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Bobby 2005-07-19 10:41pm

small off mandrel leaves
3 Attachment(s)
This came about through Nicole.....Janelle and Kari.
What a fun group of glass lovers.

I haven't seen Jiley in a long time and it was wonderful
to be able to see and talk to old glass friends.

While I was giving Jiley a quicky tut I met the most fun three people
and ended up sharing the leaf process that I do with glass.
This is not new to the feild but is the way that I have found to play with
the glass.................and I do so love leaves. I told the girls that I would
send them the tut and since it is now done..............what better place to
share than with the forums that I sooooooooooo lurk ! ! !

What a wonderful day with glass people................WOW..........

O.K. shorter version for a leaf tutorial.

In making the leaves you will be working off mandrel.
Before you start wrap a ss wire around a mandrel with scrap wire.
The scrap wire can go into the kiln with no problem.
I have reused mine more times that I can count.

To Start:

A.......add a ball of glass to a mandrel.
keep the glass at the tip.

B.......Take your tweezers and mash down the center.
keep water handy to cool your tool with.

C.......One one side mash three times.
keep the leaf warm only.
C.......Heat the next side on the edge and mash again.
Flash to keep warm. It doesn't take much.

D.......Rewarm but don't lose the design.
Heat the top just a little and pull the tip out.
This lets the point and the leaves curve.

Play can make many different shapes.
The fun thing with off mandrel is that you can shape
your leaf and design it forever before you attach it to
the sterling silver wire.

After you have your leaf the size and shape you want,
heat up the mandrel where the glass is attached and
pull the leaf off with a pair of tweezers. Keep the leaf
warm and pick up the mandrel with the wire on it and
just heat the sterling silver and the glass enough to be
able to slip the ss into the end of the glass leaf. You
may have to do this a few times but the glass and the
sterling silver wire will stick to each other.

After they come out of the kiln I just rub the ss with my
fingers a little and it takes off any of the darkness
from being in the kiln.

1.......Wire wrapped mandrel. The ss wire is slightly
curved around the mandrel so it will not slip
while attaching the hot glass to the hot ss wire.

2.......Leaf right out of the kiln.

I filed down a pair of tweezers to be able to make thin
veins for the small leaves.


Bobby 2005-07-19 10:48pm

2 Attachment(s)
OH ! ! !

The reason for the tutorial:

WhiskerWood 2005-07-19 11:36pm


Bobby thank you SOOO much!!!!
What an awesome tutorial!!!!!! \\:D/

It was great to meet you!!!
I am glad you came out of lurk mode for this!!!

StLouisBiker 2005-07-20 4:38am

WOW! Great technique. Beautiful bracelet. Thanks for sharing.

beachbeads 2005-07-29 4:22pm

Hey Bobbie, I see you found this forum! How are you guys? Great tutorial. Sheila and Lee

Lara 2005-07-29 8:13pm

Very cool and what a great idea. Thank you for sharing.
Beautiful bracelet.


magnum 2005-08-16 1:30pm

this is an awsome tutorial,but yet i have trouble getting the wire to stick to the glass,maybe my silver wire is to big?hmm? i think it is twenty gauge,anyone have tips for me with this?

beachbeads 2005-08-18 5:48pm

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by magnum
this is an awsome tutorial,but yet i have trouble getting the wire to stick to the glass,maybe my silver wire is to big?hmm? i think it is twenty gauge,anyone have tips for me with this?

You pushing it (inserting) INTO the glass, right? And your wire is slightly heated? Here are of some of mine, I have had the pleasure of Bobbie showing me to do this in my studio! I modified her instructions though and used a leaf masher.

mary1_$ 2006-09-05 11:30am

Thanks so much. I,m learning something new everyday thanks to people like you. Thanks again Mary Miller

pipojasper 2006-09-05 12:12pm

Wow, that makes it sound so easy! Thank you for posting this. I need all the help I can get! :)

LadyCrow 2006-09-09 7:33pm

Just Awesome...Thanks a bunch for posting this !!!

mtarara 2006-09-11 1:12pm

Wow! What a great tutorial, and perfect timing!! My pet-sitter wants to trade jewelry for petsitting my yorkie; and she wants a necklace with leaves!!
I was trying to make them on the mandrel and not liking how the hole looked!!
These will work perfectly with how I want to design my necklace. Thank you so much!!!
Mary T.

beadandi 2006-09-11 2:07pm

Great tutorial....but doesn't sterling wire burn up in the flame?


