Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Dichroic Glass Square Pendants

I recently ordered some 1" square pendant bezel trays that are sooo nice. They come in brass, copper, silver or black, and are complete with an attached bail. All is needed is a square piece of fused glass that fits properly inside the tray. My first attempt yielded only three good pieces that I could grind to fit and then fire polish. The rest of the pieces were too small and ended up being shaped into lovely little hearts that I will add to my glass shop very soon. In future I will make larger pieces that can be cut down to the 1" size instead of starting out with that size. Dah.

I contacted a member of the glass team to which I belong on Etsy and asked what glue she used for her pendants. Surprisingly, she said silicone! And after Googling many sites, I realized it was widely used for glass ... and not just for adhering tile. My three pendants turned out well; I am so pleased with them. Here are two I have added to my glass shop.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Wonderful New Bead Press

A couple days ago I finally received my new bead press that I had ordered mid-December. It came from Germany. Unfortunately I had ordered it just as they were closing for the holidays. But it was worth the wait!

I found some red glass rods to use, along with my favorites -- multi-color and raku glass. It will take some practice in getting the right amount of glass on the mandrel, but I think I did well for the first time! Adding glass to the bead is easy, but if you have too much glass and it spreads out of the mold when you press the bead, that's another story! You have to heat the excess glass and pull it away with tweezers. As you pull, you have to "cut" the strand with the flame. In my case, doing it for the first time, I distorted the half of the heart, then had to push it all back in place.

Also, getting the press in the correct position on the work surface was essential. The hot bead is placed in one of the sizes of hearts and the mandrel is straight in the slot. Then the top of the press needs to be positioned so that the two poles sticking up go through the holes of the top part. Not as easy as it sounds, when speed is important. But positioning the press in different directions until it was comfortable to place the bead in the heart slot; then being able to see the alignment of the posts and squashing the bead .... finally got easier. I'll try it again today. Now how did I do that?