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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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DIY Mandrel Drying Rack

bead mold mandrel rack

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

ruler

tape Continue reading DIY Mandrel Drying Rack

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Fused Glass Bangle Bracelet

channelbraceletfinal

Bangle bracelets are a nice item to have in your product mix, they are less size dependant than clasp bracelets, and are great for people who love jewelry but have difficulty with operating catches and clasps.  This bracelet is made with beads that were fused using the Channel Bead Mold.  (See the full Channel Bead Mold Tutorial) Some of the beads were then tumbled in a rock tumbler for a sea glass appearance. Continue reading Fused Glass Bangle Bracelet

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Channel Bead Molds

Channel Bead Mold Kit

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.

Materials needed:

Channel bead mold kit

bottle glass of various colors

kiln wash

Step 1 Continue reading Channel Bead Molds

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Fused Glass Blob beads

fused cobalt bead

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!

Glass Blobs
Glass Globs

These ones are relatively small, around the size of a dime or a penny.  First I prepared my mandrels (dip them twice if your bead release is thin).  Next I kiln washed my large lentil bead mold.


 

The blobs fit perfectly into the bottom of the mold with a mandrel over the top.

Fusing glass globs
Glass blobs in the mold

Continue reading Fused Glass Blob beads

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Lentil Bead Molds

kiln formed bead molds

Materials needed:

Lentil Bead Mold (any size, or ALL the sizes for extra fun)

Kiln Wash

Glass frit

Step 1.  Prepare the mandrels.

Each bead kit ships with a dozen mandrels and a tube of bead release, so you’re all set to go when your kit arrives. Continue reading Lentil Bead Molds

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Making a Triangle Glass Bead Mold

Triangle Beads - recycled glass

I’ve always loved beads.  In fact, I’m mildly obsessed with beads after taking a bead making class last year.  So, I tried a little experiment.  Could I quickly and easily make a mold to make fused triangle shaped beads? Continue reading Making a Triangle Glass Bead Mold