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Old 11-21-2002, 10:15 PM
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RobbinA RobbinA is offline
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Need help with Flowers

I am having a terrible time with flowers. I love them so!!

I have looked at Kim Miles instructions and they are not detailed enough for me.....

My flower petals end up totally going into the base bead, the petals are not defined and just plain sloppy.

Can yall give me some other tutorials??

Thanks, Robbin
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Old 11-21-2002, 11:24 PM
GlassPrincess GlassPrincess is offline
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Robbin,

I do florals like Kim Fields. I have notes from her demo for the Southeastern Michigan Glass Beadworkers Guild. Kim graciously shared a great deal of information with all of us at the demonstration.

I'd edit this, but I thought the other information would be helpful too. The notes from the demo include instructions for making a bee bead, a pumpkin, and a floral bead (originally posted for the Northern Lights):

Kim Fields Demo at the U of M Dearborn Campus
(http://www.glassact251.org/kim_fields_index.html)

These directions are far from complete. Most likely they have lost something in translation from my scribbled notes. I have saved them, so if anyone has corrections, clarification, or additional steps contact me. I will gladly make the changes and repost. If there is an area where you would like a visual, please let me know and I will do my best to diagram it for you.

Bee Bead:

Head
– Create a small black spacer on your mandrel. This will become the bee’s head using the negative space of the mandrel hole as the bee’s eyes. This is surprisingly effective.

Body
– Start stacking dots alternating black and yellow glass at the top of the spacer. After applying each dot, flatten with your graphite paddle and melt in slightly. Do this until you are satisfied with the amount of stripes you’ve created for the body. As you are melting in the dots to the stack you will have to use gravity and the flame to keep the body aligned.
– Warm the body to a molten state by flip-flopping it back and forth until the back of the body becomes flat and the tail starts to slump into the stomach area giving the bee some attitude. Stop when you’re happy with its posture.

Wings
– Lay down some topaz glass where you will be creating the bee’s wings. Gradually build up the glass mashing it with small glass mashers after each pass. Melt slightly. Kim explained that this should be done slowly to prevent the wings from becoming too fragile.

Stinger
– Lay a dot of black on the end of the bee’s bottom. Melt slightly, than take a cold stringer of black and pull out a point.

Pumpkin Bead:
(http://www.glassact251.org/KimFields/plant.html bottom photograph)

Stem
– Create a base bead of brown/black. Form into a cylinder. Kim does this by laying down the glass and marvering it into shape. Dimpling the ends of the bead by heating one end at a time to move the glass and marvering to reshape.

Body
– Form a larger gather of orange glass (about the size of a quarter) and wrap it around the right two thirds of the cylinder. Round out and center the gather.
– Take a kitchen paring knife or razor blade tool to make “cheater” marks in the base of the pumpkin. This will help guide you later. The first four marks will be in quarters. Then mark off one more line in between those lines. You will now have a total of eight “cheater” marks.
– Heat the glass by the cheater marks and using your knife roll across the body to make a mark finishing off at the stem of the pumpkin. Do this all around the body heating each area you are cutting into. When you are satisfied with the shape go back and rework the base area and stem area until you are satisfied with the depth of the lines and the shape of the pumpkin.

Vines
– Put three of four vines randomly around the body. Use tiny tweezers to pull off any globs that may have formed at the ends. Using the tip of your pick pull the end of the vines out to create a point. Kim uses a simple handmade stainless steel tool created from a mandrel with a sharpened end.

Leaves
– Place dots of a dark opaque green on either side of the vines at the top of the pumpkin. Heat and flatten the dots like a pancake with the marver. Next place a lighter opaque green (Kim used Nile Green) dot on top of the dark green. Place the dot towards what will be the top of the leaf. Heat and flatten the dots again. Next encase just the dots with a light transparent green (Kim used Pale Emerald/Peridot). Heat and flatten the dots again.
– Rake the dots from the top of the leaf down creating a point. Kim pulls the tool through the dots forming a small heart shape. Heat and marver the leaves open by flattening them with a rolling motion starting at the base and rolling the marver towards the top of the leaf. Do not marver the very point, as it will burn out – fade away. Kim explained that this step keeps the leaf from folding in on itself when she fire polishes them.

