Sculptural Roses on Mandrel
By Maureen Kennedy
To start, I have made the handmixed canes I want for the rose petals and sepals. The tools I use are a graphite rod of 1/4" diameter, a small Stump marver, a plier masher, a NON-serrated tweezer and a caliper. You can only do these roses with an oxygen propane set up, because you need a pinpoint flame that is not available on a Hothead. If you use a Hothead, then your leaves would be really thick or melted together by the time you finished the flower, because of the bushiness of the flame.
I melt a small amount of glass at the end of the hand mixed rod and smash it with the plier masher. (The larger the rod, the larger the petal) Only the plier masher gets the glass thin enough so that you can work it some time in the flame without distorting the shape.
I make up as many of the petals and sepals I think I will need, and then make even more in case of shock breaking when introducing them in the flame. The coffee cup warmer, (available usually in local drugstores for about $10) is quite hot enough to keep the glass very warm - too warm to touch. (You can also use a hot plate with like a pie tin on top of it, to keep the glass warm. ) You can melt and smash your petals, pull with tweezers off the rod by burning flame there at it's connection, and immediately put them down on this "hot plate" without fear of breaking or scorching the warmer top. Note, I pull the sepals longer and pull off with a flourish to make the more pointed ends.
Now that the petals and sepals are keeping nice and warm on the warmer, I then make a very small tube bead. I put green on the end so that the leaves will integrate nicely in color when they are applied. I use the 30 degree angle on the stump marver to narrow the top of the rose cone, smaller than the rest of the tube bead.
I apply the first petal using the tweezer at the top of the petal. I pick up the fat rounded edge of the petal and bring it up high in the flame, waving it back and forth to warm it up to prevent breakage. I guestimate where the petal will hit the top of the rose cone, and direct my pinpoint flame at the bottom of the petal and press it into the cone. Continuing to direct the heat at the bottom of the petal, I let go of the tweezer on top, and use the side of the tweezer to press the bottom of the petal even more into the cone.
I then use the graphite rod and heating the bottom of the petal, smooth out the petal to the cone, and gently come up the side of the petal to adhere it closer to the cone top, creating a gentle curve at the top sides of the petal.
The top of the petal is then gently shaped with the non-serrated tweezers in any fashion you like. The general heat generated by the pinpoint flame, is sufficient to keep the entire flower warm and prevent shock breakage
You keep adding flower petals around the cone and previous petals, doing the same as above. If in doing this the petals edges become too thick, then use the non serrated tweezers as a press, and mash the petal edges in between the tweezer handles to thin them out, then flame that petal edge to remove the impression.
The sepals are the last to be added, with their fat side heated and attached to bottom of the cone and marvered up the petals with the graphite rod.
I continue adding the sepals, overlapping them, in order to completely cover the base.
The end result
CC Maureen Kennedy 2005 -Not to be published nor maintained electronically on any other person's website I give permission for this tutorial to be on Wetcanvas website for instructional purposes only. I do not give permission for anyone to copy this tutorial and publish in any written or electronic form any where else.