, close to the mandrel. You continue to encase in sections, working your way to the other end. Use a little pressure like I said in all methods to not trap air.

Cankeep
Haven't had any trouble at all with the Lausha, but then I've used Bullseye and Czech, Satake and Crystal...and boro, so I'm pretty used to the subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) differences in the way the different brands and types of glass work. I love to buy glass!

I love love love the Lausha clear! I did a batch of encased leaf beads last night and every bead I did, I couldn't help marveling at how clear the encasing glass stayed! I even "cooked' one of the silver leaf beads to bring out the gold color and the clear stayed as clear as crystal!
Have you tried casing with the lollipop method? If you want a thinner casing it seems to help, and if you melt the lollipop a little and pull it out into a thin ribbon with your tweezers before you apply it to your bead you should be able to get a nice clear thin casing without building up enough heat to distort your flowers.

AlexM
03-26-2004, 06:38 PM
Sylvie
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/10378-sylvie1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/10378-sylvie.jpg

I love how we all do things differently and still get great results. It sounds like I encase completely differently than you guys.

When I do encased florals, I have done it a couple of ways. One is the "big honkin glob method" that I learned from Kristina Logan where you make the bead with it's flowers, keep it warm but don't let it get at all mushy while you heat a HUGE HONKIN GLOB of glass so that it's drippy molten and just when it's at the scary "oh my gawd" point, you droop it onto and wrap it around the bead.

After you've drooped this drippy glass onto and around the bead, you take it quickly to the marver and roll it (if your glass was not drippy enough you'll know it right here because your bead release will break). The marver is what smushes this liquid glass down into all the gaps around the flowers. If your flowers weren't soft, it won't affect them.

The juicy molten glass, oozes into all the gaps, and if you didn't have your decorations squishy warm, then it leaves them undisturbed. When done correctly, this method leaves very few bubbles. The key is to have the bead just warm enough so that it doesn't crack or decorations pop off, BUT cool enough that the decorations are stiff. It's a practice thing, but after a few tries it works great.

Sometimes I go back and add an extra wrap around the areas near the bead hole just to make sure they get completely encased.

The bead looks wonky weird at this point, but you just heat it until it starts to shape up. Just remember, the bead wants to be round. You heat it and take it out of the flame to let gravity help shape it as you turn slowly like a rotisserie. Make sure to keep your mandrel parallel to the ground or you'll have one pucker end and one not pretty end. It's amazing that even with all the heat that the bead gets while you do that...the encased flowers stay put.

B2beads
If you're on a minor, the key to thin casing (IMO) is really molten glass. There are several challenges there to watch out for - boiling clear (baaaaad), too hot base bead (smears), too cool base bead (tiny bubbles - ugh). You can also case end to end vs. wrapping around. I do that occasionally on bicones, etc. Don't usually do it on round beads as it leaves a lot of uneveness at the bead holes that I have to make into a nice pucker.

I'd case about 20 small periwinkle beads, dotted with random dots of another opaque, with light amethyst and keep working toward thinner and thinner. (I picked periwinkle because it's not as ridiculously soupy as white, but not as stiff as transparents; dotted with another opaque so that you can tell easily if you smeared it; and trans amethyst as it's not a quirky as some of the moretti clear that's around.) After you do that, you'll have figured out some of your own techniques that work best for you.

Hey, at least I didn't say 100! Jim Smircich tells you to go home and make 100 spacers to practice "the basics"! You can then etch the ones that turned out less than perfect, combine with the non etched and sell them as spacers if they are well shaped.

Flamewerks
When I encase, I first clean my clear rod with one of those microfiber cloths - made by scotchbrite I think - right before I start the bead. Then I melt and pick off the end of the rod. After making the base bead, I do the underarm wipe on the clear rod one last time as long as enough time has passed for the rod to cool.

I set my torch to have buds that are about 1/4" to 3/8" long with just a crown of yellow. The flame is soft and will move easily when your hand is waved near it. The "sweet spot" in the flame, is a range of 2" to 4" from the face of the torch on a minor burner and this is where I try to always work soft glass. When encasing - especially with the Moretti clear - I work toward the back of the sweet spot. Make sure you get your clear very melted, which may take a long time, and keep your base bead warm but not softened. Give the base bead a brush with the flame and let gravity help you apply the clear.

