I looked up the definition of a tool at dictionary.com I use that site a lot! Here's how they defined tools.
| (tōōl) Pronunciation Key|
when I say that. Rather than turn this into a blog that will make you fall asleep, I am going to carry this blog on for a few days. Well, maybe you'll fall asleep anyway, but I'll have the pleasure of knowing you can't quit singing "These are a few of my favorite things."
The first thing I'm going to show you is my brass stump shaper. The edges are beginning to show signs of wear. Whenever I need to move glass, make a dent in hot glass, reshape some glass, I grab my stump shaper.
I have the small sized stump shaper. There are larger ones available, but, for now, this one suits my needs. The handle is a little bit loose, but I think some glue will keep it together.
I found the next tool at the local thrift store. I think I paid 25 cents for this wonderful tool. I use it whenever I need to crease hot glass, to move hot glass. I use it almost as many times a day as my stump shaper. You can see the burn marks from when this has been in the fire.
Many people use a razor tool for creases and indentations. I use my 25 cent spreader. I don't think I could do without it!
Now this unique tool has seen a lot of HOT glass. I use it everyday when I make my butterflies for Beads of Courage. I use it as a ruffling tool.
I don't know what it's actually called, but it's original purpose was for wire wrapping. By using it, you are supposed to be able to get consistent sized wraps. I've never used this tool in that way, but it has served me well when using it for hot glass.
Please let me introduce you to my mini mashers. I use these everyday for various things, including the butterflies I make for Beads of Courage. I used to own a regular size of mashers, but I guess I am just not strong enough to squeeze them to make them work. I finally gave up and gave them away. I could never mash anything with the big mashers, but these mini mashers are a dream come true for me. You can see the burn marks on the blades. They have had a lot of use, both in and out of the fire.
The last tool I'll show you today is my Obsidian Shaper.
All right, for those who know better, I know that's not the real name for this tool, but, even though I searched for the correct name, I couldn't find it. When used in the way it was intended, you can shape some of the most beautiful egg shaped barrel type beads you have ever seen. I use this wonderful graphite tool to help me round out beads. I have used it to make the egg shaped barrel type bead, but I think I need more PPP. The graphite helps to move the hot glass into a much rounder shape. I have found that this tool can work wonders with a lopsided hollow bead. I love it! Someday, I will use it for the purpose for which it was intended.
Now, for the novice bead maker who might be reading this blog. You can do without a lot of the tools I have. The tools, other than those you can make yourself or find in a thrift store, are very much worth the money you spend. I do not buy a tool until I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that I will use that tool on a regular basis. I have sold tools that I thought would work, but I found that I couldn't use them in the way they were supposed to be used, or I sold them because I didn't feel I used them frequently enough to warrant the expense of keeping them. With most tools you buy, you won't get your investment price back even if you sell them. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, that is a true statement. Newbies, treat your tools kindly, but use them well. You won't regret the investment if your beads improve. Look for sales. Look at thrift stores. Look for old tools being sold. Those are the best ways to find what you really need to make great beads or sculptures.