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Beads of Courage -- Discussion for all things Beads of Courage; the only not-for-profit, arts-in-medicine program putting to use the talents of glass beadmakers to uplift children dealing with life threatening illnesses, their families and the people who care for them. Families, clinicians and artists alike are welcome to join in! (Thank you to Lampwork Etc. for supporting Beads of Courage and helping to foster communication!) PHOTOS OF INDIVIDUALS OR CHILDREN ONLY ALLOWED WITH THEIR SPECIFIC CONSENT.

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  #1  
Old 2010-02-06, 6:06pm
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Default butterfly murrini question

I am wanting to try my hand at making a butterfly murrini. I dont have a wet saw, so cutting the cane that way is not available, I will have to use tile nippers to get my slices. Due to the sssshape of the wings etc, I am thinking I need to put a clear glass between the wings etc, does this show later on the bead?

any tips or secrets to making butterfly murini anyone? got any lonks of the process.. I have made some murini before, just nothing that complicated.

help appreciated

Candice
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Old 2010-02-06, 6:21pm
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what do u mean by clear between the wings?
u dont have to, unless u wanna build a layer of clear in the cleavage between the top and bottom wings if that makes sense.
if ur putting clear to make the pull more even and protect the shape, you can do the same without clear by making sure ur punty is the same shape as the maria, nice and beefy to stand up to the pull without pulling out too thin, and just go for it.
you dont have to get the whole pull all in one pull either- you can focus ur heat on more to one side, pull it down, cut it off and put it in the kiln and then pull the rest. or pull them into more manageable diameters for repulling later. i say this cus i dont have a lot of wingspan to get a good long pull and its helpful if u dont have a partner to grab a punty and pull with you.
have u ever rebundled your millies before?
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Old 2010-02-06, 6:23pm
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and u shouldnt need a saw for something around a half inch or even 3/4. u can just score it and snap it or heat pop it, or use disc nippers if its smaller.
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Old 2010-02-07, 7:20am
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I was talking about putting clear between the wings in the "cleavage". All the murini I have ever made are round, square, triangles etc.. never anything with an uneven shape like wings and clevage.. seems to me you would get a lot of broken wings trying to slice it up, nip it up.

No, I have not rebundled murini before.... but this is how I would attempt it... assemble the bundle, and wire one end of it. Bring it up to temp in a kiln. attach a puntyl, attach another puntyl and slowly melt working from one end to the other so the bubbles work themselves out. am I on the right track?

Candice
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Old 2010-02-07, 9:36am
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You'll want to fill in the gaps between the wings with clear glass. My final butterly assembly has a layer of clear all the way around the butterfly. Cutting gets more complicated as the size increases. In my experience you can successfully cut murrini tha are about 3/8 of an inch or less and they will vary as to flatness and thickness. Anything bigger requires a wet saw to get thin (1-2mm), flat slices in a regular and predictable fashion. Depending on the saw blade you might have to polish slices on a flat lap. Unpolished sawn slices will often have bubbles on them when encased. If you have a very fine saw blade you can get thin slices that can be mounted on the surface of a bead with minimal scumming. Murrini butterflies are labor intensive but can be very rewarding when you get them done.

Robert

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Old 2010-02-07, 9:40am
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Great explanation, Robert! One "issue" I always have in attempting a monarch-type butterfly is telling the difference between red/orange/black in the hot glass -- they all look black and I lose track of where I am quite easily!
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Old 2010-02-07, 10:23am
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Quote:
Great explanation, Robert! One "issue" I always have in attempting a monarch-type butterfly is telling the difference between red/orange/black in the hot glass -- they all look black and I lose track of where I am quite easily!
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Sometimes the only way to tell is while the glass is actually passing through the flame. They glow in a slightly different shade, you just have to remember where they are when it comes back out. Can be tricky (for me it is).

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Old 2010-02-07, 10:42am
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LOL, yeah the little glow comes & goes, but I then become lost! Gonna switch to blue or lavender instead, I guess!

