View Full Version : glass beads

06-23-2002, 02:48 PM
Well here is a picture of one of the beads I have been working on. I'am new to this art and I really enjoy it. When I can find time to myself to work on them. I have two little boys that keep me pretty busy. But if I can do this anyone can. I have been doing this for about 4 months. About 3x a week for about one hour out of the day. Thats nap time for the boys ;)

06-23-2002, 04:20 PM
Ok here goes I hope this works... Ok and remeber I'am new to the bead making world:D

Laura Brito
06-23-2002, 07:08 PM

That is really nice for being new! You are doing a really good job, I have always liked the red white and blue beads, they make me feel so patriotic! hehe

Keep up the good work, you are doing real good! Congradulations!


06-23-2002, 07:50 PM
As a Mr. Mom of 3, 5 years, 4 years and 9 months...I know where you're coming from. The only time I get to torch is very late or very early in the morning.

Great bead, outstanding for someone with little time and, very American!

06-23-2002, 09:06 PM
Here is my first attempt at a christmas tree... This again will show that if I can make a tree kinda look like a tree anybody can do it. Remember this is addictive. Once you try it your hooked. I cant wait to get out there and started melting the glass and forming it into a bead. I dream about what a dot of glass can become. Sometimes it works sometimes you have to try again. Have a great bead-in day :)

06-23-2002, 09:07 PM

06-23-2002, 09:52 PM
I have only been doing this for 2 months now but I can't think of anything else I'd rather do. Isn't it just great?!
I think your bead is wonderful.. Keep up the good work.:clap:

06-23-2002, 10:32 PM
Thanks to all of you. You guys are the best thanks for all the help and info you guys give to me. I read and try new things as I can. would love to see more of everybody's work. Also would like to know what you guys use to make frit or do you just buy it? Laurie

06-23-2002, 11:13 PM
I buy my frit, but I'm exceedingly lazy. Lots of people make their own frit crusher out of pipe. I think someone posted instructions on ISGB. I have tried the coffee grinder method - works fine, but it'll wear out the blade pretty fast. Someone said they make the rounds of garage sales and pick up all the coffee grinders for frit making! Just don't open the lid without a respirator, and preferrably outside (or wait awhile until the dust settles.)


06-24-2002, 04:43 PM
I use the coffee grinder as well. First I heat up those little glass nubs in the kiln and then drop them in cold water. They fracture pretty well. From there they go to the coffee grinder. It saves the blades a bit and it lasts longer. I've seen frit made with the pipe method and it just seemed like a lot of work to me!

06-24-2002, 05:30 PM
Hello FireBeads,

Thanks for the info...can you also post how you use/apply the Frit you make? Also...do you grind it into a powder or just very small pieces of glass? If possible can you post a picture of a completed Frit item?

06-24-2002, 10:38 PM
Hi Harold, I don't know how to post pictures...total techno-dork here! I even have someone else do my ebay postings for me.

For the frit usage...I use in it several ways. Generally I roll the bead in the frit. I use little aluminum disposable ashtrays (from a party store). They're easy to use and even have a "slot" to accomodate the mandrel. I like to make a bead, roll it in enamel and then transparent frit. Very subtle look. Also, I melt a ball of glass on the end of a rod and roll it in frit and pull a thick stringer and either make a bead using that or just use for decoration. I use multi color or do a monochromatic theme. Some of my popular beads are multi colored frit on black or white base and then encased in clear. A layer of contrasting enamel on the base bead looks good too.

Usually I just use the frit as is from the grinder. There's a mix of powdered and larger chunks. The powder settles to the bottom of the container. It can be screened for size, but too much trouble for my uses. I keep my colors separate and then do blends...the monochromatic blends and multi. Luckily, the ashtrays are cheap and they stack well.

06-25-2002, 07:15 AM
Hello Linda,

Thank you for responding in such detail!

If interested...posting a graphic...
When you post a reply and type in the "Your Reply" field,
notice the "Attach File" field 2 boxes below?
Click on the "Browse" button and point to the graphic on your local drive. Another option...if the graphic resides on your site, give us the page location and we will post the image for you.

