Once you’ve mastered the basic kiln formed triangle bead, you can move on to more advanced beads. For instance, adding painted stripes to your triangle glass beads is a quick way to add color and fun to jewelry designs.
3 colors of glass paint (color and brand of your choice)
glass cutting tools
Step 1 – Painting the stripes
Since we will eventually be cutting the glass into squares, I’m painting my lines on the diagonal.
Now, set that aside and let it dry.
Step 2 – Molds and Mandrels
Kiln wash the mold and coat the mandrels with bead release and set them aside to dry.
Step 3 – Cutting the glass
Once your paint is dry, flip the glass over and cut the unpainted side. Start by marking off strips. If your glass is thin (single strength float or art glass), make your strips 1/4″ wide, if your glass is thicker (bottle glass) cut your strips 3/8″ wide.
Cut strips the length of the glass using a square to keep lines straight. Don’t run the glass yet.
Step 4 – Cutting the bead lengths
Now turn the glass sideways and mark the glass at 1/2″ intervals. This is how long our beads will be. You can adjust the size of your bead by varying how far apart your cuts are on this step.
Now run all of the scores and make a big pile of tiny painted glass rectangles.
[I feel compelled to add this disclaimer before I get a ton of e-mails: I am aware that a lot of people don’t like to run a score over a previous score because it is ‘bad’ for your cutter. My cutter is a tool and it’s meant to save me time, so that’s what I do with it. You are welcome to do it whatever way works best for you. J.]
Step 5 – Assembling the beads
Start assembling the beads by adding a row of glass rectangles to the mold. Keep in mind that the 1/2″ long side is the horizontal side of each rectangle.
I’m doing two rows of beads with the paint side in, and two rows with the paint side out, just for fun. After you have the first side of the triangle bead in the mold, add side two.
Now, add a mandrel to each row.
And add a last piece of glass to each bead.
Step 6 – Fusing
Now fuse the beads using the full fuse firing schedule for 1/4″ glass or if you are using art glass, follow manufacturers guidelines.
Step 7 – Finishing
The beads can easily be removed from the mandrels by twisting them off. Let’s have a look and see how the paint on the inside vs. paint on the outside look.
If you do this project, I’d love to see your photos!
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