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Blowing A Lampwork Glass Vessel

I came across an old video I made in 2010 of me blowing a glass vessel during one of my live studio broadcasts. I thought it would be fun to bring it back to the light as I am sure there are plenty of  lampwork artists out there who would find this tutorial of sort very helpful in getting started with blowing glass vessels on a torch. An artist can never have too many skills in their bag of tricks, right?

Seeing this old video brought back some good memories of my old studio. I now feel the need to start blowing my little vessels again.

View and purchase my lampwork blown glass vessels.

If you have any questions please leave a post in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

 

Watch, learn, enjoy, and share!

Watch live video from Playing with fire! on Justin.tv

Lampwork Off-Mandrel Glass Leaf Bead

If you hate cleaning out the release from lampwork bead holes as much as I do, you will probably be more than eager to learn how to work your lampwork glass off-mandrel.

Creating off-mandrel soft glass pieces is a bit more tricky than say using boro but it can be done, you just have to be patient and work slow. Work too fast and you’ll have a sloppy stubborn blob of glass that just won’t do what you want it to.

Once you go off-mandrel it opens doors to other areas of work like marbles, pendants, sculptures, and even beads! Yes, you can even make beads without a mandrel. This lampwork bead was created completely off-mandrel. Neat eh?

The video below which was taken from one of my live studio broadcasts will hopefully give you a nice jumping off point to start your journey on losing that mandrel.

Enjoy and keep it hot!

Watch, learn, enjoy, and share!


Watch live video from Avenue Beads Studio Cam on Justin.tv

How To Use Our Star Murrini Cane

If you’ve never used murrini in cane form this blog post will hopefully answer all of your questions. If not leave a comment and I’ll answer any questions you may have on this technique.

These little stars are great for adding character to your holiday beads (Halloween, Christmas) and landscape beads.

Using Our Star Cane:

Unlike larger murrini that is used in slices, our star cane is meant to be used right off the cane. This is only possible up to a certain diameter, too big of a murrini and the image will not transfer correctly to your work. Our star murrini cane works perfectly using the “snap off” technique that I’m about to show you.

You will need:

104coe Star Murrini Cane

104coe Rod or Stringer of Clear (optional)

Murrini Placement

 

Start by creating your bead and adding any design elements you wish. Here I’m just using an example paddle as I couldn’t find my mandrels to make a bead at the moment.

When you are ready to start placing your murrini stars decide where you want the first star to go. Heat that section until it is nice and glowing. Doesn’t have to be soupy hot but it has to be able to accept being manipulated.

 

 

Pokey pokey..

 

Grab your star murrini cane and quickly push it into the spot that you heated. Too get the most out of your cane it’s important to remember not to shove the cane in so far that you’re wasting valuable millimeters.

It may be a good idea to practice a couple of times on a paddle like I’m using to get a feel for the technique before using this on a bead that you spent hours creating.

 

 

Imbedded Star Chip

 

After poking the cane into your bead hold the cane there and let the area that you heated to set back up.

Once it cools back down again, all you need to do is quickly snap the can to one side. If done properly this will leave one imbedded star murrini chip in your bead. Neat!

 

 

 

At this point you have the option of placing a dot of clear over the chip to give the murrini a lens. Alternatively and my chosen preference, just leaving as is and continue on imbedding more chips.

Adding more stars

 

Keep repeating the steps of re-heating a section, poking the star cane in, and snapping off.

Try not to get too close to any previously placed stars. If you get to close with your “poking” you run the chance of smearing one of the chips (which I actually managed to do, oops!).

 

 

 

Oh my stars!

 

Here I have all the star chips placed and it’s ready to be finished off. It looks quite messy and bad now but once you complete the last step everything will come together and you’ll have a starry sky.

 

 

 

 

Finished Look

 

After you finish placing all the stars into your bead all that is left to do is reheat the whole piece until everything levels back out. If you did not place clear above the chips the stars will shrink in size a bit due to the glass having to fill itself back in.

While I was taking these photos I was just about out of propane so I had to go through the steps rather fast. The finished look is a bit lumpy but hopefully this will give you a good handle on how to use our star murrini canes.

 

 

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

On a side note…If you’ve used our star cane before or do in the future, I would love to see your beads! I may even update this post with pictures of your beads and include them as examples in the store listing as well. Just send your photos to joe[at]avenuebeads.com

Have fun!

Lampwork Tutorials

I’ve been asked for years how to blow shards and more specifically how to make my ever popular special effect mottling shards. Well if you’ve been wanting in on the secrets you are in luck.

Originally I was going to make one big tutorial for learning how to blow shards and how to make mottle shards but decided to break it up into separates for those that might already know how to blow shards, thus lowering the price of the Mottling Shard Tutorial.

I had a lot of fun putting these tutorials together. I hope you enjoy them as well and learn lots of new techniques.

Enjoy and have fun!

 

How to blow shards

Blowing Shards

How to Blow Shards

Instant download PDF tutorial that teaches you how to blow shards and apply them to your work. 18 pages and 45 photos that include easy to follow step by step instructions accompanied by full color photos.

Included in this Tutorial:

How to Blow Shards
How to Make Your Shards
How to Apply Shards
Shard bead examples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Mottle Shards

Creating Mottle Shards

Creating and Using Mottle Shards

Learn how to make and use the original striking Mottle shards that was first created by Avenue Beads.

Instant download PDF tutorial that teaches you how to make your own mottling shards like our Dragons Breath, Skystone, Ethereal Blues and Lunar Moss Mottle Shards. 28 pages and 55 photos that include easy to follow step by step instructions accompanied by full color photos.

Included in this Tutorial:

Making Mottle Shards
How To Use Mottle Shards
Mottle Recipes
Bead Examples From Artists