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.
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.
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.
For the longest time, I’ve been balancing my freshly dipped kiln formed bead mold mandrels on whatever is handy. Well, not anymore! If I had have realized how easy it was to make a drying rack, I would have done it ages ago!
To make your own mandrel drying rack you will need:
2 long bamboo skewers or dowels
piece of cardboard, longer than the skewers and at least 6″ wide
Channel bead molds are great for making larger kiln formed beads. The outer two channels are slightly narrower for making smaller square beads, the center two channels slightly larger for making focal beads, or beads with two holes for more complex designs.
In my never ending quest to fuse all the things, I picked up a huge bag of glass globs at the thrift store. I’ve also heard them called jewels, and they look like flattened marbles. There are quite a few different colors, some irridized, but most not. There is also the possibility that some of the colors are painted, the reds and oranges in particular. That’s what makes this fun!