Free lampworking tutorial – Pulling Cane from Recycled Glass – Upcycled Glass Beads

Hi again! I promised this tutorial over a year ago and its super easy, but for some reason I only got around to it this week.

Upcycled Glass Bottle Beads are super easy to make, but I’ve had loads of questions about how to deal with the shards of glass without them shattering when the flame hits them. I tend to pull them into cane to store them and I preheat the finished cane in a kiln when I’m ready to use them.

Remember, these bottles might not all be the same COE (coefficient of expansion), so I tend to make them into single-color beads. So, your first thing to do is to get some bottles!
Lets take a look at some of the ones I like to use.

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BROWN BEER BOTTLES
Brown beer bottles tend to make pretty scummy cane. They boil a lot. I still really like them because the finished beads look rougher, which makes for some nice “upcycled texture.”

GREEN BEER BOTTLES
Heinekein beer bottles are great to pull into cane. They are smooth to work with and don’t shatter easily when you reintroduce them to the flame.

WHITE WINE BOTTLES
White wine bottles come in a whole range of color, but I like these light olivine bottles the best. They are super creamy to work with and just have a wodnerful color to them.


RED WINE BOTTLES

These also come in a whole range of colors. The darker ones just read as black when you make a bead. I don’t use these a whole lot. The clear bottles get really scummy in the flame.

SAPPHIRE GIN BOTTLE
LOVE this color bottle for beads. It can be a little shocky to work with though.

SKY VODKA
Makes a clear, good cobalt blue bead.  This is the glass I’ll be using for the tutorial.

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READY TO GET MOVING ON YOUR BEADS?

So… you got your bottles, but you know, they are a little big to work with directly. So, get yourself a box and a set of glasses and dust mask and a good metal hammer. Head outside. Put your bottle into the box, slip on your dust mask and glasses, and give that bottle a couple of good taps. I actually set my bottle into the box, and cover most of it with the box flaps. I leave just enough to see what I’m up to. You want some shards that are about 4.”

Grab those shards – throw the rest of the box away. Its full of glass dust. Remember, the edges are really sharp!

Throw those shards into a kiln and ramp it up. I work at 950, and I just ramp up at full, but if you are worried about the shards cracking, you can ramp it up at a slower rate.

Once the shards are at full temperature, you’ll pull them out with tweezers (or hemostats) and attach them to a punty. I use a 1/8″ mandrel. You’ll need to heat the punty to glow and also the shard.


…….

Next, you’ll be heating that shard until its all gooey and starts to flop around. I actually fold it up on itself, but its really important to not let air get caught in it, otherwise your finished cane will be super shocky. Continue to heat until you have a good blob. You’re going to need to add a second punty, so you can actually do that at the beginning, so you have more control over your molten glass.

Heat your glass until its all glowing. If you haven’t already added that second punty, now is the time to do it. You want it to be evenly glowing and a good round or oval shape.

Pull your glowy molten mass out of the flame and wait for a “skin” to appear on it. Start pulling, slowly and gently. When the cane reaches and thickness you like, you can blow on that area to “set” it. Since heat rises, you’ll be able to tip the hotter area upwards and continue to pull until you have a cane. The one I’m working on here is pretty short, but its a good starting point for you.

As a side note, it looks like I’m pulling this in the flame, but it actually isn’t. Its all in front of the flame.

Break off the punties and either immediately use your cane or place it in the kiln while you make others.

Here, I’m making a bead from my blue cane (remember to hold it with hemostats or tweezers since its just come from the kiln)… You can see where my cane has cracked a little. This is because I was waving the whole thing around too long while I fussed with the camera.

And here are some finished recycled glass beads!  You can purchase these at
http://www.goodrivergalleries.com/catalogrecycledbeads.htm

HAVE FUN! Now, lets see what you’ve made!

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TASSEL PENDANT NECKLACE

I could have sworn I posted these, but I can’t seem to find them, so I apologize if this is a repost of something I gave you earlier.  Nevertheless, its a free pattern/tutorial, so have fun!


Fringes, tassels, feathers and chain are all trendy for winter 2012 and early 2013. So, I decided to combine them in this tassel necklace.

