2014 -  September 20


Back to Basics:  Focus on Shape, Size, and Color Intensity



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Lynn Short learned a lot last summer when she decided to focus on simple shapes using transparent glass.  How much glass to apply?  Where to apply it?  How to shape the bead and make nice ends?  How to get those dark transparents to match your summer wardrobe? 

Your beadmaking skills may be far beyond this simple challenge, but sometimes it's good to get back to basics. 

And then what to do with all those little beads?  Make jewelry, of course!!




Lynn demonstrates and discusses techniques for creating the shape, size, and intensity of colorful transparent beads.


A Few Tips:

  • Measuring tools can help with sizing both length and width - calipers, rulers, molds.

  • Add glass a little at a time - it's easy to add more.

  • Watch shape develop while rotating - hold the mandrel both perpendicular to the flame and in line with the flame -  both at eye level and parallel to the floor.

  • Heat control - let the bead cool enough to work without drooping before beginning shaping.

  • Create good ends in tubes & bicones by centering glass in a football shape and then gently mashing around the bead to begin moving glass to edges.  Then heat and marver to final shape.

  • Create good ends in round & oval beads by centering the glass, cooling a bit, then heating only one side of the bead and tipping the mandrel to that side to flow the glass down to shape the end.

  • Cover a clear base bead with darker colored transparents to lighten them up.

  • Mini-mashers are great for shaping small beads!

  • A dual-action marver (one side flat one side grooved), makes nice ridged designs for reflecting light.

  • Have fun and make lots of beads - you'll get better and faster the more you make!








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