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lldesigns 2006-08-05 10:37am

Stupid Newbie Mistakes for Laughs
I haven't see a thread like this anywhere and thought it might be fun to "admit to" some of the silly biginner mistakes being made.

Okay everyone, fess up.

I just spent the last week using silver pink thinking it was ivory. I couldn't figure out why some of my beads were looking vaguely metallic or why I kept seeing a hint of pink in the base! (I usually work at night because of heat issues so the lighting isn't the best.)

I wish someone had been video taping last night when I tried to put my first dots on a bead. HELP! How do you do it without ending up with stringers when the rod is pulled away. My son was getting hysterical watching me struggle with this. The long strings would double back on the bead and attach in a different spot. The stringer hanging off the rod would curl up in the flame and I'd have this long dangling "snot" drip to deal with. What am I doing wrong?!!

I'll try to get some pics up of my goofs later. And go ahead and move this post if there is a more appropriate place for it.

Come on everyone - join in. :lol:

LL Designs

GinnyHampton 2006-08-05 10:40am

Don't etch your beads in a glass . . . . :roll:

lldesigns 2006-08-05 10:41am


Rebekah 2006-08-05 10:52am

Don't try to catch flying marbles with your collarbone.

Ouch and funny.

chrisdd 2006-08-05 10:53am

Too funny!

Laurie, it sounds like you might be applying your dots with the bead in the flame. If that's what you're doing, then try applying your dots with the bead out of the flame. Only put the bead in the flame to melt off the stringer.

caycay 2006-08-05 10:59am

I always wanted to poke, tweak or otherwise touch hot glass - ouch!

Ann Conlin 2006-08-05 10:59am

Don't ever turn to talk over your shoulder to a friend. I speak from experience that the tip of your index finger doesn't feel great after spending a split second in the flame. #-o

Try flame cutting your stringer before you pull the rod away from the flame. I suspect you are pulling the rod away after you remove it from the flame.

lldesigns 2006-08-05 11:09am

Ouch everyone! And thanks for the tips. I'll let you know how my next attempt with dots works out.

one-eared pig 2006-08-05 11:13am

i just made a twistie (and i use that term loosely).. i snapped it off the madrel, and picked it up. with my fingers. D'OH! suprisingly, no blisters. but i am done for the day. i figure this a sign that it is time to do laundry.

i don't really have any pics of any good mistakes. well, many of my beads start off as something else. they just change halfway through the creation.

Karen Hardy 2006-08-05 11:16am

My lessons learned as a newbie:

1) You don't have to twirl the f*cking mandrel like propeller when making a round bead. Sloooowwww it down. Let the bead shape itself.

2) Don't wipe hot rods on your shirt to clean them. If you do, get used to your husband asking you "who's been whipping you today?"

3) If the bead looks and acts like dripping honey, it's probably time to remove it from the flame.

4) If the length of the bead is from the flame to the desktop, and the bottom of the bead is shaped like a puddle, it's DEFINITELY time to remove the bead from the flame.

5) Don't try and catch hot glass that drops towards your lap by closing your thighs quickly. No no, bad thing.

6) Before blowing through glass that costs $3000 a pound and is only available every other month in 1/4 lb increments if you have 6 forms of ID and four friends wiling to vouch for your character and have a notary sign and send the check federal express overnight along with 4 pints of blood, you might want to read up on forums about what other people have tried, so you can avoid ending up with a set of muddy, cracked beads with an average cost of $50 each.

lldesigns 2006-08-05 11:25am

OMG Karen! My eyes are tearing up from laughing!!! I've done all but 2 and 5.

one-eared pig 2006-08-05 11:27am

keep a mental picture of what you want to do. don't get distracted by how cool the glowing, molten glass looks. i tend to get distracted by the glass and lose track of what i set out to do.

Ann Conlin 2006-08-05 11:29am

Karen, I just bought some of that glass you refer to in #6...thanks for the tip. LOL!!!

lldesigns 2006-08-05 11:45am

Melissa - I picked up my first twistie attempt to admire it: not once but twice! I figured it would have cooled in the 2 seconds it sat after I dropped it the first time. :oops:

Limelight 2006-08-05 12:15pm

Don't touch the end of a mandrel while it sits in a hot kiln. I've burned myself not once but TWICE trying to separate two beads that stuck together while placing a newly finished bead in the kiln. My fingerprints will never be the same.

Use tweezers when picking up something from the "mug warmer" plate.

Make sure your elbow pads are clear of all glass pieces.

Don't try holding a hot bead on a mandrel and the newly used glass rod in the same hand while trying to pick up something with the other hand. Put the rod DOWN.

Don't try flicking off flaking bead release with your finger.

I've done many more dumb things and I'm sure I'll do more.... but I am more careful now.

silkys 2006-08-05 12:33pm

Ok .. ive never done this but find myself always compelled to .
Burnishing in silver leaf of foil... anyone else catch theme selves Almost using your finger ?
Chants to self.....Your not leafing a frame , your not leafing a frame , your not leafing a Damn Frame you idiot you .

caspertorch 2006-08-05 1:35pm

Similiar to the pink/ivory thing.

