In this tutorial I will be showing you a nice way to use the Zoozii slim straight sided lentil trio (tab) press and a Zoozii wave texture plate (pictured above) on the reverse side if these beads to add a little interest and sparkle to the finished bead. Most of the instructions on how to apply the figurative (picture) murrini will be in text rather than images as I found it quite impossible to take pictures whilst holding both mandrel and tweezers - maybe when I get round to making a tutorial on encased figurative murrini I will try and rope in my lovely and patient OH to take some snaps.
Lay out some murrini ready to use. It will save you time and make things easier later if you put them all face side up and turn them the same way round as you would like to lay them on a bead. I am not pre-warming these murrini as they are quite small, all less than 6mm which I find work fine without for me. Anything larger than 6mm will likely require pre-warming on a hot plate (or mug warmer) or failing that on top of your kiln or a torch top marver prior to use. Make sure you have your murrini sitting in a place where you do not have to reach in front of the flame to reach them.
Prepare your press base, put in a place on your work surface where you will feel comfortable working with it, close to your torch but not where you will not have to reach in front of the flame to use it. This will save you moving it about later with the hot bead that you are wanting to press in your hand.
Warm your mandrel and add 2 or 3 small wraps of glass side by side.
Roll out the wraps of glass on a graphite tile, with a graphite paddle or on a torch top marver to form an even cylinder shape.
Measure up your cylinder against the cavity in the handle of your press. If your cylinder was a little short like mine is here, warm it up until glowing and roll it out some more. You need your base to be about 1mm short of the full width of your press.
Wrap second layer of glass around the middle 2/3 of your base cylinder. Warm the whole bead until glowing.
Press your hot bead in to the cavity on the handle part of your press, turn it over and then press the other side too.
Add a very small dot of glass to the top and bottom of your bead and then heat the whole bead until glowing.
Place your bead in the base of your press and align the top with the base and make your final press with both parts of the tab trio
Flame polish out any chill marks cause during the pressing process and then heat one face of your bead until glowing.
Press the glowing side of your bead down firmly onto your texture plate.
Next turn your torch down a bit and spot heat the non textured side of your bead until glowing brightly. Pick up your picture murrini with long nose tweezers or murrini hemostats and place it firmly on the glowing area of your bead. This should be done outside of the flame. I tend not to flash picture murrini smaller than 6mm through the flame as they are cut so thinly that they seem to cope well enough without.
Lastly heat the surface of the murrini gently in the top of a low flame to flame polish, pat gently once, quickly flame polish again. Turn your torch back up and the flame bathe your entire bead in the top of the flame then pop it in the kiln.
These lovely little CiM Dirty Martini Seahorses anlong with my new range of aquarium murrini are now all available in my Etsy supplies shop.
Frit N Chips lampwork supplies Kitzbitz Art Beads Buzzword Bracelet Beads