Everybody produces scrap while making beads, cane and other glasswork. These might be bits from pluckindg away the scum, short rods and cane ends or give it a name. Depending on the project there might be more glass in the scrap than in the final product. The fast way is to put it into a landfill for the archeologists. But this stuff is still usefull for many different projects!
Skill level: "advanced beginner".
You should be able to pull fat stringers and manipulate hot glass with punties.
Preparing your material before starting:
Let's start and assort the "stuff". First get rid of foreign materials like other COE glass separator and metal. Assort the compatible glass by color group and transparency. Most important are three groups of colors:
- the "sulfur-colors" (they make dark outlines with turquoise),
- the "copper colors" (they make dark outlines with yellow),
- the neutral colors (they don't make those outlines).
Try to avoid the opalino and alabaster colors in the canes. They cause trouble with popping and lumps of high viscous glass in the cane. If you mix them into the filler mix the gather really carefully untill everything is "dissolved". That should be fine again.
Here the most interesting product, the random colored cane:
Take two stainless steel punties, tweezers and a metal dish plus the amount of leftovers those will fill a slide-film can (or what you can manipulate easily). For easier explaining I choose a blue mixture. The colors of choice are blue, turquoise, greens, grey, white and violett. They are neutral and/or copper colors. Opaque colors are preferred, dark transparent ones tolerated. Please avoid yellow-orange-red, brown and ivory. A small piece of those will ruin the result, later on!
Prehest the first punty end and start to stick the first piece glass to it. Melt the glass into a ball and add more glass either by dipping the hot glass into the pile of cold stuff or by sticking it into place with your tweezers. Melt the growing blob into a smooth ball after each addition and avoid to trap bubbles. The glass might pop and throw hot stuff over the place. Once all glass of the actual pile is on the punty preheat the other one and stick it into the gather. Heat the whole thing till it is soft enough and pull into 4...6mm diameter. Remove the punties by melting off the first one and shocking the other one with wet tweezers. Let the fresh cane cool without touching cold surfaces.
Now the colored or clear filler cane:
Make this cane from scummy ends of clear rods, endcaps of murrini and light colored leftovers. Keep the "copper-" and the "sulfur-colors" separated (see last kind of cane). It will be used as filler under an opaque cover layer in large beads. Start to buid up the gather as described abouve and heat it untill it starts to get soft. For a uniform color and texture mix the gather by twisting it, getting out of axis with the punties and twist again. Do these mixing operstions untill the gather looks uniform in color. Avoid to mix in too much air bubbles. Small "seeds" are not so bad but the bigger ones... Reshape it into a football shape get it uniformly hot and pull as described as abouve. Use it as filler for light colored beads.
Finally the black filler:
Mix the "copper-" and the "sulfur-colors" on purpouse or add them if there is less than 10% of each in the pile. Build up the gather and mix well as described abouve. You will see how the glow gets brighter when copper (lead) and sulfur react with each other. Reshapr into a football and pull into a rod. Use it as a dark base or as a filler in dark colored beads.
There might be separator and/or boro hidden in the pile. Try to pick it out of the gather as early as possible. This stuff may schatter your cane or the bead, later. In most cases you'll see it after pulling the cane as a bump or knot. Cut the cane next to that bump and reattach the ends if you can weld them togeather. Inclusions less than 1mm are less dangerous.
The cane can be beautyfull, but shocky like crazy. Try to preheat it before using it. There might be bubbles inside the cane that make it brittle and pop.
There is not enough scrap for all my ideas. Lucky You! Make more beads.