All directions seem clear to me but, I also wonder about safety issues. Do you use any special equipment to prevent health hazards that might be of concern?

Mike E etc
06-25-2002, 09:54 AM
I used to use the steel rod in a caped pipe to make frit. There was just to much wast by the time you got rid of the big chunks and the hazardous dust. Have not tried the coffee grinder. To make the frit for the guinea style marble below I melt/soften 3/4" of color rod, soft glass, and cut off several sections of the heated glass into a coffee can of water. Depending on the size of hot glass that is cut you will get fairly consistent pieces as the cut sections break up in the water.
thanks for the nice words about my site. For the first half of the year it has been a bit dead for various reasons. I recently moved to a new host and will be working on four months of updates. By the way, I liked the look of the pendant bead you posted in another thread. What bead work I do is mostly done in the pendant style.
Mike, should turn kiln off before bed, E

06-25-2002, 10:38 AM
I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, only because it doesn't come close but, it was influence from your work! Even some of the steps were indirect but from you via another Glass Artist I think we both know. I would give the name here but, maybe that's not acceptable/proper without permission. E-mail me if you're interested.

06-25-2002, 12:23 PM
Mike will you please honor us with a post of your aquarium marble?

06-25-2002, 12:28 PM
I often make frit by just plunging molten glass into water. This is good if I want fresh, clean frit in certain colors. Otherwise, I use the pipe crusher thing.

Boy, am I helpful this morning or what?!?!!?

Mike E etc
06-25-2002, 05:24 PM
I tried to post about your work a couple days ago, it did not come up and I did not try it again. You are doing very well. The red, white and blue bead was nicely done. When I started I would make 10 beads. Nine cracked and number ten would be as ugly as sin. Keep the good work up.
Hey, R....e, this is cool!
E-mail me the answer, who is it, Florida is a long way from Iowa.
Have you seen one of the aquarium marbles? I did not make any the last two years. I did make four of them a month ago with new murrine fish. I did try an experimental aquarium bead today. Good, bad,... I will post it tomorrow. In the mean time how about a button. I have done a few as beads.
Mike, looking into a vortex, E

06-25-2002, 11:25 PM
Mike E
Thanks That really made my night. I went out to work on some beads tonight and did a really bad job. For some reason nothing was going my way. I hope this is something that happens once in a blue moon. My bead release kept coming off the manderal every time I would would melt and put glass on it would just roll right off. Does this stuff get old? I have had it for about 4 months.

Well you all are so supportive of me I really thank you all. This has been a great sight for a newbie like me. Thanks Laura for the info on this sight.

06-26-2002, 12:27 AM
E-mail on the way, let me know if you don't get it?

RE:"Have you seen one of the aquarium marbles?"
Yes, the new ones, they are incredible!

06-26-2002, 01:20 AM
Here's an acid etched bracelet set that I made recently. I had lots of fun with random application of powdered glass and stringer.
I'm really posting this to get used to the uploader.
Mike, Laura, and craftylady- pretty pretty beads! I especially love Mike's frit bead!
Oh- and thanks to everyone for the warm welcome to us hot glass folks! This is a fantastic forum!


Mike E etc
06-26-2002, 09:41 AM
I like etched glass. Are the solid color beads done with powdered glass then etched? The frit bead is a marble, thanks.
things not going right :crying: not to worry, I think it happens to all of us. Yesterday I started a marble that needs orange and green swiped on a clear cylinder, each color half way around the cylinder. Well, I swiped orange onto the clear, instead of stopping half way I coated the entire cylinder, not once but three times and had to start over each time. The good news, I made the mistakes at the beginning of this marble instead of near the end that is, one hour later. Then the aquarium bead did not go real well, Harold.
Since this is a bead thread I tried an experimental aquarium bead. Some years ago I made a few beads on this order. They were first formed as a marble then I would add some clear to the top so it could be shaped in the flame. Not being a fan of looped tops I use a small bead and marry it to the finished bead.
Mike, GOING to be good today, E

06-26-2002, 09:59 AM
Mike E
All I can say is WOW!!!!! That is a really nice bead. I want to learn how to do those type beads in the future. After I have practice ,practice , practice etc.... :clap:

06-26-2002, 10:06 AM
Mike- gorgeous aquarium bead. I love it!
Only some of the transparent green beads have white powdered glass on them (the 2 green ones on the end have black stringer). The black beads don't have any surface decoration, and the rust beads have silvered ivory stringer.