I notice with my students that when they are concentrating on what they are doing, they tend to get closer and closer to the torch head and this inevitably burns or boils their clear. Also, after they wipe the clear on, they tend to put the rod back in for the next gather too close to the torch head. Since the rod is already quite hot, it takes just a millisecond to get it back up to boiling temp.

AlexM
03-26-2004, 06:40 PM
Anne Londez
Just to add a little to what Beth was saying, the important part is to keep the bead itself just below the flame, while having the clear rod going through the flame. This way you can easily get what Jim Smircich calls the elbow (the bent part of the rod where it touches the bead) hot without having the bead itself hot. It's enough to keep the top of the elbow in the flame. Look sidewise to see where you are actually holding the bead.
The easiest method for me is a spiral wrap from one end th the other followed by the *turtleneck* method. If you melt down the central part of the clear before adding the turtlemeck, you will distort the design and create a line at both edges where the first wrap of clear meets the base bead. So you need to melt it all more or less at the same time. Getting rd of the bubbles comes with practice... and also with remembering of pushing the clear onto the bead, not pullin on the rod.

Polychromebeads
I use the "dot the heck out of it" method. Keeping the base bead slightly cool (but not too cool to crack!), I melt the clear and put fairly large dots (blobs) of it all over the bead, making sure each dot butts up against another firmly. The whole bead has to be covered, or the base can bleed when you melt the whole thing smooth.

If the clear is very hot, and you smoosh (technical term! ) it down firmly, you can avoid most bubbles.

Kbinkster
Back to the subject of encasing, I found that thick stringers wound around a bead worked better than any other method for the Hot Head. Lenda (OhBouy) posted a very good thread on how she encases not too long ago (last week).

Sometimes, I use the dot-like-you're-a-madman technique. Other times, I try the coiling method. Saturday, I learned how to encase like Kim Miles - an all-at-once kind of manuver. Christine (kikibeads) encases all at once, too. Man, can that woman encase! She is an encasing machine - and she works with a Lynx cranked up really hot.

Bluffroadglass
Back to the subject of encasing, I found that thick stringers wound around a bead worked better than any other method for the Hot Head. Lenda (OhBouy) posted a very good thread on how she encases not too long ago (last week).

Sometimes, I use the dot-like-you're-a-madman technique. Other times, I try the coiling method. Saturday, I learned how to encase like Kim Miles - an all-at-once kind of manuver. Christine (kikibeads) encases all at once, too. Man, can that woman encase! She is an encasing machine - and she works with a Lynx cranked up really hot.

Emily
For the sideways swipe -- get a nice hot gather, then tilt your bead and the rod so that the gather flows down onto one end of the bead. Don't pull the rod off -- use the rod to push the glass to the other end of the bead, then pull the rod away. Then do the same thing right next to the stripe you laid down, but start at the other end of the bead and push the other direction. When you've gotten the whole way around, heat the center of the bead. As the encasing glass gets hot around the center of the bead, it will push the air bubbles between the swipes toward each end of the bead, and eventually out. (So if you have bumps where you started or ended the swipe, don't press them down until after you've done the center heating thing -- you don't want to seal the air bubbles in.) Sometimes I do need to add a collar of clear at each end of the bead and use a tool (brass Stump shaper) to push it close to the mandrel.

It's still important to try to heat only the encasing glass and not the center bead -- when the center starts to glow, I take the bead out of the flame and let it cool a little. I'm getting pretty decent results on long beads by now -- if I could only do something about those beastly round ones!

AlexM
03-26-2004, 06:41 PM
Sandree
For the sideways swipe -- get a nice hot gather, then tilt your bead and the rod so that the gather flows down onto one end of the bead. Don't pull the rod off -- use the rod to push the glass to the other end of the bead, then pull the rod away. Then do the same thing right next to the stripe you laid down, but start at the other end of the bead and push the other direction. When you've gotten the whole way around, heat the center of the bead. As the encasing glass gets hot around the center of the bead, it will push the air bubbles between the swipes toward each end of the bead, and eventually out. (So if you have bumps where you started or ended the swipe, don't press them down until after you've done the center heating thing -- you don't want to seal the air bubbles in.) Sometimes I do need to add a collar of clear at each end of the bead and use a tool (brass Stump shaper) to push it close to the mandrel.

