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2011-03-20, 6:54am
What do you all do with the piles of hand pulled stringers you end up with after a while (I can't be the only one with these!). I just cleaned my work space (after about 6 months!) and have about 2 rods worth of stringers, and I'm too cheap to toss them. There are too many to try to sort, and I find when they are this thin, you can't REALLY tell what some of them are anymore. I thought I would just use them randomly on beads. Any more creative ideas out there?

Sue in Maine
2011-03-20, 6:56am
Gift a newbie! Then you don't have to deal with them anymore... of course, some would say I'm evil but a newbie might like them. One persons trash is another persons treasure.

Or you could chop them up, melt an end of your glass and dip in the chopped up bits. Then wind it onto a mandrel and see what you get. These are sometimes fun experiments.

(If you're tired of dealing with them, send them to a newbie!)


Elizabeth Beads
2011-03-20, 7:09am
Make dot beads for Beads of Courage!

Or, make a clean-up bead or two. One idea - base of ivory and silver leaf. Drizzle on assorted stringers, melt in, swirl and encase.

2011-03-20, 9:02am
Chop them up and make frit out of them! :)

2011-03-20, 9:21am
As a newbie I would love a gift like that BUT I'd suggest using them for dot practice and send them beads to boc for the kiddies. They'll probably be alot of fun to do and the kiddos will love them.
Just my 2 1/2 cents....


2011-03-20, 12:21pm
break it down into smaller sections. This will make it easier to sort. Sort by "general color shade" or just warm and cool tones... If you break it down you dont have to do it all at once. Get something to sort them in, and when you are waiting for your kiln to heat up, or to ramp down, sort a SMALL pile. I am 'Stringer OCD'.. so I would HAVE to ORGANIZE them, but not necessarily sort them out. As long as they have a home I'm good! LOL

2011-03-20, 12:31pm
i have a test tube holder.. its got like 10 or 12 tubes in it... and i put the stringer colors i use all the time. like, copper green, lt ivory, sis, clear, ask green, ochre, etc. then i know if i pull too much, it can go somewhere safe and i'll be able to use it.

2011-03-20, 1:32pm
the thinner they are, the more likely they are to hit the trash. White, ivory, intense black/hades, any silver color, and anything complex all get saved; anything close to 2mm+ gets saved. I tried saving the other stuff, but it gets all messed up and I can't find what I want when I need it, and I can't tell half the time what it is so I don't use it and it just piles up.

2011-03-20, 8:59pm
I've kinda decided that trying to use them productively often turns out unproductively. I use a lot of time to get a mountain of fuglies. I now close my eyes and swoosh the huge pile into the trash. (My stringers are pretty thin, so I tell myself I'm really not wasting that much.)

2011-03-20, 9:40pm
I like to make frankenrod marbles out of my shorts, you can do something similar with stringers.

Start with a neutral base color (or not so neutral..up to you) and start winding them on. If you put a layer of clear in between every couple, you can get some interesting looks.

2011-03-20, 10:10pm
Frankenrod Marbles!'re great! :)

2011-03-20, 10:28pm
If I can tell what color they are and they're colors I use a lot I save them. I have a spice rack in my home studio that holds them and at the art school where I hang out, I have this cool thing that my friends made for me that holds them - metal tubing that its on a magnet and holds plastic test tubes.

2011-03-21, 6:53am
The tweezers pinch is usually enough to ID the glass, so they either go back to storage with the rods or they get melted back into the rods in the beginning of the next session.
If I can't tell what color it is, I'm like Paulina: I play and lose. :lol:

2011-03-21, 5:20pm
i have a test tube holder.. its got like 10 or 12 tubes in it... and i put the stringer colors i use all the time. like, copper green, lt ivory, sis, clear, ask green, ochre, etc. then i know if i pull too much, it can go somewhere safe and i'll be able to use it.

Yep This is a great idea! I have done this with great success!

You can also get the Ice cube trays at wal*mart that make long thing rods of ice for water bottles. They are like 3 dollars, and you can label the front with dry erase or sharpie or whatever.

2011-03-21, 5:38pm

Yep, this is what I have.

If I need to pull a copper green stringer, I pull 5 of them. I use the one I needed and the others get put in the tube. The next time I need a copper green stringer, I won't have to pull it. I do this every time I pull stringer- I pull 5. I also keep twisties in these.

Now, I have to admit that I sometimes need to cleanse my palette so to speak and I either give them to newbies or I'll go overboard and add twisties, shards and murrini to the mix and sell it all off in the garage sale. I like to do that and totally clear my workbench. Start over.


