Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Shorts

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.


angelinabeadalina said...

I like that last bead!Cool, bold pattern! How do you get the shorts as short as those in the top pic? I waste too much glass 'cause I can't handle toasted fingers.

Deb said...

I love the Disks & the Butterflies for BOC Mallory - what a great way to use up your shorts.
I'm afraid my shorts are all under 1/2 " long & only ever good for frit.....I'm such a scrouge when it comes to glass.

rosebud101 said...

Ang, I have a tool called a Merical, I think is the name. I bought it on line. I'll try to find the link for it, and I'll send it to you. It's worth its weight in gold!

Deb said...

I must be a freak - someone watching me once said they were amazed at how close I got to the flame with my fingers. I hold the darn glass until it's down to about 1 1/2" then cuck it into the murrini haemostats - & work it down to about 1/2 an inch - Mallory do those MeRical's let you work it even shorter?

rosebud101 said...

Deb, I can go down to a teeny nub or just let the glass melt into the bead by letting it go. It just depends. Sometimes it gets so hot that the glass sticks to the ends, then I douse it in water. It all depends on what you want to do. That tool, to me, is worthy its weight in gold!