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-   -   Artichoke/Lotus/Pinecone Bead Technique (

PolychromeBeads 2007-04-26 7:56pm

Artichoke/Lotus/Pinecone Bead Technique
I apologize for the poor quality of the pics. Very hard to have someone photograph while you're torching!

Step One: Make the core - use a dark color for light colored petals, or a light color for dark colored petals (enhances the contrast). Here I am using black as the core for the Raku petals. It should be very thin, so marver it well! Then add 4 dots at one end for the innermost petals. I find that starting on the end furthest from your holding hand works best. I also usually score the first with a razor petals since they are right at the edge of the core and can't be raked.

Step Two: Dot each of the petals with clear. Make sure they are completely covered to the edge of the black. Melt smooth, angling the mandrel so the clear "leans" to the edge (it won't produce a nice, puckered end yet).

Step Three: Add 5 dots for the second row of petals, centering the dots on the edge of the previous petals. I do 4 dots on the first row and 5 thereafter because I've never been able to get 5 on the first row! I do think it looks best with an odd number of petals. Melt the dots flat, then heat each dot and gently rake the end to a slight point. Don't overheat or rake
too hard, or it will distort the previous layers.

Step Four: Add clear over the new petals. Rather than just dot the clear, I dot it on and slide toward the pointy ends of the petals. You need to make sure to cover all the petal, including the raked points.

Step Five: Melt smooth, and then gently marver to get a slight cone shape. You should start seeing the puckered end on one side by now.

Step Six: Add a third row of petals, rake, and case in clear. Of course you can keep adding rows as long as you like! When you have the desired number of petal rows (or run out of space on the core!), heat the whole bead again and let gravity shape it into a fat teardrop.

Step Seven: This is where I add some leaves. I use a cane made from copper green striped with black, pulled to about a 2-3mm stringer. Swipe on leaves starting from the mandrel edge and going towards the middle of the bead. Again, I usually do 5 leaves per bead.

Step Eight: I finish by adding a small dot using the leaf cane right at the mandrel edge in between each leaf. This hides any small mistakes, and makes it look finished. Lastly, warm the whole thing up again (actually, you should be doing this all along!), making sure the leaves/dots are fused to the bead but not melting them in completely.

I hope this makes sense - I never knew how hard it is to write up a tutorial until I tried to do it!


ltsexpressions 2007-04-26 8:10pm

OMG OMG OMG, I've been wondering how to do this and had it right in my head but it CRYSTALLIZED with your tut!

Thank you for the AHA moment,


bead-licious 2007-04-26 9:14pm

You are so cool Aimee! Thanks so much!

Starrr 2007-04-26 9:15pm

Thanks Aimee!

Nice tut, easy to understand, you did a great job.

MaryBeth 2007-04-26 10:42pm

Thank you! This is a wonderful tut. And, very generous of you - I might add:cool:

bubblebabeuk 2007-04-27 1:30am

Wow cool tut!

Catts 2007-04-27 2:29am

Gee thanks a lot Aimee, I'm supposed to be making floral beads for a show & here I am spending the last 2 hours making 'artichokes'..... What fun....... Great Tut.

Kathy L 2007-04-27 3:57am

Thanks Aimee, Great tut,I have to try it right now!


Miss Kate 2007-04-27 5:03am

Thanks Aimee. That's wonderful!

Miss Kate

La Guera 2007-04-27 7:31am

What a great tutorial.



crystalflipz 2007-04-27 7:52am

Thanks Aimee!
Can't wait to give this a try.

Carmen Isaacs 2007-04-27 8:31am

Thank you so much!

KathyDinBC 2007-04-29 5:23pm

Thanks so much, Aimee. The instructions and photos are great. It's very generous of you to share this with us. Can't wait to try it.

mixednut 2007-04-29 5:51pm

Very nice those look like fun I am trying this one! Thanks.

Bruna 2007-04-30 9:00am


collectiblesbyrose 2007-05-06 3:03pm

I've always wondered how this was done. Thanks so much!!!

Lauri 2007-05-07 4:33pm

Thank you for the tutorial, I have wondered how these were made.


Teri.p 2007-05-07 5:03pm

Great tut, Aimee! I made one of these beads last night; it went really well until I applied the leaves.

I was listening to an audiobook and it was a very suspenseful part so I wasn't paying enough attention to my glass. I applied the leaves to the top. You may have heard me say a bad word rather loudly.

Teri P

PolychromeBeads 2007-05-07 5:39pm

Thanks for all the nice comments folks!

I thought I heard something way in the distance last night, Teri - bummer about the leaves! I wish I could say I never do things like that, but of course I can't...:rolleyes:


Catts 2007-05-13 9:25pm

1 Attachment(s)
Inspired by your great tut Aimee, I've been making clover flower drops.....:) Kerry

PolychromeBeads 2007-05-13 9:35pm

Kerry, that is way cool!!! And what is that lucious purple...?


Catts 2007-05-13 9:54pm

Hi Aimee, the main purple is a Moretti dark violet but I did mix a little transparent amethyst with it for the last couple of rows. They are really fun to make & were very popular at the Mother’s day craft market. Kerry

PolychromeBeads 2007-05-14 12:05am

Very nice! I think the blended colors really make it!


Carolyn M 2007-05-25 7:53pm

Great tut. Thanks so much!

My Bloody Valentine 2007-06-05 8:36pm

Stunning Catts and thank you Aimee for a wonderful tutorial! I love the colours you got out of the Raku.

PolychromeBeads 2007-06-05 11:36pm

I wanted to share my latest - these are bubblegum pink petals:

I still think Kerry's purples are da bomb!


Ekkie 2007-06-06 12:24am

WOW!!! They are brilliant Aimee.

Is there a trick to colour selection? When I tried my colours just dissipated into the clear. I tried raku first bead and teh opaque red on the next. I wondered if I should put a white dot under the coloured dot so the colour wasn't swallowed by the clear.

Any thoughts?

Great tutorial - it is so clear and straightforward


PolychromeBeads 2007-06-06 8:44am

I think the main "trick" is to not apply too much heat when melting the dots. Just enough to get them almost flat, then pulling the points will finish them off. Also, make sure you cover them completely with clear, or the color will spread (and some colors spread more than others!).


Catts 2007-06-06 2:14pm

They are just beautiful Aimee, I will have to try some more of these. Now to get some bubblegum pink & I was trying to be so good this month.... So many colours, so little money.... Kerry

Hi Jenn..

Ekkie 2007-06-06 11:46pm

Thanks Aimee

I will try again.

Hi Kerry....

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