It's still important to try to heat only the encasing glass and not the center bead -- when the center starts to glow, I take the bead out of the flame and let it cool a little. I'm getting pretty decent results on long beads by now -- if I could only do something about those beastly round ones!

Jodilindsey
When I first started making florals I had this same problem. As someone else has already stated, you MUST make sure your base bead is not too hot before you encase it. If it is to hot, that is what will cause the smearing. I am so used to being told, gotta keep the bead hot or it will crack. So when I took a class from Kristen Frantzen Orr and finally had a light bulb go off, I learned it is OK to keep the bead out of the flame just a tad bit more then I was used to. It made all the difference in the world!

I also encase with one huge swipe all the way around the bead,. You gotta get a pretty nice size glob of clear going though! Then I heat only the clear encasing after it is on teh bead and use a spatula tool to smash the clear to the very edges, then heat until smooth. Works for me almost every time.

Melinda Melanson
Since you on a HH. Be sure to not turn your torch up all the way. It doesn't burn cleanly when full on and will scum your beads. You want a dk blue area about 1-1 1/2" high. Work your glass above this blue area. Do not dip into the blue unless you want changes in your glass color. I worked about 1" above this blue cone with most colors and with clear I worked a bit higher. Watch your clear glass, if it starts to scum heat it more slowly.

You can use many tools you have around the house. A butter knife is a great tool. I have the brass shaper and I love it. I've never used the graphite one, so I can't tell you which is better.

Ginny Hampton
I've seen a DRAMATIC improvement in my encasing since trying the swiping method (hole-to-hole, whatever) . . . .. It's not perfect yet, but honestly much better than it was, so now I have hope!
1. Make my base bead . .. once it's done, start preheating the clear.
2. Get clear nice & glowy hot, keep the base bead warm, not glowing.
3. Take base bead out of flame and point mandrel staight up in the air so the mandrel is vertical, bead up toward the ceiling.
4. Touch hot clear blob to the top of the bead, close to the mandrel and swipe/push a stripe straight downward to the bottom of the bead, end as close as you can to the mandrel. This step is kinda hard to explain because while I'm pushing with the clear rod I'm also moving the mandrel hand too and kind of guiding the clear down the bead.
5. Repeat step 4 until you've made enough stripes to cover the whole bead. Make sure your stripes touch or overlap a little bit . .. keep the base bead warm, heat up a clear glob, swipe, repeat
6. Once your stripes are done, give it a good heating all over. You'll see that the middle of the bead is nicely coated but your hole ends may not be even - - your starting/stopping points will probably be blobs and the clear may not reach far enough in certain spots.
7. Repair the ends - - this step kind of depends on how everything is looking. Most of the time I'll do (like what Lenda explained), and 'around the world' swipe around each end to cover. Sometimes the ends will need a little pull with the pick. I'll heat up part of the clear and then use a pick to pull the clear over to cover the exposed base bead where it's needed.

AlexM
03-26-2004, 06:41 PM
Alexm
Here's how I encase on the HH:

1. let the bead cool while you heat the clear glass. Twirl it in the flame in back of the clear you're melting, but only occasionally.

2. Melt a big glob of clear, about the size of the bead you are going to encase.

3. I hold the rod of clear at about a 45 degree angle and rotate it. You should see a knob of molten glass form in the flame. When you have enough glass molten, heat it some more until it's almost drippy, but keep rotating the rod so it doesn't drip off the rod. Make sure that you don't dip too low in the flame, otherwise you'll get the glass sooty. Be patient, this may take a little time.

4. By now your bead should be pretty cool. Don't worry if it gets so cool that it cracks when you apply the clear; you're going to get the whole thing molten again anyway.

5. Apply the drippy molten clear to the bead. Touch down with the clear and twirl the bead slowly so that you make a fairly fat and even ring of clear around your bead.

6. Reheat the ring of clear on the bead and roll it on your marver to flattten it slightly so you get even distribution of the clear. You can do this without distorting the bead because you've let the bead cool way down before applying the clear.

