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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

View Poll Results: What method do you use when creating hollow beads?
I use a puffy mandrel and blow the hollow 30 21.74%
I use the standard 2 disks built together gradually 110 79.71%
I buy them already made 1 0.72%
I have a better method, and I'll post it in this thread! 7 5.07%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 138. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 2012-11-15, 6:22am
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I really like doing hollow beads from pulling points and using tubing.. I know.. I am crazy
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  #32  
Old 2012-11-15, 6:46am
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I'm better at 2 discs with 104. It takes practice. They don't float like the ones I make with a puffy mandrel. It's all about first footprint of each disk then heat control.
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  #33  
Old 2012-11-20, 1:02am
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I use the 2 discs method like Tammy described. I havent made that many and so they're a bit thick walled! Haven't decorated any, just used transparent glass. Do you decorate after its reached full size, not heating too much to keep it from deflating? Guess decorating before inflating will stretch the pattern...could be good!?
I quite like the effect of turning the round hollow beads into square or faceted ones....

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  #34  
Old 2012-11-20, 8:12pm
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I use the two disk method. Through PPP I discovered that I have much better control using commercially made stringer rather than full rods.

Now...if I could find an easy method of cleaning them
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  #35  
Old 2012-11-20, 11:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glasshobbit View Post
I've done both. The problem with the puffy mandrel is that my beads are lopsided. Just hollow on one side and solid on the other side. Need to PPP.
The bead store lady where I sell my beads goes BONKERS for the lop-sided ones................we may be onto something here. LOL
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  #36  
Old 2012-11-20, 11:28pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clh View Post
Now...if I could find an easy method of cleaning them

I use a water pic made for teeth cleaning. Less than a minute and they are perfectly clean. Heat them in the microwave for a short time, to get all the water to evaporate from the inside.
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  #37  
Old 2012-11-21, 9:19pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SerendipityArtGlass View Post
I use a water pic made for teeth cleaning. Less than a minute and they are perfectly clean. Heat them in the microwave for a short time, to get all the water to evaporate from the inside.
Ooh! I'll give that a try! Thx!
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  #38  
Old 2012-11-26, 7:43am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinj View Post
The "gradually move them together" method always resulted in thick hollows with a bubble on one side.

Paula Canant's method of building 2 straight disks and then connecting them (making a barrel shape) has given me great success.
I basically do this, I use a marble mold to help bring the 2 disks together in the right shape, and then again to even and round out the shape. usually a 7/8" ish size is what I lean towards somehow without trying ...(Even if using a puffy mandrel, and use the puffy mandrel just a little to even things out/add a puff of air, not to blow out the entire bead, i do most of the work w/o the blowing doing most of the work, its just there to expand and even the walls a bit. I do this in a marble mold so it does not over expand)

PS I also use a spoon to help bring the disks together before it fits in my marble mold. I find one with a big gentle curve.
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Last edited by jaci; 2012-11-26 at 7:50am.
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  #39  
Old 2012-11-26, 7:49am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glasshobbit View Post
I've done both. The problem with the puffy mandrel is that my beads are lopsided. Just hollow on one side and solid on the other side. Need to PPP.
Are you starting with a hollow here(i am guessing you probably are)? or are you starting with a hollow and then blowing. If not starting with a hollow, there is your problem, if starting with a hollow, try puffing more lightly, and maybe at a cooler heat, and possible a more even heat, you can always get the side that is not puffing hot again as well and puff out that side only, might not be even, but then again thats the problem already. Its kindda like using a press, you dont have to do it all in one puff, you can puff, re-heat, puff re-heat and keep going, you will have more control over your shape this way.
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  #40  
Old 2012-11-26, 2:30pm
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Here are my two methods:

1) Make two disks, bend them towards each other until they almost touch, and then fill in the gap.