Materials
* Cone Shaped Bead Cap
-You could get a premade silver one, but I decided to make my own.
-Details below about making your own.
-As for the premade ones, I like the Bali sterling.
* Premade Beaded Fringe (or, you could bead your own)
– I already had some of this so decided not to make my own.
-You can get it in the upholstery section of your local fabric store.
-I used 3”
* Chain
-Small pieces for the tassel and a longer piece to hang your tassel on!
* Feathers (I used about 7)
* A bead
-I used a handmade spacer bead.
* Wire – 20 gauge or thicker.
* Optional: Bail
* Optional: Bobbin Bead
* Needle
* Thread
* Wireworking Tools – round nosed pliers, flat nosed pliers, wire cutters
* Glue – I like .527 watch glue.

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MAKING YOUR OWN BEAD CAP

About a million years ago I picked up these ½” mandrels from ABR Imagery.
http://www.dichroicimagery.com/produ…ducts_id=72443

Beforehand, I had a couple I had purchased from Arrow Springs, but they were nicked at a class by one of our own LE members! Anyhow, I guess what I’m saying is to both mark your tools when at class and also you can pick them up from many different suppliers.

If you decided to make your own tassel cap, then the one thing I have found about these mandrels is that you need to make sure they are really well-dipped in bead separator and also you work pretty hot. The width of the mandrel makes it difficult to heat up and glass just has trouble sticking to it. Keep at it! Mine is totally uneven.

I used 96COE “Raku” glass for my tassel cap.

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ASSEMBLING YOUR TASSEL

Once you get that bead cap off your mandrel, the rest of the project is pretty easy. The whole getting the bead cap off thing didn’t work after a few days soaking. It also didn’t work after being stuck in the freezer. Having a temper tantrum at it seemed to work, but there’s no good reason why it should respond to that when nothing else worked. I wonder if temper tantrums would work on my dog…

Make a loop on one side of the wire.

Cut a 3” piece of the beaded fringe, roll it up around the wire and tack it into place with needle and thread.

Sew the feathers in place, evenly spaced around the tassel.

Sew the chain in place, evenly spaced around the tassel.

That totally looks like something you’d go fly fishing with, doesn’t it?
With the remaining thread, wrap around the top of the tassel and stitch the whole thing together tightly. Add some glue just for extra insurance, but make sure that the glue doesn’t get everywhere. It needs to be hidden by the cap.

Slide the cap over your tassel. Add the spacer bead and make a loop at the top. If you know how to do a wirewrap, then do it. It’ll add extra insurance.
If you don’t know how to wirewrap, its actually part of my free tutorial here:
http://lampworketc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212857
I added a bail since I had one lying around and it just makes it look more professional. Remember, if you are adding a bail AND doing a wirewrap, you click the bail in after you create the loop and before you wrap the wire around!

Hang your tassel on your chain and wear!
I had a matching bobbin bead, so of course I added it because more is sometimes…more.
Actually, the first photo is better.

You’re so IN, girl!


Silk and Chain Steampunk Necklace

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I might have posted this already, but I just can’t seem to find it, so my apologies if it has already gone up on this blog… but here it is again.
Before you get to work, please take the time to read the tutorial thoroughly.
It’s a bit like a complicated recipe; you want to have all of your ingredients ready before you start!  This tutorial is intended for intermediate  beadweavers; you should really know even count peyote stitch and be able to read a peyote graph.  If you don’t know peyote stitch, I have a tutorial available on my website and my etsy page: it is called the Japanese Screen Bracelet.
This document is protected by copyright, and is intended for the sole use of the person who has purchased it. Please do not copy this tutorial, or distribute it in any manner. (This does not include printing for your own personal use.)
The design for this piece is based off of ancient techniques.  The design itself, however, is mine.  You may not reproduce this design for sale without my written permission.  In addition, this design may not be entered in any competitions without given me design credits and without written permission.  Thank you.
Most importantly, please have fun! Feel free to contact me with any and all questions regarding the information below, and for sources for any of the materials mentioned. I’ll do my best to help you track down whatever you’ll need!

Materials:
* Centerpiece – I used one of the steampunk watches that we bulk ordered from China, but you could use a lampwork pendant/bead!
*1/4″ silk cording
*Cord Caps
*Wire – I used 22g since that’s what I had hanging around
*Chain (I have three varieties here). My longest piece was TWICE as long as the cord and just happened to come attached to that watch.
*Big jump rings (I think these guys are 10mm)
*Clasp
*Disk Beads
*Lampwork Spacer Beads
*Size 8/0 or size 6/0 seed beads
*Beading Thread (I recommend Fireline)
*Clear Tape
*Glue – I recommend .527 watch glue or “Zap-a-Gap.” Don’t use superglue since it puts a white film on glass beads that looks bad.
*Optional – Steampunk Cog Bead things (I used two – they were made by Tim Holtz)
*Optional – if you’re using a lampwork centerpiece: headpin and matching beadies
*Optional – matching 6mm Swarovski crystal
*Wireworking Tools – flat nosed pliers, round nosed pliers and wire cutters

The Centerpiece

If you have purchased one of the watches and want to use it as the centerpiece, you don’t have to do anything to it besides take it off the chain. However, if you want to use a focal bead, you’ll need to turn it into a drop first.

