I’m not sure if an online magazine is technically printed or published, but Diane Woodall was kind enough to place my article in her newest issue of the Soda Lime Times!

First, a little about the magazine, as described on her website.

Soda Lime Times is an In-Box Magazine about Lampwork bead making, for Lampwork beadmakers.
Soda Lime Times is:
Check Mark A magazine filled with informative, entertaining and educational content by well known beadmakers worldwide.
Check Mark A source of inspiration and knowledge for those that use lampwork beads to make jewelry; and, a feast for the eyes for those that admire the art of glass bead making.
Check Mark Multiple Step-by-Step Tutorials, included in each issue, that range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate skill levels, and beyond; with techniques, materials and protocols covered in detail.

Its a wonderful source of information, eye candy and tutorials.  You can subscribe to it here for $4.99 per month:  http://www.sodalimetimes.com/

This particular issue is all about SPECIAL FINISHES.  It has tips, eye candy and four tutorials in it

  • Copper Electroforming On Glass Beads By Kate Fowle Meleney
  • Coldworking 101 By Libby Leuchtman
  • Sandblasted and Oil Painted Beads By Me! 
  • Moss Rocks – Using Baking Soda on Beads By Mary Lockwood

The photos are of oil painted, sandblasted and electroformed beads!


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.

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.”

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 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.


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.

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

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


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

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

I’m teaching in Northern New Jersey in February 16 & 17, at Beads by Blanche.
We’ll be doing the soutache beaded bracelet class (see photo below) and also the Dragon Scales bracelet with a custom clasp using brand new Rizo beads!
For more information:
Call the store to register.   201-385-6225
I’ll also have a full trunk show of lampwork glass beads and patterns.  There are a few new patterns and some brand new lampwork!

Happy Christmas, to my friends who celebrate!

I’ve been working on a thicker and more advanced version of the very popular ladder stitch bracelet.
You can see my original (beginning level) tutorial here.

You should read through the original before you try this one since this builds on the basic version.

This tutorial should explain how to do a piece with multiple rows as well as adding a braid option.

**Work Surface


**C-Lon Macrame Cord
(I get it from caravan beads here: http://www.caravanbeads.net/ProdList.asp?scat=76 )

** For a double wrap bracelet, 3 pieces, 1 1/2 yards long each 1mm leather (available from your local bead store)

** 5 grams size 8/0 seed beads (also available from Caravan Beads)

** 20 grams 3.5 cube beads. The hole needs to be 1mm so it slides over the leather. This would also look GREAT with tiny spacer beads.

** Button or Lampwork glass bead

**Twisted Wire Needles

**Some glue – I suggest watch glue.
Alrighty, ready to get started? Cut the three pieces of leather as directed in the materials above.Find the approximate middle point on them. We’ll be starting by making the buttonhole loop, so the important part of this is that we start about 1/2″ off center and that we make sure the loop is big enough for your button or bead.

Use the c-lon to bundle them together. Wrap them together, tie off and then go ahead and start weaving (over one, under one, over one and around the bundle) to flatten your pieces. I’ve got them pinned down to my work surface.

Using the same technique from the previous/basic version here, weave the beads between the leather “weft”. Remember to always go through the beads as you pass them with the needle, otherwise you’ll have unsightly c-lon loops. If you were to use the same size beads, this would allow you to do multirow bracelets. Since I’m trying to make a loop, however, the outer row is bigger beads than the inner row (I’ve used 8/0 seed beads in the inner row and cubes on the outer row).

Since the loop wasn’t curving fast enough, I had to add increases in the outer row.  The following photos are a little overexposed, sorry.

Okay, so increasing one side is actually a royal pain in the a$$ because you have to make sure you do it evenly and it has to match your bracelet closure (button or bead) when you are finished. I had to take mine out twice before it worked out. But my final increase was done every THIRD cube bead. A better way to do this would be just to make sure your outer bead is significantly larger than the inner bead so the curve naturally happens.

As a side note, this does not match the increases in the photos, but every THIRD bead worked for a 3/4 inch button.

