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Old 07-15-2016, 08:49 PM
seagarden seagarden is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 3
Needing Help Bead Making

Hi everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to look at my post. I am new this this form of art. I have done a lot of reading and testing and practicing and I'm having difficult time making donut and round beads. I notice now (after 4 Map Tanks) that when I initially touch the glass to the mandrell and start twirling that most of the glass ends up on 3/4 of the mandrell and 1/4 is very skinny. Im always trying to fill that up. But it never works.

I have tried to melt more glass, but the same thing happens. Even if i make a tiny bead to start with it happens. Im really trying to get over this first hump but its a tough one, so it seems. Any input would be so appreciated and yes I have been over to 101.

Also does anyone know where I can post "My first stupid burn"?

Thanks again...back to the torch.
seagarden a former soap & candle Maker
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:19 AM
TinaTibena TinaTibena is offline
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Pembrokeshire, West Wales, UK
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 44
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Re: Needing Help Bead Making

Hi. It all comes down to practice, and you will get the hang of it, I'm sure. Basically, put down a 'footprint' of glass where you want to make your bead, and allow that to solidify just a little. Then, add more glass where you want it, and you'll find that you have a nice stable base and stuff will love around a lot less.

Does that help/ make sense?
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Old 08-09-2016, 02:33 PM
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dread dread is offline
Cannington, Ontario Canada
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,940
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Re: Needing Help Bead Making

Try using a thicker mandrel - then try winding a thin footprint of glass over and over so its like a mini disc - two to three times - then melt - and that will give you a base till you get used to it - I had this happen to me when I first started - sharp edges and wonky less than round beads - but as previously said - practice practice practice and you will eventually get it
Deborah Read


Canada ! Home Sweet Home!

"We can do no great things ------only small things with great love." -Mother Teresa
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Old 08-09-2016, 02:39 PM
TinaTibena TinaTibena is offline
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Pembrokeshire, West Wales, UK
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Re: Needing Help Bead Making

and remember to keep the mandrel level; tipping it to one side will give you a wonky bead (I remember doing that when I started!).
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Old 08-09-2016, 05:56 PM
seagarden seagarden is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 3
Re: Needing Help Bead Making

Thank you all for your tips and suggestions. Its now been a month and I can finally make a donut and round bead. Not all the time but most times. I have a bad habit of not keeping the mandrel straight when I twirl glass on it, something I am trying to break out of. I have been practicing a lot and that's all I can do until I get a Kiln (soon I hope).

My good beads I keep in a special bowl to see how far I have come however I can't wait to start making jewelry with them once I get a kiln.

To all of you who walked this path long before I came, I thank you for your sharing and caring.

Warmest Regards
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:31 PM
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libra libra is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,958
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Re: Needing Help Bead Making

I haven't done glass for a couple years and miss it so much. It is very addicting. I did boro glass for about 6 years and it is true, it takes tons of practice. Fortunately you have so much fun practicing that it doesn't matter.

Here are some suggestions that might help making glass beads.

When you touch bead mandrel with hot glass, don't push down on mandrel with hot glass, just touch it so you will get an even band of glass around mandrel.

Always turn mandrel while you are working glass.

If one side of bead is thicker, get that side hotter so it will melt over to other side and even things out, all the while turning.

The book that I read first before even doing glass was "Making Glass Beads" by Cindy Jenkins. This book was very helpful.

Last edited by libra : 01-14-2018 at 01:34 PM.

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