Floral Bead:
(http://www.glassact251.org/KimFields/plant.html top photograph)

Base
– Create a base cylinder bead of black. Marver until you have a nice shape and dimpled ends.
First layer – Stringer, leaves, and encasing
- Using a goldstone stringer lay down a random pattern of swirls – keep it loose. Kim always keeps her bead below the flame and the stringer she is applying to the right of the flame for better control of the application. Heat slightly and using a masher tool, push the swirls down softly. Kim says this freezes the stringer into the base glass and helps keep it from spreading too much when it is melted in.
- Place dots of a dark opaque green randomly on the bead. Let the bead help you decide where you should place them. Heat and flatten the dots like a pancake with the marver. Next place a lighter opaque green (Kim used Nile Green) dot on top of the dark green. Place the dot towards what will be the top of the leaf. Heat and flatten the dots again. Next encase just the dots with a light transparent green (Kim used Pale Emerald/Peridot). Heat and flatten the dots again.
- Rake the dots from the top of the leaf down creating a point. Kim pulls the tool through the dots forming a small heart shape. Create movement by pulling the tool off to one side instead of straight down. Heat and marver the leaves open by flattening them with a rolling motion starting at the base and rolling the marver towards the top of the leaf. Do not marver the very point, as it will burn out – fade away. Kim explained that this step keeps the leaf from folding in on itself when she encases them.
- Melt down slightly and when still a little raised start marvering. Heat and marver until you can no longer hear any clinking noises.
- Encase with clear or a light transparent (Kim used Pale Emerald/Peridot). Kim uses a Linear Stripe Encasing technique. This allows her to encase in very thin layers. To encase hold the mandrel up and next to the flame. Draw lines from the top of the bead down to the bottom in lines. Cutting the end through the flame.

- Once finished encasing you will need to go back and nudge the ends down over the edge with tweezers, because the side of the bead that was cut in the flame will need to be cleaned up. Heat the mandrel next to this area and it will melt down and pull itself towards the hole for a nice finished look. Kim hinted that the glass always wants to go towards the heat. So you can move glass by heat the area you want it to move too – such as the mandrel.

Second layer - Flowers
- Lay down 4 or 5 dots of a light opaque color (Kim used white for this demo). Lay down the 4 dots in a square or the 5 dots in a star. Keep them as symmetrical as possible.
- Aim the flame in the center of the dots and melt in the dots. This pulls the dots towards the center and shapes them into teardrop petals.
- Case each dot with a transparent color (Kim used Tourmaline Pink, which is a Czech glass).
- Again aim the flame in the center of the dots and melt in the dots. This pulls the dots towards the center and shapes them into teardrop petals.
- You can stop here for a simple flower or you can continue by repeating the above steps in the junction between the petals. Building another set of petals. Kim suggests going dark to light for beads that have a dark base bead. And from light to dark for beads that have a light base bead.
- Once you have your petals melted in use a tungsten pick to poke down the center of each flower. This pulls the dots down into more of a petal.
- Use a stamen cane to poke the center of the flower and cold snap it off. Finishing it off by encasing the top of the cane with a small dot of clear.

This is where I had to leave… so if someone could fill in the blanks it would help complete this part of the notes. [NOTE: there wasn't much after this, so this is pretty complete.]

