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Thread: Challenge: Bench cleaning projects...?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Leverkusen, Germany

    Default Challenge: Bench cleaning projects...?

    Hi friends of glass beads!

    What are you doing with all that bright colored debris that piles up while you are working? I'm not talking so much about too short rods because I melt them togeather and use them like a new one. But there are "glasspeels", exploded ends, stringer- and twisty ends or leftovers from murrini and other cane. Avoid everything that does not fit with the major COE of your glass (Pyrex, bead release, metal, other dirt and stuff) in the following suggestions.

    I try to use next to everything of the abouve!

    - Clear-cap-cane for marbled cylindric spacers:
    If you have a less complicated end from a murrina or an other cane with a nice combination of colors in it, heat it up and give it a few swirls before you pull it into a pencil diameter. This streaky rod makes really nicely marbled beads. If the cane has lots of clear in it you can gather a bit of an opaque color as a background inside of the bead. Then make a more donut-shaped bead and shape it into a cylinder with a marver.

    - An other series of marbled beads:
    This works well with roughly assorted leftovers from striped stringers, twisties and large frit (higher content of opaque colors). Take a clear rod and heat up the end. By dipping it into the colored stuff and heating it again gather enough matersial for at least one bead. The donut-basic bead is shaped as abouve...

    - Random striped cane and random pattern beads:
    Short ends of rods and the colorwise poughly assorted ends of stringers... are gathered as abouve. When the gather is larger than 1 1/2" in diameter pull it into a cane. The bead starts with a tiny donut. The following application of the glass is made by dipping dots with long "tails" onto the outside of the starter bead. The gaps are filled with more dots untill there is a disc bead in a star-wheel pattern. The last step is heating up the whole thing from the outside untill the surface tension pulls the glass into a donut.

    - Random colored belt on a bead:
    Make a medium cylinder base bead and apply a single line of dots with a cane from abouve right next to each other and fill the gaps in between. Heat it up untill it starts to ball up and marver it into the final cylindric shape. Prefer contrasting colors for the base cylinder and the cane.

    - Use the technique abouve as background for more elaborated beads:
    Make a medium base bead from a color that is includes in the cane from abouve. Apply the lines of dots all over the bead and heat the bead untill everything has melted flat. Shape the bead as required and add the elaborated decoration. This makes interesting fire-, water-, nature- or cloudy backgrounds.

    - Random twisty beads:
    Start using the leftovers of twisties or striped stringers by making very mall spacers. The size of pony beads works well. It's amazing how much "strange" color combinations turn into interesting spacers. Marver creatively to distort the original pattern of the stringer or apply the glass in a wavy push-pull-motion for different effects.

    - Random swirl (base-) bead:
    Take a set of metal punties and choose some short ends of a color harmony in the amount you need for the base bead. Attach all glass to one punty and allow the air to come out while heating your gather. Support it with the second punty if neded and start slowly to mix the glass. Stop the mixing early to keep the striations for the pattern. Pull the glass into a very short fat rod and remove one punty. Keep the glass warm while you preheat the mandrel and wrap it arond the mandrel to form the base bead. Shape and decorate it as you like.

    - Blending the worst debris into "dark mud" color:
    Take any glass you could not use for the other projects and make shure there are copper- and sulfur colors in the mixture. Blend the glass gather with two metal punties and pull it into a thin rod. You can use this dark grayish glass as base beads to decorate them with bright colors or as a core bead to save more expensive opaque colored glass.

    There are much more ways to use glass leftovers from the bench! What are YOU doing with all that valuable stuff?

    Have fun with it!


    PS: I'm making "bench cleaner-marbles", too. Their nickname is "Bankraeuber" or "bankrobber" (benchrobber...?)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002


    Dietmar - what great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing them. I'll definitely be trying some of them the next time I'm at the torch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002


    Good ideas. Most of that kind of thing often ends up in the trash. But won't now! I'll be making some interesting beads and canes out of them.


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