Quote:
Sometimes the only way to tell is while the glass is actually passing through the flame. They glow in a slightly different shade, you just have to remember where they are when it comes back out. Can be tricky (for me it is).

Robert
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Old 2010-02-07, 11:46am
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Quote:
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WOW! Those are totally terrific!
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Old 2010-02-08, 2:49pm
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Candice, Ryan T has a tutorial available. Check out the tutorial section under Cane, Millie and Murrini. I have made many butterfly murrini. A couple of things I have learned is that using yellow in a butterfly will sometimes cause an incompatibility problem. 5 out of 6 butterflies I have made had stress cracks in them. I avoid that color no because it doesn't happen until it is encased in the clear and by that time you have put all the work into it and find out you can't use it. (Heartbreaking) The other thing I do is to make sure I have enough clear around the outside of the murrini. When I apply it to the bead it gives me some room to gently pull off the outer edge of the glass. It tends to be scummy and I don't like to leave that on the bead. The more clear you have around the butterfly the better chances you have not to distort your butterfly. Robert shows good examples of the clear. By the way Robert, nice work! You are correct, it takes me 3 days of various pulls to make my butterfly, then the slicing and polishing to get a final product. Well worth it when it is all said and done and it looks good.

Lynn
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Old 2010-02-08, 7:03pm
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Lynn's right about yellows, especially Mustard. It would be great if it didn't shatter, but yellows simply do not work for soft glass murrini. Effetre special orange works for monarchs, but avoid reds, yellows and the ochres. The other thing you'll need is a substantial torch - I work with a Phantom. Tow kilns is a great help, too.

Robert

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Old 2010-02-09, 7:17pm
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wow thanks for all the input. I have a carlisle, in my collection of torches, so thats not a problem. I only have one kiln, but I dio have heavy gloves like you use for furnace work etc, so reaching in isnt an issue. Thanks for the tips on the colors not to use and where to find a tutorial. this helps me a LOT.

I have been really busy making BOC beads the last few days. We have a person from the hospital my guild sponsors( Florida Glass Dragons) comming to our meeeting next saturday to do a prersentation, and I want to make SURE we have a lot of nice beads to show.... so expect a nice shipment from our guild shortly. I will ship them out next week.

I will work on the murrini in the near future when I am not pressed for time.

Candice
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Old 2010-02-09, 7:39pm
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Murrini is definitely something to do when you are NOT in a hurry. There's a zen sort of thing about complex murrini - you've got to be relaxed and patient.

R
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Old 2010-03-03, 4:17pm
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I made yellow butterflies with no problems. I went back and looked at some beads I made with them more than 6 months ago and they don't have any cracks. I don't remember what yellow I used and I want to make more with yellow. What I want to make this time is tiger swallowtails with an quite a bit of black. Does anyone know what yellows besides mustard are bad in murrini? I was planning on using banana odd and light lemon. Anyone have murrini experience with these colors?
Here is one of the beads with the yellow butterflies.

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Old 2010-03-03, 5:35pm
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I used Effetre Special Orange for my Monarch butterflies. The mustard yellow was such a disaster that I've been reluctant to try any of the others.

Robert
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Old 2010-03-03, 5:44pm
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I used assorted oranges and corals for my monarchs. I was pretty concerned about the corals but I think since it was small amounts there weren't any issues. Maybe the secret is to balance the touchy colors with stable colors. I will stay away from mustard all together though! No reason to tempt fate.
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Old 2010-03-06, 8:18am
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I have heard that if you have an old batch of mustard (atleast 4 years) you are fine, and it has been my expierience that any of the special colors are touchy. Will there ever be a magic formula?!!!
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Old 2010-03-06, 10:18am
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I've not made butterflies successfully yet, but I hope you don't mind me chiming in with yellow-in-murrini experience.
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Heather Ferman whom most of you know well (a wonderful and successful murrini and bead maker who does butterflies awesomely) was kind enough to spend a little time chatting with me by phone about my murrini creations and we also discussed the possibility of disaster using yellows.

