Sunday, July 17, 2016


Over the next few weeks, my family and I will be taking a few short vacations to visit the waterfalls of northern Georgia and western North Carolina.  I won't have much time to fire up the torch, but I'll be back in September.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hollow glass shells

Now that summer has arrived, I've been thinking about beaches and beach combing and a recent issue of Soda Lime Times gave me some ideas for making shell beads, using hollow beads.  The results, still experimental are shown below:

The one in the lower left was made on a puffy mandrel, using two layers of glass, a transparent pin, and ivory.  I purposefully left one spot thinner than the rest, and as I kept blowing that spot ballooned out until it popped.  Then I played with the edges to produce a shell-like shape.  The others were made by first laying down a thin tube of pink (CIM Desert Pink).  Then I built up discs of ivory or CIM Butter Pecan at either end, pushed them together and let nature take its course in making a hollow bead.  When I achieved the shape I wanted, I heated one spot until glowing, then pulled that part of the bead with my pliers and when sufficiently cool, I cut it with nippers and opened up the resulting hole, again playing with the edges to mimic a shell.  There's plenty of room for improvement and improvisation!