View Single Post
Old 2008-01-21, 3:12pm
Otter's Flame's Avatar
Otter's Flame Otter's Flame is offline
He can do the origami
Join Date: Nov 24, 2005
Location: Najin Oyate
Posts: 1,474
Default Heart Outline tutorial

Hello everyone, I thought I would offer up a brief tutorial. This is a pendant I have been making for a couple of years. This heart pendant was inspired by my good friend Brent Graber. Some of you may know him as Mr. Smiley. Brent makes awesome boro heart pendants that I have always admired. A couple of ears ago, Brent wrote a tutorial on how to make his hearts. I jumped right in with not enough experience, talent or skill and tried to make one. The results were less then what I wanted.

I stuck with it, trying to make a heart from his tutorial. One day out of sheer frustration, I attacked the blob of glass that should have been a heart with a pair of scissors and had an epiphany. Right in front of me was something else I had been trying to create, unrelated to Brent’s heart pendant. I was trying to create a heart outline pendant from a twisty. My frustration with Brent’s tutorial accidentally took me in the right direction on a totally different project. Last year at Glass Stock I used this as my demo piece and got to demonstrate it to Brent in person.

Heart outline pendant:
Materials: 2 rods of clear glass
2 rods of solid color glass (different colors)
Tungsten pick or thin brass shaper or other manipulating tool

Apply a thick stripe of one color to one side of a clear rod. Apply a thick strip of color to the opposite side of the clear rod. With your second clear rod, apply a layer of clear over each stripe of color. Apply a strip of clear in between the two stripes of color on each side of the clear rod. Heat this through, grab the end with your tweezers and twist the clear and colors into a twisted gather. Do not pull or elongate at this time. The object here is to create a gather with a tightly packed helix type design in it.

Heat this gather to a uniform round shape. You should have a round lolipop shaped gather at the end of a clear rod. With your second clear rod, encase the round gather. You can spiral wrap or stripe or whatever method you use for encasing. Heat the encasing in and shape round until you have a smoothly encased round gather. Tip: Let your initial gather cool and solidify a bit before encasing. It will make encasing it easier if the initial gather of glass is not moving around.

Heat the gather and allow gravity and heat to elongate the encased gather. You do not need to speed the process by pulling the gather down. As the gather begins to elongate, the helix design in the gather will begin to “unpack” and pull out into a twisty type design of two separate colors around a clear core. Depending upon the size of your initial gather, allow the gather to elongate about one inch or a little more. Tip: You will want to direct most of your heat to the bottom two thirds of the gather to elongate it. You do not want to heat the original clear rod too much or your gather will pull down and thin out the clear rod. You might accidentally melt the clear rod and your gather will fall off

Now that your gather has elongated, and before it cools too much, take your scissors and cut the gather right up the middle from the end of the gather almost but not completely to the clear rod. The process of cutting it should spread each side out so it looks like an upside down “Y”.

This might be a good time to add some insurance heat. Once you are satisfied it is heated add some heat to the ends of the cut, take your tweezers and gently pinch the ends together, then melt the ends together. Flame polish the inside of the pendant where you cut it. Add some heat to the area you welded together, using your tungsten pick, push from the outside toward the inside to form the “crease” of the heart.

Shape the heart to your liking, add a loop, then flame cut the end of the heart where the clear rod has been attached. When you flame cut the clear rod, make sure you heat the pendant too much or it will deform as you pull the clear rod off. Shape the point of the heart as you pull off the clear rod.

The photo of the final pendant came out terrible but I can’t seem to get a good picture of it no matter what I try. These pendants are fun to make and are great sellers. There are a lot of variations you can do and a lot of experimenting that can produce really nice results. The tutorial is for a very basic design. If someone tries this tutorial I hope I see pics.

Reply With Quote