Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hi everyone, I hope you are all enjoying my posts on how I make my lampwork beads. This last week our lovely children used up all our internet allowance downloading games & videos on YouTube so I was stuck with almost dialup speed connection for the whole week which is no fun, hence why I have put off doing this post until our new month's data allowance started.

Now, where were we? Ohhh that's right, our beads have been annealed & have cooled overnight in the kiln & the next morning we can take them out. So, here they are, still on their mandrels after they have been annealed.

The next step is to pop them in a bucket of water & let them soak for a few minutes before gently holding the mandrel in one hand (or in my case pliers!) & twisting the beads off. The water softens the bead release (remember, that's the white stuff on the mandrel that stops the glass fusing to the metal permanently) & lets you remove the bead easily, it also stops any bead release dust flying around as it's not very good for your lungs to inhale it.

After they have been taken off the mandrel the next step is to soak them in a small tub of water for a few minutes more before cleaning the bead release out of the bead holes. To do this you can use something like a pipe cleaner or a diamond tipped bit in something like a dremel which is what I do most of the time. Here is a pic of the beads in my bowl & the bit that I use for cleaning the holes, it's on a flexible shaft coming from the dremel which means it's easy to manoeuvre.

So we've cleaned the beadholes, now there is nothing more to be done but rinse them in some clean water, wipe them over & dry them, check them for cracks or sharp ends/holes & then photograph them so they can be listed on Etsy or FaceBook.

And here's our finished bead - you can find this one & some of the other ones from this blog post in my Etsy shop

I hope you've enjoyed this small insight into how lampwork beads are made. I do have a short video that I will post soon (when Eddie has downloaded it off the camera & I can edit it!), but in the mean time, please come & visit again as next time I will start a series of posts on the mysteries of the glass itself. :)

1 comment:

Marion said...

Thanks Robyn, very interesting. It gives an insight into the time and effort that goes into making them. Looking forward to the next chapter with the glass.