Sculptural Roses on Mandrel By Maureen Kennedy
To start, I have made the handmixed canes I want for the rose petals and sepals. The tools I use are a graphite rod of 1/4" diameter, a small Stump marver, a plier masher, a NON-serrated tweezer and a caliper. You can only do these roses with an oxygen propane set up, because you need a pinpoint flame that is not available on a Hothead. If you use a Hothead, then your leaves would be really thick or melted together by the time you finished the flower, because of the bushiness of the flame.
I melt a small amount of glass at the end of the hand mixed rod and smash it with the plier masher. (The larger the rod, the larger the petal) Only the plier masher gets the glass thin enough so that you can work it some time in the flame without distorting the shape.
I make up as many of the petals and sepals I think I will need, and then make even more in case of shock breaking when introducing them in the flame. The coffee cup warmer, (available usually in local drugstores for about $10) is quite hot enough to keep the glass very warm - too warm to touch. (You can also use a hot plate with like a pie tin on top of it, to keep the glass warm. ) You can melt and smash your petals, pull with tweezers off the rod by burning flame there at it's connection, and immediately put them down on this "hot plate" without fear of breaking or scorching the warmer top. Note, I pull the sepals longer and pull off with a flourish to make the more pointed ends.
Now that the petals and sepals are keeping nice and warm on the warmer, I then make a very small tube bead. I put green on the end so that the leaves will integrate nicely in color when they are applied. I use the 30 degree angle on the stump marver to narrow the top of the rose cone, smaller than the rest of the tube bead.