How to Make Odd Shaped Beads.

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At least, this is my version. It’s fun to layer different colors of transparent glass in odd, off balance ways and then press flat, letting the glass go where it may. This technique certainly works with opaque glass too, however, the layering of opaque colors will provide a more vivid, striated design, rather than a watery surface color.

First, lay down a light transparent color about 3/4″ long x 3/8″ diameter. I used clear because I like the stiffness of it and it also helps to water down subsequent colors.

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Next, wind or dot on on another transparent color, but don’t cover the whole surface of the clear. Use any method you’d like.

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Cover the rest of the bead with a complementary color that will blend in with the other colored transparent. You can overlap the first color or fill in between. Get creative! Melt the glass so the colors blend together.

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Next, take one of the transparent colors and place two large dots, one on the top and one at the bottom of the bead. If you don’t get enough on the first time, flatten the dot into a pad and add more of the same color on top of the first layer.

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Next, flatten both dots into pads in preparation for the next step.

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Place large dots of the other transparent color on top of the pads. I alternated colors is to keep the watery theme throughout the whole bead, not just the base portion.

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At this point, melt the entire bead until there are no sharp edges. Rounding up all corners and crevices, but not so much that it turns into a round bead.

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While it is hot enough to press, use parallel mashers or another method to press the glass flat.

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Be careful not to press too flat. The thinner the bead the less glass there is above and below the mandrel. The thinner the glass, the more chance that it could crack later. A general rule of thumb is to allow as much glass above the mandrel and below it, as the actual thickness of the mandrel.

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The surprise is what shape your beads end up being after you pressing. Experiment with different positions of the dots and the sizes as well as the different colors you layer as well as where you layer them. Soon you will be able to predict the resulting shape and you will learn a lot about what different colors of glass do together.

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New Medallion-style Bead on eBay

Check it out. This is the first bead I’ve put on auction in I-don’t-know-how-long. Have you missed seeing beads here?

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I’m really excited about this new direction, although it will be a little while before I can explore it further. The thing I like about them are the nice medallion shape with a flat back. Perfect for a neck piece but also could work for a funky chunky bracelet design. Have you ever had one of those beads that just feel good in your hand? Moreso than others? This is one of those.

I hope to be listing more on my site and my eBay store but also to have a full inventory for Beadfest Phoenix at the beginning of May. So plan to come see them there if you’re in the area. May 2-4.

 

Wednesday What is it? Winner Announced

exploded baby carrotCome on down, Ms. Karen Hardy.

I thought the inside of a carrot was going to be a genius idea that would keep you guessing for at least a few days. Karen guessed it in record time and the rest of you knew what it was too.  I’m not sure what that says about me.

Anyway, here is the full picture.  Email me your address Karen!

I will be posting another challenge this afternoon, with another glass bead prize so be sure to check it out and put in your best guess.

I’m trying to be a bit more challenging and hope I’m not going overboard…we’ll see.

Thanks for playing everyone…this is too much fun!