Kim’s Tips:

– She uses Quilter’s Magnifying Glasses at 3x strength to help her with all the detail work. She clips them on the outside of her protective lenses. Kim swears that this has improved her work 100%.
– She uses Bead Separator by Fusion Products International. Frantz Art Glass sells this with their label. They have it listed as Fusion Bead Separator and an 8 oz. bottle costs $13 dollars. It can be flame dried.
– She uses a cheap kitchen paring knife instead of the razor blade tool.
– She is a very impatient beader and does not preheat her rods. She puts the tip right into the base of the flame and cleans off scum with tweezers before using the color.
– She uses stringer for all her detail work and keeps it on her work surface in a palette sorted by color.
– For berries she cases Periwinkle with Black and pulls stringers for Dark Purple. The thicker the opaque glass the more it will show through the transparent casing. Control the color by the amount of opaque glass used.
– Case Coral with transparent Dark Amethyst/Purple and pull a stringer of Mauve.
– Case an opaque Dark Green with Clear for vines.
– Case Nile Green with Clear. Linear stripe encase alternating Black and Clear. Go back and linear stripe encase Clear on Black and Black on Clear. Pull for a Poppy type stamen cane.

HTH,
Dawn
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Last edited by GlassPrincess : 11-21-2002 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 11-22-2002, 01:09 AM
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ChristyL ChristyL is offline
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wow, how incredibly helpful! Thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed reply. I know these instructions will help alot of us, still having trouble with florals.

Hugs*
ChristyL
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Old 11-22-2002, 09:12 AM
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Lenda Lenda is offline
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Dawn, your poor fingers!!! That was a really nice thing for you to do. The links were very nice, I just wish that big pic would have been in better focus!!I want detail!!LOL!

When Kim says she uses green Czech glass for leaves and such, I wonder if you can encase the green Czech???? Maybe I'll email her for that answer.

Robbin, florals take a lot of practice, just because it's based on good dot placement, using pretty small stringers. Once you get that down pat, and doing like Kim says, heat the center of the 4 or 5 dots to draw them in, you've got a flower born. Now if you want to add other layers, you can. I put a thin layer of clear inbetween the petal layers, to give more definition to them, but don't think that step is necessary.

This is my step, make a core color bead, sometimes I use clear too. After you shape the base, I lay encased stringers for vines. I find encasing the green stringers helps stop the spread that green is noted for. After you lay on the green stringer, I melt it in. I then put another layer of clear to encase the vine, giving depth between it and the flower base. Then you start to add your petals, when you get all the petal groups on, melt the centers in. If you want single layer petals, heat each flower and plunge the centers. Cool and then encase. This brings out the cute little bubble in the center. If you want to have another layer of petals on the flower, lay in the first petal group, then encase if you want depth inbetween, lay in the next group of petals, inbetween the first group, melt in, then plunge the centers, then encase.

Like I said, it's a practice thing, I think most people don't do them because it's a patience thing. Having pretty good stringer control to place dots where you want, having good casing techniques so you don't smear your flowers across your bead, pulling stringers. These are the aspects of floral beads and it's just practice, practice. Start with a simple floral, and once you get that down, go for another layer on your next try. You'll find that they become more simple with each floral that you do.

I sure hope this helps you and others, if you have any more questions, PM me and I'll see if I can answer them. But Tracey's flower beads really put mine to shame, I just love those beads she posted yesterday!!!!

I have attached a pic of the florals I managed yesterday. One is single layers with floating vines inside, the other is a two layer flower. Excuse the bead poop, just took them out of the kiln.

side view:


