You may have many pretty ornaments made up of different glass beads. Have you ever thought of making your own beads? I once tried, and here I am sharing the particular procedure of glassblowing with you that is called lampworking.
Tools and Materials:
Tools and materials you will need to make Glass Beads are UV protection safety glasses, Propane or Gas Torch, Core rods, Bead release, Drill and bits, Glass, Baking Soda, and Copper Winding Wire.
Procedure of Glassblowing:
To make a bead, you need to hold the coated core rod in your hand at 900 of the flame and heat it slowly. Preheat the glass very slowly and carefully with your other hand; make sure that the core rod must be warm enough for the hot glass to stick to it.
Once the tip of the glass starts glowing, it is ready to submerge in the flame. You need to gently roll it in your fingers to heat it evenly. Once you see a glowing drop of glass hanging down on the end, apply it to the coated section of core rod while rolling it. The molten glass will stick itself to the rod and when you have used that glowing drop, cut the glass rod away from your new bead by holding it in the flame till you see the thread separates. Repeat the process to get the required size of the bead.
For the bubble glass beads, apply opaque as the base color of the glass, head the whole bead for glowing and as the glow fades, roll it in the heap of baking soda, it will help it in cooling down faster. Keep the rod warm in the very end of the flame at the time you are heating transparent glass in the flame’s base. When you have a good amount of transparent molten glass drop, apply it to the outside of the bead to coat the opaque color. The moment you put it on, the bubbles of baking soda will begin to form. You need to heat the transparent glass to make your bead looks nice and even. Try not to heat it too much as overheating will result in the bubbles to burst and leave you with craters. You need to play around with it to get it right.
You must anneal your glass beads so the risk of their breaking can be eliminated. Beads can often break because of internal stress of being cooled down speedily before reaching the room temperature or while you are taking them off the core rod. I used Japanese annealing bubbles to cool down my glass beads in one piece to room temperature.
Tips you must consider:
- Always hold the core rod and the glass rod or stringer perpendicular to each other.
- If your bead is not symmetrical, heat it in the flame to molten and constantly roll the core rod, let the core rod cool down afterward.
- Before putting the bead into cooling bubbles make sure that it has stopped glowing.
This is how you can make your own glass beads to make your own stylish jewelry.