Lampwork Etc.

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Beatrix 2017-03-08 12:23pm

Pulling flat ribbon
So for my first pendant I decided to go bonkers and make an attempt at Mary Lockwood's crocus pendant. (Thanks for sharing it, Mary!) This being my first pendant, I didn't even bother trying to make NICE canes like she shows here but instead just pulled some straight colors, figuring I'd mess everything up and end up with a cracked pendant on top of it.

Well right off the bat I was having issues. I tried using pliers and squashing the end down and pulling slowly, but it quickly reverted to a round shape. So it goes from "mashed blob" to "toothpick" with very little area of the ideal thickness and flatness in between. Is this a matter of perfecting the technique, heat control and rate of pulling? I was wondering if it wouldn't be possible to get a much better length of flat stringer by pulling between two pliers that have flattened out either end, but then there's the issue of needing a third arm to pull off the rod from the gather while holding two pairs of pliers. >;/

I'll post a picture of my laughable attempt at the crocus tonight. It didn't help that I ended up twisting the entire thing so it's a real hot mess.

ESC 2017-03-08 5:39pm

Bea, I've always made flat ribbon by welding two or three pieces of rod, about an inch in length to each other, side by side. Have the middle rod attached to a punty, get all two/three pieces hot enough to flatten, attach another punty to the other end. Heat up enough again to pull. You don't get a really long piece of flat ribbon, but usually you don't need a really long piece of ribbon. Does this help?

Beatrix 2017-03-08 6:53pm

Huh, hadn't thought of trying that! Will have to see how that goes. And you're right, the length doesn't need to be super long by any means.

dwgrant 2017-03-08 8:59pm


Originally Posted by Beatrix (Post 4916430)
I tried using pliers and squashing the end down and pulling slowly, but it quickly reverted to a round shape.

Maybe I am misunderstanding what you wrote, are you squashing the "end" of the gather or the whole gather?

The whole gather should be squished to a flat lollipop about 3 mm thick, then heated up gently just enough to pull but not enough for it to "gather" round again. Wait a few seconds for a "skin" to form on the gather (the surface a bit cooler than the inside) and pull slowly.

The flat ribbon that results is really oval in cross section but is wider than thick so it reads as flat with rounded edges.


Beatrix 2017-03-08 11:11pm

Aaaaand there's the step I was missing! I hadn't flattened it out first, just melted it into a gather and pulled with pliers, which did make a flat section, but not very much of one. Thanks!

MagpieGlass 2017-03-09 12:18pm

Somewhere I also read ... use the side of a big mandrel or a chopstick instead of the tip to attach to the the flat lollipop and pull that way.

Goldena 2017-03-10 3:40am

Will you post your attempt? I want to try that one but need to know what difficulties i will have.

Beatrix 2017-03-10 7:55am

1 Attachment(s)
Hah, sorry about the delay on getting it on here.

So, knowing I was going to royally flub it, I didn't make the nice canes that were shown in the tutorial. Except the stamen, since I had some yellow filigrana I bundled some of that together and pulled a cane...way too thin at the end. Oh well, I just used that way too thin part since I was already half assing it. So I used that, and straight translucent purple for the petals, and slytherine for the leaves.

As seen in my prior posts, my attempts at pulling flat cane were not exactly sucessful. Plus it turns out there's a good reason an opaque is used as a base for the translucent colors, they nearly dissapate into the clear. However, I think I'll try it again with the straight translucents, but this time melt them only partially in. Just to see what happens. ;)

In any case, I think I had the center too hot when I started wrapping translucent around the petals, and that's what ended up corkscrewing the entire thing. I also didn't add enough translucent at the base, making the entire thing look like a bizarre jalapeno, especially with my first attempt at a glass loop. (Not too upset with that loop as a first try, actually)

Also the camera made the color stand out WAY more than it does in person.

As expected, it cracked at the bottom where I had puntied it (another technique I need to work on) but I learned a fair bit, and despite its many flaws it's still rather pretty. Not even going to gripe about the air bubbles, I'm lucky I got off as lightly as I did with all the wild flailing I was doing.

myrdlebp 2017-03-10 6:35pm


Originally Posted by MagpieGlass (Post 4916681)
Somewhere I also read ... use the side of a big mandrel or a chopstick instead of the tip to attach to the the flat lollipop and pull that way.

Wow! ](*,) So logical!

Thanks for that tip! :love:

rainygrrl 2017-03-12 7:20am

Beatrix, that is really pretty, even if it didn't come out like you hoped! Too bad about the crack. Maybe it got a little too cool?

Beatrix 2017-03-12 9:06pm

Yeah I wasn't very careful with it since I knew it was a wreck, the crack is where I puntied it (badly). Thanks though!

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