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Fusing with Natural Mica

Fused raw mica

Recently Elaine F. from Idaho generously mailed me some of her mica stash to try. I’ve wanted to use natural mica before, but haven’t had the opportunity. Mica is the name for a group of sheet silicate minerals. They are distinctive for the flat thin sheets that can be flaked apart. They are typically translucent to transparent, although there are different hues from silver to copper. Continue reading Fusing with Natural Mica

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2 Part Stamps for Glass Printing

custom rubber stamps

One of my favorite things to do with recycled float glass is to use stamps and frits to print images on the glass. With a little ingenuity, you can print on both sides for a slightly 3D effect. This tutorial shows how to make a set of two stamps to print a butterfly on float glass prior to fusing. The complete step by step instructions are below the video.
Continue reading 2 Part Stamps for Glass Printing

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Printed Float Glass Butterfly Coasters

Stamped Float Glass Coasters

 

In last weeks newsletter, we talked about using giant rubber erasers to make custom stamps for printing on float (window) glass.  This weeks newsletter shows 3 different frit sizes that can be used with stamps for printing on glass.

Today’s tutorial is how to make these cute butterfly coasters by using the two different stamps we made and printing on both sides of the glass.  Complete step by step instructions below the video.

Continue reading Printed Float Glass Butterfly Coasters

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Fused Beads With Nichrome Loops

fused glass beads with nichrome loops

Last week in the newsletter, we talked about different gauges of nichrome wire that are good for jewelry use, and some different styles of loops.  Today I’m going to show you how to add the loops to your bead molds to make fused kiln formed glass beads with nichrome loops instead of mandrel holes.  This really a relatively easy process and will add a new dimension to your bead making.

Materials:

Bead Mold kits (mold and bead release, set aside the mandrels for later)

Nichrome wire, 20 or 22 gauge

round nose pliers

wire cutters

Step 1.

Prepare the mold with kilnwash or whatever coating you prefer. Continue reading Fused Beads With Nichrome Loops

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Wearable Chime Pendant

Fused Chime Pendant

This design evolved from a multi loop fused glass bail that I made at the same time as the single loop bail from earlier in the week.  I wasn’t sure how viable it was really going to be, but I have to admit, this thing is ridiculously cute.

Materials needed:

glass (I’m using a blue Bud Light bottle)

Triangle Bead Mold Kit

20 gauge nichrome wire

jumprings

leather cord

round nose pliers

needle nose pliers

glass glue Continue reading Wearable Chime Pendant

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Fused Glass Bail Beads

Fused Glass Bead

Frequently at art shows I see many beautiful pendants with boring bails.  I admit, the bail is often the last thing I think about when making jewelry, and often my bails are even less interesting than the average boring bail.  I’ve decided my new go to is a fused glass bail bead.  While it’s not earth shatteringly cool, it gives me a chance to add a bit more color and balance to my glass pendant.  There are also many ways to embellish your bail, which we’ll cover in a future tutorial. See what you think.

Materials needed:

glass (I’m using a flattened Bud Light bottle)

20 gauge nichrome wire

glue

round nose pliers

wire cutters

needle nose pliers Continue reading Fused Glass Bail Beads

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Blue Spring Bracelet

Fused Bottle glass bracelet

Once you’ve gotten a stock of bottle glass bar beads, you can start making some fun jewelry designs.

This bracelet is made with memory wire, bar beads, leather cord and one round bead with a large hole.  The memory wire makes the bracelet springy, and the leather cord makes it adjustable for ease of wearing.

Step 1:  Choose your bar beads.  I’m using 5 different shades of blue, and a total of 15 beads.  Altogether, my beads are 7.5″.  Laying them out against a ruler like this will give you an idea of how much wire you need for Step 2. Continue reading Blue Spring Bracelet

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Fused Bottle Glass Bar Beads

Fused Bottle Glass Beads

Bar beads are made with 2 strips of bottle glass fused over 2 mandrels to make a long skinny bead with 2 holes. These beads can be used in a variety of jewelry designs, and can be mixed and matched for all kinds of colorful looks.

Start with flattened bottle glass sheets. I like to do a variety of these beads at the same time.

Step 1:

Cut the bottle glass into strips measuring 3/8″ wide by 1 3/4″ long (.375″ x 1.75″). Continue reading Fused Bottle Glass Bar Beads

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Fused Bottle Glass Stars

Fused yellow bottle glass star

You might think that fused bottle glass stars are a holiday specific item, but I make these three designs in multiple colors for year round giving.  They are terrific for tying onto any gift with a bow to make it extra special, and they are a lovely small ‘Thank You’ gift for friends, neighbors and colleagues.

Materials

Continue reading Fused Bottle Glass Stars