To work an increase, add the cube (outside/larger) bead and then instead of going directly to the inner bead double back and add another cube/larger bead. On the next pass, you’ll add both the outer and inner beads as normal.

Once your buttonhole is complete, you’ll want to wrap a shank on it. Put a spot of glue on the shank to keep it all together.

Now… You can either go ahead and use the same technique to spread your 6 strands out and weave between them with the ladder stitch technique (this makes a wide, really wonderful bracelet) shown above… You need to make certain that all your beads have approximately the same width, otherwise the bracelet will undulate, which actually can give you another completely different design idea.

….or you can braid.

I’ve decided to braid because after doing the ladder stitch three times for that buttonhole I was totally done with the whole idea. I have to tell you here that the only previous ladder stitch bracelet I managed to finish was the one I made for the previous tutorial before I got totally bored.

We’re going to use a six-strand braid, which is why I had you cut so much leather. You’ll see below that I also covered the shank with a little bit of peyote stitch since I can’t leave well enough alone and I’d done a messy job wrapping that shank. We’re going to use a six-strand flat braid here.

Flatten out your six strands.

Here’s how this works WITHOUT beads.
1 * From the right, you’ll take the first strand (I’ll call this the working cord), go under the second strand and over the third strand.
2 * From the left you’ll take the first strand, go over the second strand, under the third strand and over the fourth strand (which was the working cord from the other side).

Repeat steps 1 & 2.

Here’s a website you can check to see this in a little more detail (without beads). This is actually the website on which I learned to do this particular flat braid.

Here’s how this works WITH beads.
I’ve used cube beads here, but I’ll bet this would be great with lampwork spacers. Remember, you just have to make them big enough to go over a 1mm leather code. I’m not sure what size mandrel this is.

1* From the right, you’ll take the first strand (I’ll call this the working cord), go under the second strand, add a bead, and over the third strand.
2* From the left you’ll take the first strand, go over the second strand, under the third strand, add a bead, and over the fourth strand (which was the working cord from the other side).

Repeat steps 1 & 2.

The finished beadwork will appear to have a herringbone pattern.

Braid to the end of your bracelet. Try to braid as tightly as possible, and stretch the leather a little bit as you go. You’ll see the tension even out as you continue to work the braid.

At the end, you can either knot the button/bead directly onto the leather or you can add a piece of c-lon and make a shank that attaches to the button/bead. That’s what I did because my Czech button has a tiny metal shank in the back that only went over a single piece of leather.

Here’s a photo of the finished piece again – enjoy!

Okay, now lets see your versions!

Did you know that I have free tutorials on my website?  You can find them here.

Also, when I work up patterns that haven’t been tested, I offer them for free on my newsletter.  Want to sign up?  http://www.goodrivergalleries.com/contact.htm

This tutorial has been rewritten, and an optional beaded donut has been added to the centerpiece. I like this piece with a lampwork glass bead at the center, whether it is a necklace or bracelet. The chain is a beginning level peyote sttich beadweaving project, the donut takes you one step further, into intermediate level. Takes about 6 hours to complete, including that donut!If you purchased this tutorial sometime before last month, the update is free. Just let me kow what your Paypal address is and approximately when you purchased it.


Murrini with Hannah Rosner
At Glass Axis. Columbus, OH
This traditional Venetian technique gets its name from the Italian for ‘thousand flowers’. Molds and cane are used to pull sticks of glass, which when cut into slices, reveal beautiful floral designs. This torchworking class will cover several types of murrini pulls while focusing on strengthening basic skills. Students will learn to create a variety of murrini and incorporate it into glass beads. Saturday & Sunday, 10 am to 3 pm
Jan. 7 & 8

More details…
We’ll begin by using some mass produced murrine on beads, just so you can mess some up while learning to apply them.

Then, we’ll make really simple stuff like bullseyes.
Then we’ll move onto a valentine’s day heart

And then a star (this one has reactive stuff around it)
And then a simple flower
And then a feather
And then probably some cute paw prints
And then an eye.

To sign up, call Glass Axis. 614-291-4250