Beads and jewllery on Folksy


Tutorial - Raked reactive bead

I was mucking about with a few ends of glass rods that I had on my desk at the close of my bead making session yesterday and made this round bead.

It's a very simple but colourful bead that makes use of the well known reaction between Effetre Petrol Green 218 and Effetre Purple 272. I thought it would make a nice tutorial to share on my blog so when I fired up my torch today I made another one similar and took some pics.

To start with you will need a rod of each of these colours and something to rake your glass with. You could use a tungsten pick or some sort of stainless steel dental tool. I like to use a very thin stringer of glass to move the hot surface of my bead about. I have also used a graphite bead roller for shaping my bead - a bead roller is not necessary to make a beautifully proportioned bead but I do like my one a great deal - especially for making sets. The one I have is from CGbeads.

First you need to pre-warm your mandrel which has been dipped in bead release to make sure your molten glass will stick to it then place a single wrap of your petrol green glass on the mandrel.

Place a second wrap next to the first and roll out the glass on the back of your graphite roller paddle to a length just short of your bead roller cavity.

Next wrap a second layer of petrol green over your first  layer to build up the bulk of  the bead core then roll the bead in your roller cavity to start to round off the corners.

Next use your rod of 272 purple to wrap one thick continuous wrap around your bead core at either end just where the base glass starts to taper towards the bead holes.

Melt all of the glass down until it is smooth and get it roughly in to shape with your bead roller. You will be able to see multiple stripes of colour where the purple and green glass have reacted together.

The next job is to heat a small section across the surface of your bead. Aim the flame at just a small area of your bead then take it out of the flame when it starts to glow and the use your glass stringer or dragging tool to rake the surface of the bead. Here you can see that I am distorting the soft glass by dragging a very thin clear stringer gently across the surface of it in a straight line.

Repeat the spot heating and raking process several times, working your way around the surface of your bead and raking in opposite directions. Finally heat your bead through one last time and smooth off the surface of your glass in the bead roller cavity.

You can now add further decoration, dots, spots, lines, spot heat and twist to distort the surface more - anything you like really.

Have fun!

Jolene xx Frit N Chips lampwork supplies and Kitzbitz Art Beads