When I start talking about my shorts, I am not talking about making a fashion statement with my clothing. The shorts I am talking about, in this case, are the ends of the glass rods that I use when I make my lampwork beads. Depending on the rod and the company, rods differ in length and width. Most glass rods are about 12" in length. The width can vary from 3mm to 8mm. As you melt the glass and less is left on the rod, you get to a point where the rod becomes too short to use without burning your fingers. There are tools to help you melt the rod down farther, and I do own one. Some people fuse the left over portions of the rods together to make a longer rod. It doesn't matter what you do, though, you are always left with shorts. I hate to throw those beautiful pieces of glass away, so I have tried to figure out how to use the leftovers resourcefully.
The first photo is a picture of my smaller nubs of glass. The smaller pieces go into making frit (ground glass). The longer nubs I use to make "Leftover Beads." I'll show you some of those in a bit. I also use them to make purple hearts and multicolored butterflies for Beads of Courage. I love the look of many colors in butterfly wings. My longer shorts go into making beads and discs.
Beads of Courage gets my butterflies.
I made these discs using my shorts. I love them because they are fun and funky looking!
I made this bead using my shorts directly on my mandrel.
I even make frit using my shorts, but that's another story. I'll show you how I make frit tomorrow. I've tried a lot of different ways to make frit, and you'll see that tomorrow.