front view:
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Old 11-22-2002, 09:28 AM
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Josie Josie is offline
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Those are some awesome instructions! I'm going to try a bee! Maybe I'll make a whole hive!! Hee!Hee!
Robin, here is my version (keepin mind I have had no classes so I just do what I think you should do. LOL!)
1~Make your basic bead. It's easier on one about 8mm. to10mm. until you get the hang of it. I don't do a lot of vines so there is one step I cut. (I'm lazy. )
Depending on the flower you can make a three petal flower, four petal or five petal. Fives are the hardest since the fifth one will get pushed out of the circle when melting if they aren't in the perfect spot. Four is the easiest. Three petals make awesome pansies if you put a trans. color on top two dots too. Pansy dots are T shaped.
2~using stringer place four dots in an X pattern. (two on top and two on bottom)
If you want two toned (or more) make you first dot smaller than if you are doing single color flowers.
3~melt in completely
4~poke with pick in center (there should be a dot of base color for guide since I don't use a center color)
5~Melt clear and either encase whole bead or just put a blob over flowers. Either way they are gorgeous! Covering just the flower will give the petals a bit more "life" since they seem to be floating inside the bead. (Not to mention it's easier than encasing those buggers only to ruin them with a smear! )

For someone who said I had simple instructions I sure made them long. Whew!

Good luck!
Tracey
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Old 11-22-2002, 09:34 AM
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Josie Josie is offline
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I sure hope this helps you and others, if you have any more questions, PM me and I'll see if I can answer them. But Tracey's flower beads really put mine to shame, I just love those beads she posted yesterday!!!!

Oh you are so sweet!!! But you have me by far! I LOVE your flower beads! It's because of people like you that made me fall in love with flowers! I was going to make flowers come hell or high water! Hee!Hee!
Thank you for the compliment! I means a lot!
Tracey
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Old 11-22-2002, 09:36 AM
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Lenda

I goofed on the quote thing. Ooooppppssss!
Think I'll stick to beads and let the others do the computer thing.

Tracey
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Old 11-22-2002, 10:43 AM
GlassPrincess GlassPrincess is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ohbuoy
Dawn, your poor fingers!!! That was a really nice thing for you to do. The links were very nice, I just wish that big pic would have been in better focus!!I want detail!!LOL!

When Kim says she uses green Czech glass for leaves and such, I wonder if you can encase the green Czech???? Maybe I'll email her for that answer.

Lenda,

Ignore my previous statement. Kim is using the 15% idea. Where she is only using the Czech glass sparingly as decoration. She encases very thinly, so this might be why it works for her. She does not do the paperweight type encasing... her encasing - I would guess - is at the max 1/16 of an inch thick.

HTH,
Dawn
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Last edited by GlassPrincess : 11-22-2002 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 11-22-2002, 11:12 AM
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Lenda Lenda is offline
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Thanks Dawn, I emailed her already, before I got to read this post. Green is such a pain in the whatoozie for me, I just thought maybe she'd found a shortcut ( I was hoping anyway!!) She's on vacation right now, won't be back until the 25th, and I'm sure she's got a gazillion emails in her box as it is!! So thanks for that info, I might not hear back from her.
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Old 11-23-2002, 01:29 AM
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juliecab juliecab is offline
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These instructions were grrrrreat! I just made a couple after reading this and know it worked better--one add'l question. Laying down the encasing from side to side definitely works better to minimize smearing --but I am still finding that my flowers look schmeary. The best results I have is with the big glob--anyone else find this to be true? or have a suggestion? I would like to get some good results without having such thick encasing.

I will post my results tomorrow! They are by no means that great, but they are improvement which excites me!

Here is what I think is my best simple flower so far.

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Last edited by juliecab : 11-23-2002 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 10-24-2003, 09:50 PM
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MaureenKennedy MaureenKennedy is offline
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Bump
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Old 10-25-2003, 08:22 AM
Mike E etc Mike E etc is offline
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Old 10-25-2003, 08:49 AM
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Lenda

I LOVE that white flower in the clear................ so exquisitely simple and clean...........

Dawn - thanks for all those detailed instructions - will be printing them out to try......

Bea
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Old 11-07-2003, 11:55 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by Lenda
This is my step, make a core color bead, sometimes I use clear too. After you shape the base, I lay encased stringers for vines.


Hi Lenda, I wonder if there is better way to lay vines. I do the same way but it dose not look as good as I want it to be.
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Old 11-07-2003, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike E etc
.

Mike, you chatterbox.
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