Continuing the tutorial, here is another of my “secrets”. I use a clear core in my stringers. It gives me a little more control when applying the stringer (clear is more stiff than the ivory) and I think that it makes the ivory bubble more when finishing the bead. Besides, clears are notorious for having bad batches and it is a good way to use it up!
I should mention that if you are not used to pulling a large gather of glass that you should definitely wear a leather apron at the very least to protect yourself. I also will mention that it is your responsibility to take other normal studio safety precautions, including adequate ventilation. This process involves burning fine silver.
Notice that I use a thicker rod of clear – approx 6 mm. Sometimes I use smaller, but I like this size. Starting about3/4 inch (1.5 cm) from the end of the clear, I start wrapping the ivory around. The wrap thickness itself is pretty thick.
This is what it looks like immediately after finishing the ivory wrap.
Now I want to smooth the bumps. I heat the ivory wrap and use my mashers to smooth it out into an even plug (my term). I use a very light touch here, because I don’t want the plug to get longer and thinner; I want it to stay nice and thick. I usually heat and mash several times. I also rotate the clear rod around so that the plug gets pretty smooth. Using the mashers instead of rolling it on a marver assures that both ends of the plug are the same size and it keeps the glass up near where I can see it better.
I use the mashers to flatten the end of the plug too. It’s not necessary, but I like to keep it tidy (the glass – not my workbench, as you can plainly see). One tip here: compare the length of the ivory plug to the width of the silver strip. They should be close, with the foil being maybe just a little wider.
Next up – “Getting it On!”… the silver of course!
All material contained within this Tutorial is protected by Copyright, “Spawn of Flame” Rosemarie Hanus, 2009; all rights reserved.