Oh, forgot to say that mine are organized this way:

I have three of them. Two of them are for different COEs of glass--one is 96 the other is 104. The third is for twisties, neutrals like clear, white and black stringers and special canes like tentacles or murrini cane (all 104 because it is what I have most of).

I sort them in ROYGBIV order. Opaque reds and oranges, then transparent reds and oranges, opaque yellows and green, then transparent yellows and greens...etc, etc, all the way down to the purples.

2011-03-21, 5:47pm
Gift a newbie! Then you don't have to deal with them anymore...

of course, some would say I'm evil but a newbie might like them.


2011-03-22, 4:40pm
Mary I have them organized in the same kind of manor! The really thin ones I have in a tall skinny jar :) and my commercially pulled stringer is in a rack (that looks like a mini stacked wine rack) with black white and clear rods on other tiers. And I have one that is ROYGBP and one that is twisties, wig wags, vine cane, encased stringers, SIS, and black and white!

Oh and I have one that I have wine stoppers in!! IT is the PERFECT storage for them, and I can hold 25! It is perfect on the shelf for compact storage

2011-03-22, 5:25pm
...or they get melted back into the rods...

how do you melt stringers back into the rod?

2011-03-23, 5:58am
Wrap it around the end of the rod as you melt the whole thing together. If it ends up too big of a blob that it's going to explode next time you bring it to the flame, make a spacer.

Mitosis Glass
2011-03-23, 6:34am
I took a bunch of mine and squiggled them atop some opalino white glass oval-shaped beads. They're in my Etsy as Jelly Eggs (or something like that). I got a kick out of seeing all the colours together.

Of course I still have thousands of them, so this isn't a definite solution....

2011-03-23, 5:52pm
All this stringer talk is cracking me up! I thought I was about the only one out there with tons of stringers. Can't bring myself to throw them away. Never know when you might need a 911 stringer! Someone mentioned they put theirs in a glass jar. I do the same thing...but do you find that when you need it and try to pull it out it gets all tangled up with the others and the whole pile comes out of the jar?

Is there someone reading this now that would like some pulled stringers? I'll send some to ya.

2011-03-23, 6:17pm
I try not to keep any pulled stringers too long (more than a few weeks).

They grab dirt like crazy. Because they are thin, you don't always see it. Someone pointed this out years ago, I thought, that's crazy, but in reality it's true. Wipe a few down, you may feel differently about keeping them. I try not to pull too much, I try not to make too many twisties. Better amusing and ugly end of day beads than dirt that you don't realize is there until the next morning.

Mitzy B
2011-03-24, 11:57pm
I throw them away also because of dust on them. It's not worth the time to wipe them all down and I forget to throw a towel over them to keep them dust free.

Anne Ricketts
2011-03-25, 3:41am
I used to make Necessity beads (necessity to clean my work space off!) Clear base than whatever stringers I had I would use in random patterns. I also would give a bunch to my friend for haircuts! I have those icetrays too, they work great!

Sue in Maine
2011-03-25, 4:17am

David- one word: GLITTER!!!!!



2011-03-25, 4:43am
Im a newbie! Im a newbie! LOL!

2011-03-25, 8:48am
I am somewhat of a newbie too..

For many of you might not remember this far, but for newbies, making a stringer is a milestone achievement. And to hear you guys just throwing them away like leftover Chinese food from 6 months ago is giving me pain in places that I didn't even know existed!

I am voting for the option to give them to the needy! Is there a Goodwill or Salvation Army of the lampwork world??

-Christy :)

2011-03-25, 10:16am
I got up a bunch of really wide straws that I put the stringers in. I then add them (in the straws) into the corresponding or cubby......when I'm organized enough to do so. ;-) My commercial stringer is put away that way though. Forgot who I learned this nifty trick from.

2011-03-25, 1:53pm
I am a newbie, almost a year on the torch, and I can not even imagine having this problem. LOL. I have a small tray that holds all of my 7 hand pulled twisties, 10 wigwag attempts and a TON of very thin stringer. I use it as fast I make it. I bought some commercially pulled stringer, but I used that up. Maybe when I am a "big" kid I will understand this better. I make the funky kitchen sink bead when it gets less than an inch. That or put it in resin charms. The thought of throwing glass away is sacreligous! I even pick up the little thermal shock pieces and put them in color coordinated baby food jars for frit.
I have to get one of those ice trays! You guys are so smart!
Lea I love that idea too!

2011-03-25, 3:51pm
High Five to Bea!

I am the same way... I pick up those tiny broken orphans and put them in baby food containers...and say Ohhh you poor things...

Could I be a Glass Hoarder?? If I am, I am in denial.... a happy place...

2011-03-25, 9:33pm
I make junk beads! :) They're lots of fun and you never know what you're going to get! Of course...........I have to be careful doing this when I've been working 104, 96 and 33 simultaneously.......

