July’s mold – Fused glass beads.
One thing I enjoy every month is my newsletter from “Glass with a Past” by Jodi. First let me say Jodi is always helpful when I email her and ask her questions. She has also started selling various fusing items along with her tutorials, templates, etc.
First a little background, the only part about fused glass that I struggle with is it’s difficult to make beads out of fused glass (without being a flame-worker that is). Specifically beads small enough for earrings or a beaded necklace, etc. Don’t get me wrong I can drill holes in glass, use fiber paper to create a channel, use a cast mold, etc., but they aren’t real beads.
A few months ago, I saw these cool molds that are actually used to create beads using fusible glass! To say the least I bought 2 different types. The first mold (for round beads) uses frit or tiny pieces of glass with a stainless steel mandrel (dipped in bead release) in the middle.
The other mold uses strips of glass for triangle beads.
BTW I forgot to followed Jody’s instructions on the first batch of round beads, so I had some mistakes.
My fused glass beads needed a bit of cold-working, but I really love the fact that I can make beads out of fused glass without a torch.
Another lessons learned – when I firepolished I didn’t put them back int the mold so they flatten on the bottom. Not a bad thing but it I want to keep them rounded on the bottom I need to put them back in. The good news is my firing schedule was so great the holes didn’t close up!!
BTW, I also used the bead release on wooden skewers to see if it would work with sheet glass verses fiber paper. It worked great, except it took a little bit to get the bead release out of the pendant, the hole is extremely tiny – I’m not sure if a normal chain will fit, I might have to wire wrap the pendant. As expected the toothpick totally burned up in the kiln.
But for the first time using the molds I’m pretty happy. I did have 3 stick to the mandrels and couldn’t get them off until I asked Jodi and she said to soak them it water – that worked for 2 of them. the other. I’ll just use it to remind me to put enough bead release on.
I hope you like the beads. I’ll have to do some more fused glass beads and maybe I’ll follow the instructions this time. 🙂
To see more of my fused glass work or more of my reviews please refer to my website Elegant Fused Glass by Karen.
If you would like to stay abreast of what I’m up-to and learn a little more about jewelry, check out our newsletter. It is published the last day of each month.
Keeping my Kiln warm,