Slip a bead (shown is a Swarovski, but you’ll be using your focal) onto a head pin, and using round nosed or needle nosed pliers to bend the head pin over. If your lampwork bead hole is too big for the little “head” on that head pin, block it up with some smaller beads, one above and one below your bead. See the little space between the headpin and the 90-degree bend? You want this, but you only want a little bit of room there (no more than 1/16”).

Tip: In the photo I’m uploading, that’s a towel behind the Swarovski, but it looks like a shag rug, so turn on some disco now to complete the rest of this project.

Next, hold the bent part of the head pin with round nosed pliers, and with your fingers bend the rest of the head pin around the nose of the pliers to form a loop.

Insert the nose of your round pliers back through the loop. Hold the loop of the head pin over the nose of the pliers while using bent/flat/needle nosed pliers to wrap the head pin around itself. This will secure your loop so it cannot open.

If you are using the watch, you might want to add some heavier beads at the bottom of the tassle chains. I’ve noticed the weight isn’t well distributed otherwise. I also added some more chain into the tassle, because I LOVE fringe.

The Silk Cord

Our own Jamn makes silk cording, but its not as thick as the stuff I used. You could bundle some of hers together though, and it would add a layer of texture that would be really beautiful.
http://Jamnglass.etsy.com
Here’s a photo I randomly ripped off her etsy site, just to tempt you. Hopefully she won’t mind…

I found some of the thicker stuff also on Etsy at
http://TandZSupplies.etsy.com
but here’s the thing… I’ve never ordered from this company and so as a result can’t vouch personally for her.
She’s got good feedback, though.

I happened to have a piece from a million years ago, made from a company called embeads. I looked them up online and can’t find their website, though. I’d also like to pretend that I was all trendy in using orange since its the Pantone Color of 2012. Actually, the Pantone Color is “tangerine” and I just had this cord…

The Disks

I refuse to take responsibility for my boro disk-making obession, so I’ll just go ahead and blame someone else for it (you know who you are, up there in Canada)! You can make your disks out of either soft glass or boro. I just like the colors of the boro. If you want some, I’ve got plenty to spare, just let me know how many and the approximate color. They’re super cheap, too. I used… uh… 8 of them. They only sort-of matched.

Anyhow, here’s a bunch of eye candy I had hanging around on my computer…

If you do want to try and make your own, here are two videos I dug up on youtube. They use soft glass, but you could use boro instead. As a matter of fact, I think its easier in boro. You do want to pop them into a kiln, though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl5s3FLmdaM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtmR8Ib5z2s

Ready to put this thing all together?

Wrap your longest chain around the silk cording. Wrap it pretty tightly, and try to keep the wraps even.

Wrap scotch tape tightly around the ends. This will help to keep your chain nice and even with the silk cording and will also help keep the silk cording from fraying. Cut the tape directly in half so that when you add your bead cap the tape doesn’t stick out from underneath that cap. Nip off the extra chain with wire cutters.

Wrap a piece of your wire around the chain and taped edge. Do it really really REALLY tightly. Add a bunch of glue right at the top of the tape. This will help keep your silk from fraying also, and acts as extra insurance in case your wire wrap wasn’t tight enough. Run the wire up through the bead/cord cap. I like adding a matching bead up here to make the back look as nice as the front. Wirewrap your clasp onto the piece.

Okay! Time to embellish the front!

Add a large jumpring at the center front. I like to catch the chain here, too, just to make sure that the wrap stays consistent. Attach your focal bead/watch to the jump ring.

I put a piece of thin chain through each of 4 disks and suspended them from jump rings around the cord/chain.

I also added two other short pieces of chain between the jump rings. You know, since I had that extra chain and all. The three chains I used in this piece did NOT match. This was part of the fun of it.

Finally, I stacked glass disks, spacer beads, cogs, Swarovski crystal and some 8/0 seed beads and sewed them onto the silk cording. My cogs were two different metals and none of the beads matched. I was okay with this!
Here’s a close-up on one of those stacks.

Too busy for you? Here’s a simpler version…

Now, lets see your version!
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