7. If you want the clear to cover all the way to the bead holes, the easiest way to do that in the beginning is to make turtlenecks of clear. Heat the clear rod again until you have it molten but not drippy, you'll need about 1/4 to 1/3 as much molten glass as before.

8. Apply it to the edge of the clear around the edges, making a turtleneck of clear glass on both sides of the clear. Make sure that you apply the clear to the clear, not onto the base bead, otherwise you'll get a thin stripe where the base bead will seep up when you melt it all in. Make sure that you don't apply too much glass to make the turtlenecks.

9. Now you're ready to melt it all in. Put the bead back into the flame and start rotating it to melt it in. Make sure that you don't dip into the lower part of the flame or else you'll get sootiness.

10. If (when) the bead starts listing to one side I hold my stump shaper alongside of the bead and gently nudge the glass back to vertical while twirling the whole mess in the flame. This is important because it'll prevent the whole bead from getting wonky as you melt the whole thing. Wonky beads will take WAY longer to fix.

11. Keep twirling until it all melts in and becomes even. Take it out of the flame and twirl until it sets, then pop it into the kiln while it's still glowing a little to prevent cracks.

One more thing I forgot to add, when I get the whole thing molten while I am melting in the clear and rounding it out in the flame, I often turn the flame down and sometimes I take the bead out of the flame and let it cool a bit before I reintroduce it into the flame. This accomplishes several things. Turning the flame down prevents sootiness and getting the bead drippy hot and out of control. Letting the bead cool for a few seconds prevents the bead from getting drippy hot. If you feel that you are losing control of the bead while melting and rounding, turn down the flame and take the bead out of the flame while twirling to let it cool a little before putting it back in the flame. I had real trouble with this in the beginning. Turning down the flame a little slows the process down, but in the beginning you should focus on form, not on speed.

AlexM
03-26-2004, 06:42 PM
Moth
I was in exactly the same boat as you. If I wanted a nice smooth, magnifying encasing that goes all the way to the holes, I just would swipe on a huge molten glob of clear, then use my brass letter opener to guide it to the holes. The stump shaper isn't the only tool you can use to move and shift glass, the trick is that whatever tool you choose be made of brass. It grabs the glass and moves it where the steel tools slip around on it more.

It is a really easy way to encase and I hardly ever get any bubbles, but it always makes a huge thick encasing. I couldn't encase thinly to save my life. Nor could I encase really big beads with that method because I couldn't get a clear gather big enough to go all the way around in one swoop.

That was when I started spiraling molten clear stringer around. I start at the hole on the left, spiral slowly touching both the last row of encasing and the bead face itself until I get to the hole on the right. Melt it all smooth and my encasements are at least half as thick as they used to be.

This still isn't as thin as Allison and other good encasers are getting, but it was a major improvement for me.

Jennifer Geldard

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/10378-jenn.jpg

When you're ready to encase your bead, keep it warm, but don't allow it to get molten. You want a nice firm surface to apply your clear.
I used blue in the pictures to make the process easier to visualize (and for me to draw )
1. Apply a nice wrap of clear around the center of the bead.
2. By holding the bead just under the flame..heat the clear well, trying to avoid re-heating the base bead...then in a firm and quick motion, roll the wrapped area over a marver, pushing the glass toward one side.
Do NOT melt this in.
What you're doing here is flattening the wrap and pushing out any air bubbles at the same time.
3. Add another wrap to the far right edge of your first wrap...this wrap is placed on the previous wrap, and not on the base bead. Heat that up, again trying to keep the base bead out of the flames heat.
4. Again marver that firmly toward the right pushing out any air bubbles in the process. Keep doing this until you get to the end of the bead.
I stop short just before the end.

( Remember to flash the left side of the bead in the flame every so often to keep it from stressing)

5. Now do the same thing toward the left side... wrap.. flatten and push... wrap.. flatten and push etc..

When the bead is mostly covered, heat the far edge of the casing and use a knife edge or any similar tool to gently push the casing toward the hole.
Be careful not to let the casing touch the mandrel.

Ta Da! Perfect, non bubbley encasement without lines, waves or distortion of your design

eleonor
03-06-2008, 09:26 AM
:wave: perdon recien estoy aprendiendo ingles ,pero quiero decir ya gracias gracias gracias gracias gracias y mil gracias por este bellisimo foro por todo lo que dan