View Full Version : need encasing help
07-18-2002, 06:29 PM
I have been trying several different ways to encase beads and I just don't have much luck. I tried flattening the clear rod, but it gets really shocky and usually breaks when I try to use it.
I've tried wrapping stringer size "strings" around but I sometimes get indents in the base bead. I know it's too hot, but it's difficult to get the casing glass hot and not the bead. And I almost always get bubbles this way cuz I don't get the rows right next to each other or overlap and trap air. I don't mind the bubbles so much, but...
The best so far is trying the Smircich method. Make a disk, put the dots or whatever on, then wrap with clear - one swipe. Then melt it all down. But... how do you get the clear to go closer to the hole so you don't have that funky looking side? What I'd love is for someone to photograph each step so I can see if I'm doing it right. The base bead disk with decorations, the clear wrap and maybe a pic or two while it's being melted down, and then the final. Anyone willing to do that?
I'm also wondering how you encase the pretty flowers. I would think the flower would get really distorted.
07-18-2002, 07:23 PM
I do different encasing methods for different types of beads. For a round bead I do the "blob" method. I keep my base bead warm, but not molten while getting a gather of my encasing glass. I try to get as big a gather as the size of my base bead. I let the gather drop onto the base bead, then quickly wipe it aroud the bead. If I dont make it all the way around, I continue to fill in where I missed with blobs of my encasing color. If the encasing is a little uneven I use my mikey to move it around on the bead. Once the encasing has melted down, I do a "turtleneck" (thanks Deanna!) around the end of the bead with the encasing color, and melt that in. I can usually get pretty close to the hole with my encasing that way.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2002/encasingret.jpg
07-18-2002, 11:44 PM
Amy, those beads are absolutely beuuuuteeeeful!! What kind of glass is that and what colors? Those beads are awsome!! You are so talented! Jill:D
07-19-2002, 12:40 AM
I don't have any pictures of in-progress, but my method has worked well for me. It may also be the same as what Amy means by "turtleneck".
I do one large swipe down the center, as both of you have mentioned. Then, before melting it in, I add another row on each side but - here's the trick - it sticks straight out to the side. I don't try and lay it on the glass up close to the bead hole, but just straight out from end of the last row of glass. I think this might be what Amy calls a "turtleneck" - at least that description seems to fit the way I do it, too. This row on each side sticks out further than the bead is wide. You then tilt the mandrel slightly to the side you're heating, and let the flame melt the clear layer in. You direct the flame not on the bead hole, but more on where the two rows of clear met. Hard to describe in words, but maybe that'll make some sense. This makes a fairly thick casing, and will case all the way to the bead hole if you added the right amount of glass.
I came up with this when I chose to make a cased bead for a bead exchange. After 22 heavily cased beads, I had it down. (Then I ran into scummy clear, and had to move to larger diameter rods for awhile, and the method didn't work quite as well.)
Now, this I do on a minor. When I was on the hothead, I didn't even know about this "technique", so I don't know if you need to vary it at all for that torch.
07-19-2002, 12:55 AM
I'll try and do some pics tomorrow. The trick to casing without 'smearing' or disturbing a design - melted in or raised - is to have the bead warm enough to not crack, and when you get your big molten glob ready to wrap around, I "hesitate" a second so it's not so "molten". You may have to heat the bead a bit in that interval so that you don't get the microbubble of hot glass against cooler glass. It's a balancing act. Also, some simply case the piece of the design they don't want to distort first (like each individual flower) then they case the whole thing. I don't do florals, so I'm not the "expert" on that, but I do a lot of raised designs that I want to stay "raised" inside a heavy casing.
07-19-2002, 06:37 AM
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.
Hope that helps
07-19-2002, 07:59 AM
This is my first post here...hope it works.
I have been struggling with (having fun with) floral plunge beads. About a year ago (or was it 2?) I took a class with Heather Trimlett. She showed us another method of casing. After trying absolutely every other possible method, I thought I would try her method again...and it works really well. I was probably avoiding it because it takes longer than other methods.
I'll see if I can explain. Keeping the base bead warm but not hot, heat a good gather of glass to molten. Apply to the center of the bead, and before it cools...roll the bead on your marver, not dragging the glass around the bead, but just flattening it a bit to thin it out and scoot the edges over further toward the holes. (If the glass cools before you can roll or marver, you can heat the casing glass again and then roll or marver).
Next, apply another gather of molten glass turtleneck fashion, BUT put this on top of and on the edge of the glass already applied (not beside the first glass applied as you would do when you spiral the glass on). Marver this glass so that it scoots out closer to the hole. I often heat this turtleneck of glass to molten if it had cooled and use my paddle to gently scoot the glass over. You continue this on each edge of the glass already applied until you have reached your holes and have a little extra casing glass sticking out over the edge. Then gently marver the extra over the edge toward the hole, but not touching the mandrel. Heat and add extra glass for depth wherever you need it.
I find I get less bubbles with this method and I get less smearing of my flowers. Still working on it...
07-19-2002, 12:49 PM
Wow! You guys are great! What good advice. Some methods are similar to what has been working the best for me so far. I guess I just need to practice, practice, practice! I've had a couple work out well, but others not. I haven't even attempted to encase flowers or anything I don't want distorted yet.
The good, the bad, and the ugly:
The good isn't perfect, but it's the best I've done so far.
The ugly is one that broke off the mandrel before I could melt it down. I was using the needle tool to pull the clear glass over to the side a little more since it didn't cover my dots all the way. Is this totally the wrong thing to do? (Obviously I was pulling to hard this time!)
<chanting the mantra> Practice, practice, practice........
07-19-2002, 01:21 PM
I think, at least for me, "pulling" anything is dangerous and ends up like "the ugly" guy. If it had not spread enough to cover the dots, I'd add more clear (or topaz in this case), but in the way Sandy said - which is touching only the previous clear. That way when you melt it in, you don't have any line between the "old" clear and the "new" clear applied.
Personally, I keep reinforcing for myself to myself over and over again, the best "tool" for me is heat (gravity is next). I have almost no tools - a masher I bought and use infrequently - mostly when making new colors to smash the new color into a rod shape if it wasn't something I could pull. I use tweezers - almost exclusively for pulling stringer. I marver to shape the ends of bicones. That's about it. Oh, a pick for hearts to get the top shaped.
07-19-2002, 02:01 PM
Welcome to WC! :clap:
07-19-2002, 02:15 PM
B2- yes, turtlenecking is just like what you described.
Sandree- that sounds like an interesting method. I think Il give it a try.
07-19-2002, 02:46 PM
I mostly follow a method very similar to Amy's "blob" method and it works well. I like the turtleneck descriptor and plan to try that out as well. I also marver the encasing glass when I need to, to fill in any gaps or anything. Encasing takes a whole lotta practice, I think. I don't think an air bubble here or there is a bad thing - in the right bead, it's nice and adds character. There are plenty who disagree with me, though.
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