2011-03-26, 5:47am
I have a metal strap that is screwed onto the 2x4 studs in my shop. There are also 2x4 "braces" between the studs all the ay around my shop. So I have place wide mouth mason jars on those mini shelves and the strapping keeps them from getting knocked off. I have stringer sorted into them.

One jar is stuff for florals, stripped stringers, one is twisties, one is all silver glass stringers etc etc etc.

2011-03-26, 6:12am
i have a test tube holder.. its got like 10 or 12 tubes in it... and i put the stringer colors i use all the time. like, copper green, lt ivory, sis, clear, ask green, ochre, etc. then i know if i pull too much, it can go somewhere safe and i'll be able to use it.

Me too and my test tubes are AliMade :D

2011-03-26, 6:13am
Bea PM me your address and I'll send you a box full of shorts. I keep trying to use them up but I think you would do a better job.

2011-03-26, 11:18am
I keep all my stringers until they're about 1" long before throwing them out. They're stored in jars of different heights and I keep normal colors separate from the hard to identify colors (strikers, silvered glass, lt and dk ivory, dense black, etc). Someone suggested straws and I've begun using those too.

2011-03-26, 11:26am
Throwing them away?!?!?!?!?

Hands over ears (or over eyes in this case) La la la la la la la la la la la la.....

Can't listen!!!

Elizabeth Beads
2011-03-26, 8:25pm
Take a class with Melanie Moertel. Or just study her beads. You will never wonder what to do with stringers again. :)

2011-04-01, 7:22am
what would you do with straws?

2011-04-01, 10:12pm
Write the color on the straws and store the stringers in them.

2011-04-02, 9:58am
Well, what did you do with them????
I finally, about 8 days ago figured out how to pull a decent stringer. 2 days later I took a class on stringers and twisties and have been having a blast pulling all kinds of things.
I'd love to see what you did with them and I'm gonna look up that Melanie person someone wrote about.
angel blessings everyone

PS...Oh MY!!! Melanie Moertel is a genius...back to dots and lines, wow, just wow.

2011-04-04, 7:57am
Well, I started this thread, and then my computer went kaput. Some really good ideas here! I have made some beads with random stringer designs. They were so-so. I will try Tom's idea, and layer the bead with clear between the stringer. That would be more interesting then a bunch of stringer on the surface. I think I will try to separate them into color groups. It will still be hard to tell what glass some of them are. Like Moretti purple trans and psyche, trans blue and triton, nyx, picasso and kronos, aqua and electra, trans green and gaia and pandora. I'll have to look for those ice cube trays, too. That is a great idea! What I thought I would do with them first is see if I can clean them in something first. A colander maybe? I have one made out of screening material. Or maybe some paper toweling in a baking pan and fill it with soapy water. Then I could lift the toweling out and rinse them off. I've heard a lot about beads of courage. How does one get involved in that?

2011-04-04, 10:09am
Hi Cate,

There's a forum devoted to BOC. Check out the top thread.

Also, sometimes you can see a little glint in the silver glasses to help tell them apart.

2011-04-04, 10:10am
Write the color on the straws and store the stringers in them.

I like this idea! I have the ice cube trays, but the stringers are still vulnerable to being snapped by clumbsy kitties or humans.

2011-04-04, 8:38pm
All this talk about stringers made me want to clean my work space! I decided to use my left over stringers, shorts and twist to make tiny, tiny beads on those tiny thin mandrels. This was actually a lot of fun! I will post a picture when I get time.

2011-04-04, 10:40pm
I gradually create more stringers than I can use. I start each torching session with the stringers I need to pull and sometimes pull more than I use. Sometimes I have to stop and pull more half way through. Anyway I always end up with more stringers and twisties and now murrini pulls than I can use.

So ... eventually when my jar is full ... into the garbage they go! They're never as useful after I've finished using them - I rarely know exactly what they are and are frustration waiting to happen. GET RID OF THEM!

2011-04-05, 7:12am
garbage- no patients or space for the mess- sad but honest!

2011-04-07, 12:42pm
garbage????? I burn thru glass so quickly just trying to learn even and round. I'll pay shipping for anybody's 'garbage'...shorts, stringers, tips/ends...
I've started putting my pulled stringers in straws, it's a great idea.
garbage???It hurts me to throw out the broken beads with bead release on them...:)I try to pick out the little pieces that don't have any br on them from the quench jar.
it's like the bone bag in the freezer, trying to live and learn a craft on disability for income makes ya really creative...the trash truck is outside and glass just broke, I'm gonna run out and sweep it up...just kidding, but the trash guy just broke something big and glassy.