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.
glass (I’m using a flattened Bud Light bottle)
20 gauge nichrome wire
round nose pliers
needle nose pliers
Cut the glass. You will need
1 glass piece at 0.25″ x 0.25″
2 glass pieces at .375″ (3/8″) x 0.25″
These pieces are a bit small, and you can make your bail any size you like, so feel free to adjust the sizes. The triangle bead mold can accommodate many bails at a time, so consider making a variety.
Prepare the wire. Cut the 20 gauge nichrome wire into 0.75″ long pieces (one for each bail). Using your round nose pliers, bend each piece of wire into a staple shape.
Prepare your bead mold by kilnwashing it and dipping the mandrels. I keep a stock of already dipped mandrels handy for impromptu bead making sessions. Add one of the 3/8″ pieces to the mold, and then the smaller 1/4″ piece on top to make a V shape:
Fuse using the full fuse schedule.
I’m using a small jump ring to attach the pendant to the bail. When you open jump rings, always twist them open. I’m using needle nose pliers and my super strong fingernails, but you can always use two pairs of pliers.
I’ve added a leather cord to mine. The thickness of cord that will fit through your bail is directly related to how thick your bead release is on your mandrel. If you want a larger hole, you need to make sure your bead release is slightly thicker than the cord you are using.