2) Make two disks on a puffy mandrel, melt them a bit to get rid of any spaces, and in the process thicken them, curve them in to meet each other, not leaving enough air space around the mandrel, blow a few times unsuccessfully, making nice thin bubbles on one side, then give up, mush it flat, and stick millefiori into it, mush it around some more, spreading the millefiori around, and then give up. After annealing, have hubby dremel the glass out of the blowing hole. Look ashamed.
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  #41  
Old 2012-11-28, 7:14am
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Jaci, love the spoon advice
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  #42  
Old 2012-11-29, 9:44pm
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  #43  
Old 2012-11-29, 11:21pm
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I'm just starting out (this is my first post) and I've made a few successful hollow beads, (using the 2 disc method. I find making hollow beads to be very satisfying. I could get addicted to it.
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  #44  
Old 2012-11-30, 8:08am
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Welcome Levi!!!

You'll find a wealth of information on this forum, as well as some beautiful, helpful people.

I like all of the hints in this thread. Keep em coming.
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  #45  
Old 2012-12-04, 3:12pm
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I had success! the first trasparent bead I've really liked because there was no frosty core looking back at me! YEH!!!. I tried the 2 disc method and filed in the gap once they were close. Very thick sides but hey it worked.
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  #46  
Old 2012-12-05, 11:43am
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Great job!
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  #47  
Old 2012-12-07, 5:19pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverlilly1 View Post
Here are my two methods:

1) Make two disks, bend them towards each other until they almost touch, and then fill in the gap.

2) Make two disks on a puffy mandrel, melt them a bit to get rid of any spaces, and in the process thicken them, curve them in to meet each other, not leaving enough air space around the mandrel, blow a few times unsuccessfully, making nice thin bubbles on one side, then give up, mush it flat, and stick millefiori into it, mush it around some more, spreading the millefiori around, and then give up. After annealing, have hubby dremel the glass out of the blowing hole. Look ashamed.
Bahahahahaaa, #2 is too funny! I always wanted to try the hollow mandrel/blow hole method, but I know that's how it'd turn out for me, too.

I literally just tried hollows this week, and I use the 2 disc method. It works well for me.
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  #48  
Old 2012-12-07, 8:19pm
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To clean I use an old syringe like for refilling printer ink cartridges (blunt tip). The force of the water pushes out the release. I break any chunks up with the tip of the syringe and they rinse right out.
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  #49  
Old 2012-12-08, 2:36am
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Here's my best hollow. The first few were quite thick walled. This one is the opposite, thin and even walled all the way around. One thing I did notice is that the thinner the walls, the quicker the bead responds to being heated. I had no problems with burning a hole thru the beads, but they did mis-shape quickly if left too long in the flame.
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  #50  
Old 2012-12-10, 6:46am
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That bead looks SO GOOD!
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  #51  
Old 2012-12-10, 8:08am
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The bead is beautiful, and I love that color too, would you mind sharing what it is?
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  #52  
Old 2012-12-10, 4:11pm
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I have no idea on the color, I don't remember. The good news is, it's sitting on my workbench, and I'm pretty sure it's labeled. I'll let you know!
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  #53  
Old 2013-07-04, 5:54pm
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With the disk method on a regular mandrel, if you get a hole after heating the fused disks together, can you patch the hole or will the hole keep re-appearing?
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  #54  
Old 2013-07-05, 5:10am
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You can patch the hole. As long it's a tiny amount it will smooth out. My hollows are darn ugly when the discs are first connected. There is no need to make them pretty as they smooth out as you round them in the flame after connection.
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  #55  
Old 2013-07-06, 4:50am
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I'm so glad someone brought this thread back up. I haven't made a hollow since my newbie days more than 10 years ago. I would like to try this again, because i never saw any tutorials for them back then! A lot of good advice and what looks like new techniques. (new to me)
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  #56  
Old 2013-07-07, 9:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eregel View Post
Question - I love the "bubble" look of big, thin walled hollows - but how fragile are they? I worry about that constantly with beads, and hollows scare the bejeepers out of me!
They're supposedly sturdier than solid beads, because they have more surface area.
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  #57  
Old 2019-08-16, 9:45pm
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I blow them on the end of a blow pipe.
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  #58  
Old 2019-10-05, 3:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwantonetoo View Post
Which method do you prefer?

Do you use a puffy mandrel?

Or just the 2 disks side by side and build them until they meet?

I bought some puffy mandrels. I seem to be afraid of them. lol

I have ideas for the finished beads, but getting there seems to be an issue for me.
je prefere les deux disques
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