This is a specially designed mandrel, a product of 10 years of R & D. Please notice the difference between the handle and the tungsten section. Never touch the tungsten as it will be extremely hot during this process and well after.
1. Preheat the glass rod with which you will make your base bead.
2. Preheat the mandrel.
3. Apply your glass and shape your bead. (a 1” bead with a 1/4” footprint on the mandrel will be the easiest place to start)
4. When you are done with your bead, give it a final heat and let it cool til it stops glowing. Then connect a hot tack puntee, heating just the tip of a glass rod and connecting it to the bead.
5. Heat the tungsten on either side of the bead, 3 seconds per side. Start to turn the mandrel inside the bead, holding the puntee in a vertical position above and out of the flame. Continue this process until the bead comes off the mandrel, heating and turning until the bead slides off.
**Do not overheat the tungsten! 3 seconds at a time per side is sufficient. If you overheat you will have tungsten burn-off, reducing the life of your mandrel.
6. Once the bead is off, you can clean up the bead holes with a reamer or the tungsten itself, which is ground to a taper at the tip.
7. To put the bead in the kiln, you slide it back onto the tungsten, making sure it slides on and off freely. Cut the puntee off with cutters or the flame. Pull off any excess glass with tweezers and fire polish your puntee mark .
8. Give the bead a final heat, striking or reducing any special colors, then let it cool til it is no longer glowing, and slide it off the tungsten into the kiln.
by Beau Anderson, 2013, beauxbead.com
In your next try, you can do some more detail, but remember to keep your bead warm. Tungsten is a conductor of heat so it will be sucking heat from your bead when it is out of the flame. With that knowledge, you can turn the tables and heat the tungsten to send heat into your bead. If you let the bead cool down too much, you’re out of luck, so keep it hot!
Once you understand the process, you can try 2 beads at once, then take one off and attach it to the other. There are many new possibilities with this technique, so find something new to you and have fun with it.
This mandrel can also be used to pierce hot glass. To do so, preheat your 104coe glass object to 1000 degrees then heat your tungsten, turning it at all times and pushing it through the place you would like to pierce. Think of it as a hot drill. If it is not hot, it will not drill. If you are drilling a deep hole, you might have to take the tungsten out to heat the tip, then slide it back in hot to continue reaming the hole out. Holes over 1/2” deep are best achieved by drilling from both sides of the hole. For these deeper holes, you can make an indentation with a cold tool before starting to drill.
This kit is designed to give you the opportunity to explore a new method of making beads. Before you get started, please read the instructions and picture the process. This kit enables you to make beads anywhere you go. Throw some extra glass in the tube, and head over to your friend’s studio or your local school.
Advanced kit: 3 sizes of tungsten mandrels – 3/32” – 1/16” – 1/8”
3 rods of North Star glass for embellishment
Reusable PVC carrying case
Beginner kit: 2 sizes of tungsten mandrels – 3/32” – 1/16”
2 rods of North Star glass — Instructions and PVC carrying case.
by Beau Anderson, 2013, beauxbead.com
LIQUID CORE TECHNIQUE
by Beau Anderson
This kit introduces you to a new method of bead making, which I have been practicing and teaching for over 10 years. This technique brings us many new possibilities that I hope you will enjoy discovering as much as I did.
I was inspired by murinis as a child, as some of the first beads I ever saw were fantastic murini beads by Bryan Kirkfleet. I made my first murinis under the instruction of Sage, at the age of 12 and was inspired further by studying ancient beads and bead making methods. Over the years I noticed beads that seemed impossible with the traditional lamp wound or cane pulled methods. Some seemed to be pierced, off mandrel work. But the most obvious version of this is with pierced murinis. In some ancient beads we notice a perforation larger on one side than the other, suggesting the use of a tapered mandrel. This type of mandrel was used often without separator (a method which some parts of the world still work with today). I assume this same type of metal rod was used to pierce murinis. But I thought I could do that with tungsten, which I used already for plunging and piercing as the glass blowers do. This idea came back over and over every time I saw these pierced murinis. Eventually I tried it with some success, but just enough to say, “I should try that again.” It was tough because the handle always overheated with the super conductive tungsten, either overheating the pin vise and burning my hand, or burning the wooden handle. Somewhere in these initial experiments I had the murini stuck to the tungsten and the pin vise was too hot to work any longer. I instantly grabbed a piece of pyrex I used for a puntee and tried to mount it to the part of the tungsten, sticking out of the other side of the murini. Once attached I got the hot pin vise off with my pliers and my tungsten pyrex connection seemed solid, which surprised me. Once I got it straight I went to break the murini off with my tweezers, and something bizarre happened. The murini just came right off the tungsten with a nice hole, after all that. There it was! –a new idea, make a bead on the tungsten.