Lampworking and Beadmaking tips, techniques and tutorials.
A few weeks back we asked our Facebook friends for some helpful tips for lampwork beginners.
If you have a tip or technique you would like to share, post it on our page Frantz Art Glass Facebook Fan Page.
Thanks to all that participated.
Keep your fingers out of the fire.
Kelly Taylor Kruggel
Beginners Tip: Do Not Be Afraid.
Barbara Desvaux de Marigny
As a beginner it would have helped me if I had understood how important it is to the various techniques to be able to “read” the temperature of the glass bead. Once I learnt this, I found encasing, adding murrini and other techniques much easier to master. Also get to know the areas of your flame and don’t forget how much heat there is just under the flame which is handy when decorating beads especially with stringers.
Worst burns ever were when i thought i could answer and then talk on the phone and melt glass. Let the answering machine do its job. Focus on the task at hand.
Beginners tip: glass wants to be round. Rotate evenly and let your bead round itself out in the flame.
Didn’t realize Frantz had a Facebook page, thanks for mentioning it in your newsletter. Beginner tip: when soaking beads to remove them from the mandrel or once off the mandrel to clean them – add a couple drops of dishwashing liquid to the water, it makes them easier to clean. Tip 2 – if your light turquoise gets a scummy film on the outside, once you take your beads off the mandrel, soak them for about 8 hours in some cola and the scum disappears. If you get scum in the first place, watch to see where in the flame you are holding your rod and adjust it, same if you get red spots in turquoise. You may also have to add more oxygen.
Mary Ann Schwalbach
If you try to imbed silver wire inside a glass bead, it’ll crack as it cools……I’m thinking silver has a different COE as 103
Beginner’s Tips: I don’t think I have any advice that I haven’t already seen. But some of that advice I wish I had followed from the very beginning. Take notes. I have some beads with an effect that I love – and cannot reproduce. (I have many more beads that are attempts to reproduce a favorite effect). I now take notes. A simple notebook starting each entry with the date, the glass I’m using, the experiments. I also note when I change my kiln settings – e.g. a little hotter, a little longer. My notes tend to trail off into a session but I find that if a bead turns out great, I can zero in on what I was using and doing to create that bead. I also note on the previous day’s notes how the beads came out of the kiln – e.g. bright, dark, more blue, etc.
Another piece of advice is LABEL the rods. Maybe because I love buying and trying new glass I have a lot of 1/4 pounds. Its amazing how similar dissimilar rods can be.
My last piece of advice is buy from Frantz. Yes a shameless plug, but they have provided great service and been really helpful whenever I was in a fix.
I and even though I don’t
Cynthia Hass Bishop
Grow ALOE VERA plants outside your studio door! Shocky glass can fly and burn you unexpectedly.
Here’s my tip: don’t get the bead release too thick on the mandrel. It’ll break right in the middle of your coolest bead!!
I like shooting beads on a white background. It provides a uniformed look with other photos, background colors don’t interfere and it allows me to easily isolate the the bead in Photoshop for compositions like ads or banners. But one problem I come across from time to time is losing the details in the edge of the bead. This usually happens because the bead itself is pale and it looks like the white is swallowing the bead.
After some experimenting I came across a simple solution. I place a large piece of black cardboard behind it out or frame. By doing this it ads enough dark reflection to define the edges on the light background.
As you can see in these examples the edges are more defined. Which makes it easier to adjust the contrast with out losing detail.
After photographing some Dichroic Scraps and I discovered something I wanted to share.
The Dichroic Scraps will be on sale in the Fun House so they needed some photos. The scarps were of dichroic on clear. I had a problem was when I was photographing them on white I was loosing all detail.
So what I did was place a black piece of foam-core out of frame to see if I could get a little contrast and something really cool happened. The color on the Dichroic Scraps jumps out.
Here is what append when I placed a black piece of foam-core behind it.
As you can see it made an amazing difference. So if you’re having problems photographing dichroic beads try putting something dark next to it out of frame.
One of our customers, Joy Munshower, posted some wonderful torso beads made with the Effetre glass rod colors ( Sunset, Alexandrite, Green Tea, Earth, Dark Ivory, and Neptune) and Vetrofond glass rod ( Topaz ODD ). They were such great examples of these colors I thought I would share them in this blog.
