Monday, 11 June 2012

My first marbles.

So, you all know I make beads right?  Glass beads that is, made in my workshop using a dual gas torch (propane and oxygen) and then popped into the kiln overnight.

So, yesterday, I fancied a glass session.

Kiln on, check / tanks on, check / glass chosen & washed, check / cup of tea, check.

I sit down to make some beads and........ no mandrels dipped!!!

Now, for those that do not know, the mandrel is a thin rod of steel (in my case, a cut down welding rod) dipped in bead release, which is a kind of clay slip.  This stops the glass sticking to the metal when you are wrapping the glass around to form the hole in the bead.

You can 'flame-dry' bead release, but 9 times out of 10, in my case, it cracks, so I much prefer it to be air-dried.

So, there I am, torch lit, glass in hand, no mandrels.  Bum.

The Hubster is beside me on his whopping great big man torch.  He doesn't make beads, he makes marbles, as beads are girly.  Basically though a marble is a bead with no hole, right?

"Make a marble", he says.

Make a marble?  Well, I suppose I could try, after all we are both booked in on a marble making class with Jan Ridgen-Clay at the end of the month, and I have NEVER even made the smallest marble.

This is Jan's website...

So, I took some instruction from the Hubster (trust me, this rarely happens) and made my first marble.

Then I sent him away and made another  :)

This morning, the marbles were waiting for me on the bench.

The colours are rubbish, and the shape is rubbish, but they are recognisable as marbles I guess.

More practise needed I think :)

Oh, and if you are interested, the Hubster has just set up his own Marble Gallery Facebook page, you can find it here...


I would love to hear from you, questions, comments and salutations all welcome.