A quick guide to how I make a simple two tone twistie using a mandrel and 104 glass punty to pull the twistie cane out. First heat up an uncoated mandrel directly in your torch flame.
Next wrap 1 to 2 cm of your bare mandrel with small wraps of your base colour - in this case I am using CiM Peace which I find much stiffer in relation to Effetre white and it is my go to white for twistie making.
Wrap a second layer of glass over your foundation layer. Some people build their twistie gather extending out from the last
few mm of an uncoated mandrel and have the majority of the gather off
mandrel but I prefer to use the mandrel for stability through the entire
core of my gather.
Keep on building up the layers until you have a gather size that you are comfortable with. Start small and build larger gathers as you confidence grows.
Next marver your gather smooth which will make it easier to judge where to add your stripes of accent glass and will make the gather pull out evenly.
Keep your gather warm behind the flame and swipe on generous lines of your top stripe colour. In this tutorial I am using Reichenbach Dense Black which tends to stay crisp and dense in tone when stretched diluted. Avoid Reichenbach Dense Black if you are looking for organic spreading and webbing from your twistie - use fine lines (added with stringer rather than a full rod) of CiM Hades or Effetre intense black instead.
I like to add 4 or 5 stripes of the accent glass over my base colour to give the illusion of a really tight twist.
Keep you gather warm behind the flame and prepare a chunky maria of CoE 104 clear glass for your punty. It wasn't possible to get a photo of this part of the process as I had both hands full!
Some people like to use a second mandrel, aluminium chopsticks or even a rod of boro glass as their punty - all of these work well and the choice what kind of handle to use to help you pull down your gather is entirely up to you. I use 104 clear as I use all of the tail ends of my twistie canes to make Amoeba beads for Beads of Courage UK (tutorial for that tomorrow).
Attach your CoE 104 maria (second mandrel/chopsticks/boro rod) to your gather and heat until the stripes are well melted in and the whole mass is fluid and glowing to the core.
Edit to add: aim all of the heat at at the gather and not the maria, especially on the bushy flame of a HH torch. If you heat the soft punty rod that will
pull out instead of the gather which is why lot's of people would go for
chopsticks or a mandrel to punty up.
Remove the whole gather from the flame and begin to slowly twist both gather mandrel and punty whist pulling the two further apart very slowly. As you pull your cane you will see and feel the twisted cane "set". At this point you can stop twisting the punty and twist the mandrel only, twisting it faster and pulling harder to get a long length of even straight twistie cane.
Place the twistie on a heat proof surface to cool and cut the mandrel and punty from your twistie with rod nippers. Leave the maria ends to cool and dunk the mandrel in a water jar to cool it. You can always repunty the remainder of a gather and go for a second pull if your gather is too large for your arm span once reduced.