The murrini used were by Donna Millard
I would like to see this bead in person because Effetre Alexandrite shifts hue slightly with different light.
This Green Tea bead looks like it was sculpted out of a Marble.
For more images check out her Facebook page.
I became aware of the existence of a type of Italian decorative cane called “Zanfirico” the first time I visited Murano back in the early 1990’s. It is stored in the same warehouse at Effetre with the murrini cane and was a titillating eye candy experience.
Zanfirico is a hand pulled cane style that requires a lot of skill to produce and is very popular with the traditional glass blowers on Murano, who do beautiful blown glass pieces with ribbons of fine twisting colors in stunning vases, bowls and other glass objects.
Frantz Art Glass has had Zanfirico cane available for many years, but it was marketed as “Marble Stock” in our catalog and on our website. The colors of Zanfirico that Frantz had in the past was not as delightful as the new batch that is now available and there is a better selection of cane sizes to pick from with this new shipment.
Since there are all these new styles and colors of Zanfirico, I decided to see what I could do using this cane style to make beads. I had a lot of fun seeing how I could make fancy 2 mm stringers out of 15 to 20 mm thick pieces that were 2 – 2 ½ inch long of zanfirico cane. I heat these short thick pieces of zanfirico cane in my annealing kiln at 1000F and then pick them up out of the kiln with a glass punty that is heated at the pick-up end to sticky hot. I then transfer the zanfirico chunk to the torch flame and start warming it and add a glass punty to the other end. When the zanfirico chunk starts to get soft, I start to introduce more twists into the cane and when it is ready to pull out, I continue to add more twists to make them compact enough to look good in a bead. This treatment takes a little practice, but is well worth it.
While I was experimenting with the zanfirico cane, I discovered that some of the cane patterns actually looked better when I applied a 5 to 6 mm cane directly to a thin bead cylinder on a mandrel and heated and twisted the cane down as I melted it around the bead. This technique allowed me to use the cane in its’ full size which made the cane pattern larger and more visible and I really liked the results. Instead of wispy twisted patterns of color, I got beefy twists that were more dramatic.
If you like exotic stringers, I highly recommend trying some of this new shipment of zanfirico cane. It saves you from having to make it from scratch and it allows you to introduce details into your beads that are difficult to produce and very lovely to see.
|Blue spiral zanfirico over base of CiM Creamsicle with Peace and Cornflower dots||Blue spiral zanfirico over base of CiM Rose Quartz with an accent stringer of goldstone.|
|Pink spiral zanfirico stringer over bead made from Intense Blue.||Bead made with 6 mm zanfirico cane with multiple threads of blue and yellow that was warped around the mandrel and tips of Intense Blue were added for accents.|
|Blue spiral zanfirico stringer warped around a round bead made with CiM Pumpkin.||Round bead wrapped with 6 mm cane line zanfirico in black and white over a core of CiM Chalcedony.|
|Yellow line zanfirico over core of Intense Blue with dots of CiM Pumpkin and Cornflower, made with a 6 mm cane.||Pink line zanfirico over core of CiM Cornflower, made with a 6 mm cane.|
|Pink spiral zanfirico stringer over CiM Poison Apple.||Goldstone zanfirico with black line over a core of CiM Great Bluedini.|
|White line zanfirico stringer over CiM Tuxedo. When line zanfirico is pulled down to stringer size, the zanfirico can become very wispy.||Small round bead made with a 6 mm rod of blue spiral zanfirico.|
I am writing about getting a perfect clear again because I still get many requests for what is a perfect 104 COE clear. I have found that it doesn’t matter so much who makes the clear glass rods as much as it matters if the rods are clean or not. Read more
This may become a recurring theme of mine, but I think it is important that people know how the creative process can manifest itself to motivate an artist to generate a particular piece of art. Read more
Over the past few years there has been a growing number of bead artist making beads on old skeleton keys to use as necklace pendants. Read more
The quickest and easiest way to reduce the shockyness of certain glass rod colors is to set up a warming station for the glass rods that is within reach of where you sit to make beads. Read more