I had no idea what a striking color was. I had a rod I thought was a light light amber and I thought I was going insane when Red beads came out of the kiln. I swore up and down that they werent mine... that I didn't own any red, never bought red, how could they be red?

It took me a week to figure out what the deal was... not to mention bright red and dark amber look really weird together.... i'll see if I can find the beads and post them... I'm sure they are in my daughters "play bead" box.

So this and then also that no matter how sexy a low cut shirt may be, it is NEVER a good idea to wear one while torching cause then it's a sure thing that your light amber will get all shocky and explode into many molten shards of flying debris which will land snuggly between your boobs making it impossible for you to wear said low cut sexy shirt for the next three weeks until the blisters and red swelling go away -- not to mention the scars that even vitamin E cream won't lighten.

Yup -- being a newbie is a wonderful thing.

Michelle Walsh 2006-08-05 1:47pm

Don't make the first pound of glass you buy be opalina nile green, then wonder why it's so hard melt and why it always has black webbing all over it. #-o


Michelle Walsh 2006-08-05 1:48pm

And if you take a class and the first thing your teacher does is teach you how to pull stringer, don't think, "that's nice, but I'll never use that." Doh!


lldesigns 2006-08-05 2:00pm

I'm so glad I started this. I think I'm learning more from everyone's mistakes than anything else so far.

LOL Becky! The red beads MUST have been a surpise. I'm going out now to find some striking colors. I didn't know what they were either. Sounds like fun (if you're prepared for it!).

Angie; I think I have a piece of glass permanently embedded in my elbow. Too late to learn from that mistake.

Janelyn; Yes yes yes...I almost did that on my first attempt with silver foil. I burnished on the marver as I'd been instructed to do but when I saw a section that was a little loose, I reached out with my finger to smooth it down. Thankfully I didn't get very far before the heat reminded me what I was dealing with...!

Heather/Ericaceae 2006-08-05 2:53pm

In my first glass, I thought the black plastic tip protectors on new tweezers were part of the design, and didn't take them off before grabbing some hot glass. I was so nervous and excited that I was trying just to follow instructions, and that bit was never mentioned... :) The instructor though I was pretty dumb. :)

Thatw as three years go, but I'm a kiln-owning newbie now, and just afew days ago I made a complex, 45 minute floral bead aand was about to put it in the kiln when I realized it wasn't hot at all. I'd set it to run at the controller, but it was off at the pyrometer (which I always do when I finish a session, for safety... *usually* I turn it on at the start of a session...). So I had to hold the bead in the flame for 20 minutes while the kiln warmed up. Which didn't help the bead. >:I Dumb! ;) -Heather

Northern Heron 2006-08-05 4:17pm

I've only been torching a little over 2 months and I've learned a whole bunch of the things mentioned here, but I'm glad to read so much more to watch out for and hopefully am able to store it in my memory bank!

Great thread, BTW.

BarbC 2006-08-05 4:24pm

Those darn marvers stay really really hot for a long long time after you have been rolling a nice hot bead on it! :shock: Never ever use a rod of glass to scratch your head! Burned hair smells really bad! Never pick any part of a bead that cracked of the mandrel and thats not why those little glasses of water are on your bench! ie (to put you burned finger in so ya don't tell the teacher what you did!) It's really to cool of your tools!

Abacus Beads 2006-08-05 4:36pm

Cant take the time to read everyones mistakes so if this happened to someone else I'm sorry but my most awfull mistake was to wear a "V" neck blouse to torch in, Yep right down the front between the two girls
Liz R

Michelle Walsh 2006-08-05 5:01pm

Oh, and where there's smoke, there definately IS fire. :cool:

Don't ask me how I know.


Sherri*S 2006-08-05 5:41pm


Originally Posted by MapleValleyGlass
Oh, and where there's smoke, there definately IS fire. :cool:

Don't ask me how I know.


Oh yeah, and *sometimes* when there is smoke, it might from your didys (now melted) and oven mitt that you left on top of the kiln. And if you try to get them off the kiln quickly and drop them on your synthetic carpet, it will melt and smoke like crazy too.
[-X ](*,) ](*,)

Michelle Walsh 2006-08-05 6:03pm


Originally Posted by shesmi
Oh yeah, and *sometimes* when there is smoke, it might from your didys (now melted) and oven mitt that you left on top of the kiln. And if you try to get them off the kiln quickly and drop them on your synthetic carpet, it will melt and smoke like crazy too.
[-X ](*,) ](*,)

LOL! Yes, it *might* be that. ;)

Or it might be the new t-shirt you meant to change before torching. Good thing I had my granny pants on!


VictorianAngela 2006-08-05 6:07pm

Don't use the butter knife you have just had near the flame to shape a bead to then swat a mosquito on your arm...

LoriBird 2006-08-05 6:47pm

Picking glass out of your bare feet smells when it do fingernails...and don't roll your bead in a plastic jar w/ frit..they tend to
melt [-X
whada fun thread!

lldesigns 2006-08-05 7:02pm

I will never wear a low cut top to the torch. That just sounds too painful. :shock:

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