Craftylady- pretty hibisci (isn't that the plural of hibiscus? either way i like saying hibisci). Love the colors!

06-26-2002, 09:23 PM
Mike and crafty lady. I like both of your beads. Crafy, those flowers are really unique and cool


06-27-2002, 03:46 PM
MikeE, I think your beads and marbles are absolutely gorgeous. I hope you'll try the uploader to post your images so they'll be handy while posting replies. I've already forgotten the details of your first image in this thread. Sorry. :(

Well, I went back and looked at your first image, Mike. The multicolored marble. I LOVE THAT ONE!!!!! (Hence the edit.)

Crafty Lady, you're doing great. Love that little bracelet you posted.

MargaretZ, your etched beads are beautiful! And thanks for uploading your photos, instead of attaching. This way, I can scroll down the thread (at the bottom of this "post reply" page) to get a second look at the bracelet and earrings before finishing my comments. (The attached images won't appear here.) And now I can also say, great choice of colors!:)

06-27-2002, 05:21 PM
Thanks guys that bracelet was a request from my little sister. So I want ever see that thing again unless I look at the picture. But its nice to know she is willing to wear it. :D

06-27-2002, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by Harold
I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, only because it doesn't come close but, it was influence from your work! Even some of the steps were indirect but from you via another Glass Artist I think we both know. I would give the name here but, maybe that's not acceptable/proper without permission. E-mail me if you're interested.
Hey Harold, You can mention my name if you want. Ed is also a good friend of mine.


06-28-2002, 05:48 AM
Hey Richard...welcome!

I would mention your name but, you've already done it for me:D

Thank you for your generosity and knowledge!

Kimberly Affleck
06-28-2002, 10:07 AM
Okay, I just had to post a photo of these. I am pretty proud of them and the photo is better than some I have taken! Please let me know what you think!

06-28-2002, 12:26 PM
I use the coffee grinder method to make frit, first heating the glass and dropping it into water to get it to crackle. I put the coffee grinder into a zip lock plastic bag to contain any dust that may escape, and let it settle fro a few minutes after grinding to minimize the amount of dust. I also wear the masks that I got from Thompson enamel when I'm working with the frit or sifting or transferring it from container to container. I sift it with different sized sifters to separate the sizes, usually into about three different "grades" and store it in those great little metal watchmakers cases that you can get for a song at LeeVally Supplies. They have clear glass lids so you can see the color at a glance, and you can either roll the hot bead right into the container, or if you're making up a special "recipe" you can pour a little out onto a tile (though the metal ashtray idea sounds like an excellent thing to try as well) and mix it with other color frits. You can spread it into patterns on your tile before you roll the bead into it, or even sprinkle in a little Thompson enamel. Makes for all sorts of amazing possibilities!



Canterbury Keepsakes

06-28-2002, 01:40 PM
hey kimberly! i *love* them!!!


06-28-2002, 03:04 PM
Hey Lezlie,
They are gorgeous and, thank you for sharing!

06-29-2002, 01:06 AM
Beautiful as usual Kim!!!!

Lara L.

06-29-2002, 07:39 AM
Super beads Kim! I loved the ones you did in a similar style that looked like a bargello rainbow too! Awesome!

07-04-2002, 11:57 PM
:clap: Kimberly, Those are just beautiful...."warring states", right? I have never attemped one of them....but think they would take alot of patience. Thanks for sharing.

07-05-2002, 09:50 AM
You must go through a lot of coffee grinders?