So, here we are finally at the pointy end of the sequence (so to speak). Remember I told you yesterday that I would share with you the secret of getting a hole through the bead? Well it's not really a big secret, some of you may have already guessed & some might already know, but here we ago anyway.
These pictured above are rods of stainless steel called "mandrels" & to make a bead you simply dip the end of the mandrel into a thick sludgy stuff called bead release & then after it's dry, you melt your glass rod & wind it around & around until you get a bead. Sounds simple, huh?
The bead release is a silica based suspension (remember from yesterday's post, glass is silica too) that stops your beads from sticking to the metal, if there was no bead release you'd never get the beads off the mandrels!
So, now we are finally down to the nitty grity - we have our exhaust fan turned on to suck away all the nasties, our torch turned on, we have our mandrels which have been dipped in bead release & our rods of glass. So, ready to melt some glass? :)