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The Work Room is the Creative Journal of Wendy Sue where she shares her creative journey in all things handmade. The Work Room also offers an alternative to your typical jewelry making workshops. Scroll down to the end of the page to see how you can learn to make your unique piece of artisan jewelry online.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Glass Bead Making : Full Professional Grounding Introduction Class Pt. V (Final)

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Work Room chat:
Hhhmm, any suggestion to be inspired again? Haven't been able to create anything at all lately.... o_O

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Part IV,Part III, Part II, Part I

WARNING : ANOTHER IMAGE INTENSIVE POST AHEAD. :P

Phew! Finally! Bet 'cha wondering when will this EVER end, huh? LOL.....

Oh, well.... told you I'm long winded. :P

And so, the beads that we made were out of the kiln!

It appears that I was the only inept one in class.....cuz everyone else's beads are just as pretty! -_-


They were placed in a crock pot filled with vermiculite. I don't know exactly what vermiculite is but was told that it could be bought from Garden Centre, which is what they call nursery here. What vermiculite does is it allows the bead to cool slowly at a slower rate than room temperature. Well, some uses fiber blanket.


Before getting the beads off from the mandrel, soak it in water.




And the everyone was busy with their beads.....




And here's the bead from the demonstration



I took mine out from the mandrel but the edges were so bad that it would just cut through any thread that will be strung on it. -_-

If you can see the white one on the right, that's the 'dimple' effect which we should try to achieve.



This is not as bad as the one above.

But all hope is not lost because it is still a remedial situation. Although it would be impossible the make it into a 'dimple' (I think I'll need a miracle for that!), I was told I can however smoothen the edges by filing.

Well, of course we can. It just means more work only mar....... :P

So, the first step was to file even the edges with this filer. Sorry, can't remember what was it called already. It's this big piece of sponge with some sort of a steel wire netting on top and you basically just rub the bead hole on the steel netting.




And then, you just smoothen out the edges with a reamer like thingy tip on a dremel. It was quite intimidating using the electric reamer at the beginning because it moves so fast and the beads were so small.

Anyway, just to show you all the disastrous beads I made. Don't laugh, ok.

It's pretty ugly. (Hhhmmm...isn't that like a contradiction in term?)


I think these are what the English would call as absolute rubbish! I actually contemplated whether if I should show you guys. o_O



I like to save the 'best' for last. So, I'll show you the broken pieces first.




These were from the first day, before lunch, when I was absolutely clueless about annealing. Apart from the blue with black spots one which cracked during operation, the rest actually came home with me in on piece. Only when I took them out yesterday that I realized they were broken already. Unfortunately, I didn't took any picture of it when it first came home with me to proove that they were actually in one piece. :/

Bottom line is A.N.N.E.A.L.I.N.G.



And these.......



were made during the last few hours of the course. We were advised that if we want to make anymore, to just make small ones so that we could just plonk it into the vermiculite and hopefully they small survive since there wasn't enough time left to anneal them in the kiln.

So, I made these really small donuts, which is the small donut that you first wrap on the mandrel. Four of them came back in one piece with me. Three survived but not the one on the left because as you can see, it cracked.

Lesson for today? A.N.N.E.A.L.


And the beads that survived?


*Runs like an ostrich and buries my head in the sand*


And to embarass myself further, I'll show them one by one to you.



These are the plain ones that I made. As you can see, the white one on the left is more presentable and looked more like a donut bead than the one on the right. That's because that was the first bead I made and I had Diana guiding my hands. Thereafter, everything was a disastrous downhill!

And now, you know what's a 'dimple' on a bead.

And these.....



.... are supposed to be gravity beads (I think!) where you add colours on the bead and fire them together into a molten state and turn the mandrel around and around fast and you'll have the gravity pulling the molten glass downwards and turning action going on and get the colours all mixed up in a swirl.




This is supposed to be those flower patterned bead which I of course, failed miserably!





I've always wondered why is it that some glass beads I buy has this greyish core at the hole. Now I know what they are! It's the bead release powder. You can't see it when the glass is dark or opaque but it is evident on translucent glass like these.

Like I said, I save the best for last.

These are just some of the ones that were made by Diana and Sally during class and was alotted amongst the students to share.

*Sigh*... the apparent difference between a pro and amateur beginner.

Thing is, I don't even remembered seing some of the demo for some of these beads in class! LOL.... Yes, it was definitely THAT much info to digest in two days!

But anyway, I'll show them one by one to you and only comment on it when I can.

This uses the same technique as the one earlier on.




I have absolutely no idea what technique was used for this one but it's amazing! I can only tell that there was encasement involved.



Gravity bead. There's a whole bunch of crazy colours going there!



Some crazy skills involved here! No idea how it's done but you basically have purple flowers with green bushes of leaves behind. AND in colour tones! The bead is the smallest one too. About 12 mm I think!o_O















This is quite a simple one. Blue care encased with clear glass and the white on clear twisty on the clear.




And my favourite amongst them all?


This!!




This involves A LOT of work!

As you can see, the pink flowers look sunken inside the bead with the green flowers right behind it backed by this colourful wall.

Now, I remember seeing how this was done.Twisty core encased with clear and then first later of green flowers. Encased with clear again and the pink flowers and then encased with clear again. If I remembered correctly!

In the bag was also these bits of twisties.



Can you tell which was used for which?






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2 hollers:

Steve Wong said...

Keep them, they are your hard works and proof of learning process :)

Wendy Sue said...

LOL.....of course I will Steve, as ugly as they are, they're still my babies! And mothers love all babies equally the same. :P

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