Bobby 2006-09-11 11:31pm

The wire can burn up if you leave it in the flame. I get the glass very hot but not runny and then heat the wire just a little. Not the red glowing look........more like the dark grey look. Work close to the flame with the glass and the wire and it will all come together when the glass is very soft and the wire a dark grey. Sometimes I let a very little ball gather on the wire and then when I add it to the glass there is a little more body to be inside of the leaf. After the leaves come out of the kiln they are a very dark greay and I take a rough cloth and pull up the wire and this seems to clean it and work harden it a little.

Bobby 2006-09-11 11:34pm

Oh ! ! ! In the answering I forgot to thank all of you for looking at the tutorial. I still have fun with the leaves done this way. I too didn't like the look of the hole that the mandrel left and wanted something more delicate for the leaves. Thanks again ! ! !


beadandi 2006-09-12 5:13am

Thanks Bobby...can't wait to give these a try. I have been unhappy with my on mandrel leaves also so this looks like the perfect alternative. Thanks again.


beachbeads 2006-09-16 1:31pm


Originally Posted by Bobby
Oh ! ! ! In the answering I forgot to thank all of you for looking at the tutorial. I still have fun with the leaves done this way. I too didn't like the look of the hole that the mandrel left and wanted something more delicate for the leaves. Thanks again ! ! !


You've been online!! Where are you guys? Last I heard was Salem and Norm got a job? Contact me and lets get together, you need a coast trip! Sheila

A.Loomis 2006-09-21 4:30am

Hi Bobby,
I love the idea of poking wire into off mandrel work to use it -- I'm going to adapt that for other off mandrel thingamajigs I try.

Quick "off topic" question - you mention a "Jiley" -- is that a nickname for Janelle? My daughter is a Janelle, and we call her Jelley or J, but I LIKE Jiley for something different.


KAS 2006-09-21 4:14pm

Thanks Bobby for a great tutorial...I too don't like the look of the hole when leaves are made on a mandrel. Yours are beautiful! What size silver wire did you use? I don't make jewelry so don't have a clue what size or where to buy. Thanks again for taking the time for this tut. =D> Kathleen

Bobby 2006-09-21 10:48pm

Hello there A
Jiley is a beadfriend that makes wonderful beads.

Poking metal into melting glass is fun isn't it. Take pictures when you do.

Bobby 2006-09-21 10:53pm


I have used 20g and 18g. Mostly 18g. It depends on how heavy I want the piece to look. I put a very large leaf on 16g and it was o.k.. I buy sterling silver wire from RioGrande but you could get it from most any jewelry supply catalog.

Bobby 2006-09-21 11:22pm

If I can remember how to load a pic I can show you a box of leaves that I keep handy. Also a bracelet that I have worn off and on for the last 5 years. It is holding up very well......Enjoy.........

I need to get on here more often.......the how to of "workings" have gotten a little rusty for me.


Bobby 2006-09-21 11:25pm

O.K. for the box of leaves. I usually make pendants with them. The biggest ones are 2" long.


Bobby 2006-09-21 11:28pm

Well hello there ! ! ! and make sure to say ""HI"" to Adrian......he is a cool guy.


G.L.McBead 2006-09-22 10:17am

What type of SS,Dead soft,HH?
Thanks for the tut,

Bobby 2006-09-22 11:52am

Hi G
You are very welcome.
Half hard..........I have used dead soft and for me it melted way too early and balled up to soon. It was good for head pins but too soft for the leaves.


hulagirl 2006-10-01 8:53am

Wahoo! How cool!

Gail Kops 2006-10-01 1:06pm

Great Tut!
Hi Bobby...wonderful tutorial - am definitely going to try it sometime. One question - in picture #1 where the wire is shown on the mandrel, what kind of wire is holding it on, or is all of the wire sterling silver?

As I understand it, the wire stays in place and becomes an embedded headpin?

Thanks! Looks great!

Bobby 2006-10-01 3:21pm

The wire that holds the sterlingsilver wire on is just uncoated wire that I had laying around. You could use any craft wire. I use the same piece over and over. It never gets too hot to burn up. When I take the leaves out of the kiln I take off the craft wire and just have the ss wire attached to the leaf. Head pin style....yes. Then you can pull on the ss wire to harden and straighten it a bit. Some times I pull it through a green scratchy to shine and work harden the wire.

Thanks again for liking the tutorial.


Bobby 2006-10-01 3:35pm

A few ways I have used the .....headpin style.......sterlingsilver wire.
My image loading window has problems
................gotta go find Norman.
Will have to load them later.


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