Creating a Base Bead

Click on the pictures for a larger image.

Step 1. Introduce your glass rod to the flame slowly by waving it through the flame. This will slowly heat your rod and prevent pieces from fracturing off the heat from thermal shock.

Once the tip of the rod picks up an orange glow, leave the rod in the flame to heat.

Step 2. By rotating the glass rod in the flame, a molten glass end will develop. The size of the end will depend partly on the glass and partly on the heat in the flame.

Introduce the mandrel to the flame and start to warm the bead release in preparation for wrapping the hot glass around the area, 

Step 3. Rotating the mandrel in an anti-clockwise direction (away from you), slowly touch the molten glass to the mandrel and wrap the mandrel in a single layer of glass.
Step 4. Continue to rotate the mandrel until the glass comes all the way around.
Step 5. Rotate the mandrel in the flame until the glass is relatively even.
Step 6. If you desire a larger bead, reheat the glass rod and add more glass to the centre of the bead. The bead should be slightly cooler (note the bead is darker in the picture) before adding more glass, otherwise you will pull it out of shape.
Step 7. Rotate in the flame again until desire shape has been achieved. 
Step 8.

Take the bead out of the flame count to 5 and place the bead (which should no longer be red) into a pot of vermiculite.

 September 2004     

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