15/09/2013

Gold Ribbon beads, a special tutorial for International Childhood Cancer Awareness month

Beads of Courage is dear to my heart, in the UK the program is funded and supported by a small family run charity called Be Child Cancer Aware. As part of their fundraising BCCA sell Gold Ribbons, the colour that represents Childhood Cancer Awareness. September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness month and I wanted to do something to help to raise awareness too. I decided to make all of my September 52 little things beads in bright yellow with gold ribbons and also to make this little tutorial to share how I make the canes for the ribbons in case anyone else would like to make some.

 Glass

1 rod of Effetre special dark yellow
1 rod of Reichenbach deep black
plus some scrap clear glass to make a punty
 Step 1

Melt a gather of glass on the end of the yellow rod, about the size of a Malteser (or a Dime) will do.
 Step 2

Flatten the gather between two heat proof surfaces to make a paddle. I've used a torch top and handheld marver.
 Step 3

Square off the edges of the paddle with your hand held marver, heat and flatten again.
 Step 4

Add swipes of your black glass to either side of the paddle.
 Step 5

Prepare a punty by melting the end of the clear scrap glass rod and flattening the end to make a maria. Make sure the maria is wide enough to cover the yellow and both swipes of black.
 Step 5

Heat the end of your paddle and maria and join them together. Heat the paddle, turning frequently to heat both sides evenly, until the paddle glows orange and is soft enough to pull.
 Step 6

Take the paddle out of the flame and allow it to cool slightly before pulling the softened glass out slowly to make a long flat cane that is about 5mm wide. Place the cane on a heat proof surface to cool and remove the punty and glass rod with rod nippers.
Step 7

When your ribbon cane has cooled down enough to handle you can use it to draw Gold Ribbons on your beads.

Make sure that the end of the cane has been nipped flat for a clean edge and lay on a short diagonal line from left to right using a low flame. Soften the next part of the cane gently in the flame so that you can draw on the curved part of your ribbon motif and then finally lay down the last straight part of your ribbon.

Use rod nippers to cut the cane from your base bead for a neat finish and bathe your whole bead in the flame.

Heat and press the ribbon cane gently to make sure it is properly anchored to your base bead, bathe in the flame again and place in a hot kiln to anneal.

If you have any beads that you would like to gift to BCCA - Beads of Courage UK please follow this link to the Bead Donations Form


Ta, Jolene xx

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