Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wavey Ribbon tutorial ...

I have been playing a bit around last week, trying to do something, but I could not transfere the brain picture into the glass at hand. Instead I created something new/not new. Just a few tecniques thrown together, and something nice popped out.

Here follows the tutorial that I had put together tonight while torching with one hand, the other trying to take pictures:

I used 3 rods of glass: Transparent Black, Clear (and clear stringer) and a silver glass stringer.

First I made a disk about 3 windings thick on the mandrel.

Melt the disk down to a fat doughnut.

Add 2 windings of clear in the centre of the doughnut. Just flash it in the flame, so that the new application of glass is 'glued' to each other.

Apply a row of dots with the stringer. Any type of glass could work. Want rainbow? Go for it! Do not melt if flat, but just gently melt the dots a bit down. If you have used a silver glass, reduce it now.

Add 2 windings of clear over the dots. Make sure your clear rod is very soft, and press down over the dots, as you want to cover the dots with the clear.

Hit the glass with your flame, but make sure that you only heat the edge of the glass; if your rod or the centre doughnut gets red hot, drop or raise your mandrel! This will allow the glass to melt and pull the dots into a line - old tecnique no 1!

To help the glass and the lines to pull to the mandrel/bead hole, focus heat first on the one side, and then on the othe side of the bead. Make sure that the other side is cool while you do it, as you only want to shift half of the bead at a time. You may angle the bead/mandrel at a 45 degree angle to aid the glass to flow. This will reduce the base colour that shows on the side, as that will be sucked into the mandrel, and your outer glass will move closer to the bead hole.

This is what the bead should look like:

Heat the whole bead to the base colour, and use your mashers/parrallel press, and press the bead gently, turning it in 180 degree turns. Shape it into a barrel. Heat it regularly, as you will damage the bead release if you try and shift cold glass.

Press it as long as you want you bead to be. Be careful not to press at an angle. Try to maintain the same thickness through out.

Heat the centre of the bead and either allow gravity to shape the flow of the stripes, or use your marver to drag the stripes. Technique no 2 - Gravity bead

Use a clear stringer to shift areas that you had spot heated to create more swirls. Experiment!

When you are satisfied with the look, melt the bead into a neat barrel again. I use my masher to aid me.

Encase the bead with clear.

Make sure that your ends are neat and straight.

Super heat the whole bead, and flatten it, should you wish. Decorate surface as you please.

Sorry, image dissapeard, but this image is not really neccesary, is it?

Pop bead into a kiln. If you do not have a kiln, and use Vermiculite or a fiber blanket, I would not advise you to flatten the bead, as this will increase the chance of the bead to thermal crack.

Disclaimer: This is not a new tecnique. This is just my interpretation of the encased stripy bead and gravity beads. By creating a clear portion of glass between a solid base and the waves I am able to manupulate the ribbons that I have created, without distorting the base too much.

Go well


Jenn said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing! You use so many techniques in here, I think I'll spend a long time dissecting it and playing with it. I love your finished beads!

Diana Ferreira said...

Thank you Jenn! That is exactly what I thought when I started to play with it, and it is from this where my alphabet analgy comes from.

aurin said...

Thank you so mauch for sharing this. I just found your blog and I am really inspired. And Isaved it immediatly to my favorits. You show so many technics and wonderful beads. Thanks and regards from Switzerland

Diana Ferreira said...

Thank your for leaving a comment, Iris! Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries!

Jane Of Handmade Jewelry Club said...

Thanks for the sharing. I will feature this tutorial at

Would also like to invite you to post this sharing at Take a look.

Barbro Augustin said...

Thank you very much for sharing, I was just thinking of doing this striped beads today but forgot how to! Thank you!