I've made a few murrini that used LOTS of yellow - and maybe it was just luck, or maybe it's the glass I used - but I've had no problems with them whatsoever! We're not speaking butterflies here, but I'm referring to my "Rubber Duckie" murrini as an example:


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As you can see here, this was a rather large gather (about 1 1/2" diam. before the pull, and on a Hot Head no less!):


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I used copious amounts of clear to stabilize the shape, being an odd one with tails and beaks and the like.
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For this, I used "Moretti Lt. Lemon Yellow" #591 404 and for the surround of the wing, I did indeed use "Mustard" - actually Moretti Ocher # 591 460 - but obviously in small amounts.

I have some of Heather's "Yellow Tang" murrini - which appear to be the same Lemon Yellow as my Rubber Duckies - and they are wonderful and stable as well. Maybe if you're gonna use Yellow at all, the Lt. Lemon Yellow is the way to go.

Interestingly, neither Heather's Tangs nor my Rubber Duckies come into contact with more than just a speck (eyes) of Black; whereas the butterfly wings are surrounded with the black outline. Could this have something to do with it? Just putting some thoughts out there...

De
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Old 2010-03-13, 9:16pm
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I would definitely agree with those who say you'll need to add clear. An odd shaped murrine would be very difficult to cut without a saw (if you want whole butterflies that is).

There are some amazing skills displayed in this thread. Kudos to everybody who posted their photos here.

Robert: do you have recommendations as to the saw and blade - for getting nice murrine slices? I'm looking into upgrading.
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Old 2010-03-14, 2:36pm
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I've been using a Mk 470 tile saw with a Saber 1000 lapidary blade with good results. I just picked up a QEP tile saw ($200 and change) and will be trying that out over then next few days if it's warm enough to cut outside. I cut some granite inside for my bench top last night and it's a messy child, though less so than the MK. It's also got a small reservoir than the MK and should be more manageable when using propylene glycol as a coolant instead of water. I'll post on how it goes.

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Old 2010-03-14, 3:46pm
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thanks Robert,

I have a 10" QEP.. what size is yours?

There is a slight lateral wobble as the blade rotates, so that with even the finest blades I get poor finish.. I'm curious to see how yours works out for you. Can I ask where you got it? 200 is a nice bargain.
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Old 2010-03-15, 5:58am
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Mine is a 7" that I picked up at Lowes on Friday. I can see how a 10 might develop a wobble with a thin blade. You might try adding a set of blade stabilizers from a woodworking saw to help with the wobble or maybe have the arbor checked out to be sure it's running true in the first place. The Saber blade is super thin - almost like stiff paper - so it flexes easily and you have to cut slowly. It gives a superb finish when you get it right. I've got a slightly thicker lapidary blade that I will try this week, but it isn't water cooled and I need to use prop glycol (RV coolant - pink) or oil with it - hence the new saw. I'm hoping to still get a good finish with a little more blade stability. The absolute best cutting I've ever seen is on a wire saw (the blade looked like a thin guitar string), but a refurbished one was $8K. I love murrini, but not that much.

Robert
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Old 2011-05-04, 10:00am
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I know this thread is a bit older, but I thought I'd resurrect it because now I have more questions!
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I didn't want to bother starting a NEW thread since some of my questions are ALMOST answered here and I know LE'ers get CRAZY with multiple threads asking similar questions, so I hope it's OK with Candace to camp mine on here too!
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So here's the deal...I'm trying, yes TRYING, to make some Butterfly Murrini that succeed! Of course, I stress the word TRYING since I'm somewhat limited by torch and such, but I've not let that entirely stop me in the past, so I persevere! Nevertheless, with my first close-to-successful attempt, I see some integral problems
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For starters, I put too much clear down and actually ON the area where the body should go where the two sides are intended to be brought together...argh! (Thumping myself on the noggin!) As you can see also my "wing" shapes are rather boring and too roundish, so I probably should have "triangulated" them considerably more so it would look less like a, well, hot dog!
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In addition, although I used clear in several of the "segments" of the wings (I was inspired by the Glasswing Butterfly and was trying to achieve a little of that "see through" quality) I still used ORANGE - yes, the dreaded orange of splintering, cracking fame - to go all the way around the wings. So...............does that instantly signal doom? I KNOW yellow - especially "Mustard" - can mean the demise of your murrini dependent on not only the age of the batch used (Jodie seems to feel the older batched stuff is more stable) but how much you use of it in the overall design as well.


