This festive Halloween bracelet is made from lamp work beads.
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Materials and Tools:
2 graphite paddles
soft effetre glass rods:
- yellow ocher
- dark gray
- white, black
- Nile green
vermiculite in heated container
needle nose pliers
flat nose pliers
sterling silver beads
Soft Flex .019 beading wire
didymium safety glasses
oxygen propane torch
sparker for lighting torch
drill with diamond bit and boring bit
1. Ignite the firing torch using a sparker or barbeque lighter.
2. Dip mandrels in bead release.
3. Heat a yellow ocher glass rod to a molten state and wind onto the mandrel to desired size.
4. Remove from the heat source and allow to cool slightly.
5. Flatten the top and bottom of the pumpkin bead with mini mashers to about 1/4 inch.
6. To ensure that the beads lay flat against the wrist, flatten the back of the bead with a flat marver (figure A).
7. Polish chill marks (small ripples) out of the bead's top, bottom and back.
8. Melt in two dots for the eyes and two v's for the mouth with thin black stringer (figure B).
9. Heat up the front of the bead (in the middle) place the paring knife at the top and score down the middle (figure C) to create the pumpkin shape. Heat up and score from top to bottom. Follow same procedures on the opposite side.
10. Flash the bead back and forth in the flame to keep it hot and from cracking.
11. Melt the tip end of the Nile green rod for the pumpkin's stem.
12. Place a good size dot of the Nile green on the top of the pumpkin for the stem.
13. Heat the stem and press on the marver very slightly to give a cut stem appearance (figure D).
14. Flash in the flame and plunge into the vermiculite for 30 minutes.
15. Repeat the process for the second pumpkin bead.
16. Heat the white rod to the same molten state as above and wind on the mandrel to desired size.
17. Working in and out of the flame, allow the top part of the bead to melt down a little and then become cooler than the bottom (figure E).
18. Flatten the ghost bead with mini mashers remembering that the heavy part needs to stay at the bottom (figure F).
19. Polish the chill marks out of the bead.
20. Heat up the heavy bottom of the bead almost to a molten state. It will become somewhat transparent.
21. Working in and out of the flame, use tweezers to pull the molten bottom of the bead in a zigzag motion, moving slowly allowing the glass to cool along the way.
22. Polish and flash the bead in the flame.
23. Attach two very small dots of black stringer for the ghost's eyes. Using the same black stringer, melt a large dot and place for the mouth (figure G). Once melted, you may need to take a dental pick and pull down on the mouth to create an oval shape. Polish out any marks.
24. Plunge in the vermiculite for 30 minutes.
25. Repeat the process for the second ghost bead.
26. Melt dark gray opaque glass onto a mandrel. Make this just short of 1 inch long. This is called a footprint. Continue winding the glass on the mandrel until you get the desired amount of glass.
27. Press the tombstone glass to about 3/8" to 1/4" thick with the large mashers (figure I).
28. Polish the chill marks out.
29. Heat up the bottom of the stone and press on a marver to flatten. Work between the large mashers and the marver to work in the glass and to make the tombstone shape.
30. Create RIP letters with the black stringer. Melt slowly in the back heat of the flame (figure J). Caution This will melt quickly, so be careful to not melt in the letters, only flash in the heat to make the RIP letters stay in place.
31. Mix several greens to make a striped cane and pulled it into a stringer. This will be used for the grass around the base of the tombstone.
32. Use the green cane stringer and "paint" stripes on the bottom of the tombstone to resemble tall grass. Do this all the way around the tombstone (figure K).
33. Heat the top of the tombstone and score a jagged crack in it with a paring knife (figure L). Flash in the heat to remove any chill marks.
34. Plunge this bead into the vermiculite to cool for 30 minutes or more.
35. Use three colors of glass, white, yellow, and orange, to make the candy corn. Start with orange and make it the biggest. Melt the glass only the thickness of the glass rod and keep winding until it is about 3/8 inch tall.
36. Melt the yellow on, again only the width of the glass rod, right next to the orange and a few rounds shorter.
37. Using white, do the same right next to the yellow and make it shorter than the yellow.
38. Melt all three colors in by turning constantly to melt evenly (figure M).
39. Once melted together, use the mini masher and press the candy corn bead into an triangle shape.
40. Continue to work in and out of the heat, applying heat to areas that need shaping and use the marver to tweak those areas (figure N).
41. When it has reached the desired shape, flash in the heat to polish all the chill marks out and to make the bead smooth.
42. Repeat this process to make a second candy corn bead.
43. Now that all the beads are made and cooled, soak them in water for about 20 minutes and pull the beads from the mandrels.
44. Sand and remove all the bead release from the inside hole of the beads with a diamond drill bit.
45. Change the diamond bit to a boring bit and remove any burs from the outside edges of the holes.
46. Place the beads into a digital kiln and fire for five hours to re-stabilize the glass. This stage adds strength and durability to the beads and they are less likely to break.
47. After the kiln is finished, allow the beads to continue cooling for another five hours and then pull them out.
48. Sort through the beads and select those that are shaped and sized the most alike and store in bags to be assembled.
49. Lay out the glass beads and sterling silver beads for the desired bracelet design in a beading tray (figure O).
50. Cut Soft Flex .019 stringing material and crimp the round end of the clasp to it (figure P).
51. String beads and silver to an average size of 7-1/4 inches. Tip: Size to fit by increasing or decreasing silver beads.