Mayl 2005  - Brad Pearson Classes - Shaping and Large Mandrel

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Brad Pearson taught two 1-day classes.  The first class covered complex pattern creation and shaping graceful beads. Michael taught us to move from donut shapes to making round beads.  We made long beads with perfect ends by starting with the ends and then using gravity and heat to shape the middle section.  We learned overlay dots over dots and dots over lines to create detailed complicated designs. 

Brad made these beads during demos.  A donut shape on the left, a round bead in the center, and an ovoid bead with perfect ends on the right.  All are decorated using masking techniques with dots and lines.


In these two beads that Brad made, the ends were made first and decorated.  Then glass was applied to the center and heat and gravity were used to create the two differently shaped beads.


Brad's mask beads are made using the same techniques as the beads shown above. 

Brad's fish beads are also a variation of the techniques we learned in the shaping class.  We all had lotsof fun making these - this one was Brads as are the others underneath (photos by Debbie Neis).  Check out the beautiful stands the fish are swimming on - those are glass too.

Wine stoppers and these amazing marbles are also made using shaping and masking techniques Brad taught us.

In the Day 2 class, Brad showed us how to make beads on large mandrels from to in diameter, These included Relic type beads in which the design was pressed into glass using round and square tubing to make shapes. (see example below)  There is another example of a Relic bead on a try of Pulsars beads shown on another page in the scrapbook.

In these photos, taken by Debbie Neis, Brad is slowly winding ivory glass to a large tube mandrel as he starts a disk for a relic bead.

The inner and outer disks are made and Brad uses a blade to make ridges in the glass. Then hollow round and square tubes to imprint shapes to make a relief pattern.  In the photo on the right Brad does a final check of the beads symmetry before putting it in the kiln.


This is a close up of the roller tube that Brad uses for balancing the mandrel so that when he turns the large disk in the flame it keeps its rounded shape.  (Thanks again to Debbie Neis for getting a shot of this.)  The jar of Chem Sharp shown to the left of the roller is used by Brad to sharpen rakes.

One of the other beads the the class made -- or at least tried to make -- were pulsar beads. The last photos Debbie took on Friday before she left to drive home, were of class members attempts to duplicate Brad's techique. .  Here one class member wrapping layers of glass around a large mandrel.

I love this photo of Kristy Nijenkamp.  She sighting down the length of the mandrel to check the roundness of her disk.  Knowing Kristy it was probably as round as Brad's.  Cristy Prince and Marcy Lamberson are sitting on either side of her.

The left shot is me, the Web Mama, trying to rake all the stripes  towards the center of the disk - well if the raking was as even as Brad's it would make the dots around the edge look even more wonky.  On the right is a pulsar made by a class member who did a pretty good job.


To end on a high note - and to remind you what we were all striving to make, here is one more of Brad's beautiful Pulsar beads.


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