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I had someone kindly PM me and let me know that they've taken both Loren I and II; apparently he STRESSES the dangers of using orange when making butterfly murrini (though I've seen Ryan do it successfully numerous times) and I'm wondering if I should even bother trying to finish these up?

I'll admit I'm determined to SOME DAY make a successful Butterfly Murrini, but have to say that right now with the "half" sections I've just completed, I'm feeling pretty down-trodden and depressed.

Any advice you guys can offer would be sincerely appreciated!


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Old 2011-05-04, 10:43am
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If you can successfully use orange in clownfish why not butterflies? My Monarchs are a blend of oranges and corals and so far (knocks on wood) no problems. Maybe they're ok since the size of my murrini don't exceed 10mm and Loren's are 20-30mm. I have beads I made with them from a few years ago and they aren't cracked.

I say go for it on finishing it. You can always heat and peel off some of that clear before you add the body. If your gather turns out too big for you to pull just stick it in the kiln and save it for a day you can visit someone with more fire power.

I don't think the wings look like hotdogs and I know it will look great when you are done!
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Old 2011-05-04, 10:58am
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I agree with jeepinwelch - orange works OK as a rule. Mustard yellow was a disaster for me. To solve the body problem you can attack it one of two ways. As noted above you can heat and peel off the clear over the body and build from there. Another cold working approach is to use a lap to grind off the clear before you pre-heat for final assembly.

Robert
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Old 2011-05-04, 11:10am
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Loren does say that there is a risk with yellows/oranges and murrini crrrracking...but it doesn't happen all the time. It's a gamble. Typically it happens, he said, if I am remembering correctly, once you have at least a full wing section all together and when you go to take it out of the kiln after annealing it has cracked apart.

Your wings with the clear where the body needs to go you can try fixing...just punty up to preheated piece and superheat just the clear where you need to put half a body...use needle nose pliers to grab clear at one end of cane/murrini and peel the clear off. Put your black in for head/body/tail and then cut to match two pieces together to make your full butterfly, fill in areas with clear to round out and pull. You could if you wanted try to squish your upper wing shape into a bit more of a triangle point at the top still, just takes heating that area to the core well.
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Old 2011-05-04, 11:11am
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lol Guess we were all writing responses at the same time! I got distracted and came back to mine to finish up and you two beat me to it.
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Old 2011-05-04, 11:20am
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Just took Loren's Butterfly class in February - we had two casualties including Loren's. He used a small amount of yellow in his and one student use red in hers - both cracked at the final stage on day five AFTER the butterfly was whole. Loren warned us that every time you use a hot color, it's a risk. It varies from color to color and even from batch to batch.

I agree that the smaller as well as less complex murrinis probably survive due to its size and less working time.
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  #29  
Old 2011-05-04, 11:30am
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WildatHeart WildatHeart is offline
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Quote:
Just took Loren's Butterfly class in February - we had two casualties including Loren's. He used a small amount of yellow in his and one student use red in hers - both cracked at the final stage on day five AFTER the butterfly was whole. Loren warned us that every time you use a hot color, it's a risk. It varies from color to color and even from batch to batch.

I agree that the smaller as well as less complex murrinis probably survive due to its size and less working time.
It is strange how it isn't consistent. Loren used yellow, orange and red in his butterfly when I took that workshop and it survived.
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Old 2011-05-04, 11:43am
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Hayley Hayley is offline
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That's exactly what he cautioned us - you can use the same glass from the same batch and it's fine but it might not okay if you ran out of that color and had to buy a new batch!
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