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Beads of Courage


 
  #1  
Old 2006-09-11, 11:37am
James Smircich James Smircich is offline
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Default SMIRCICH: Round bead tune up 101

Friends,
I received this question from a novice beadmaker who needed help getting a better round bead from a disk, al la the Smircich method as presented in my first video.
Here is the question:
I have been following your video instruction to make a basic bead by first laying on a small bead and then winding on glass on top of it and melting it down. I come out with a beautiful bead shape - there is something very organic and balanced about it - but it is always a donut shape and no matter how long I apply heat, it does not go to round. I would like to use your method for this rather than other techniques, but I am missing something here. Suggestions?
My reply:
When the disk melts down far enough to soften the little bead at the center, you must NOT let the mass fall off center as it begins to move left and right along the mandrel. Having just said that, let me say now that this is where most novices begin to go wrong. I have found that most novices are a bit too timid with the heat at this very moment. This will retard the spreading of the bead. Most novices will lift the bead from the flame for a moment and then return to continue heating. They do this many times and get poor results because the cooled bead doesn't have a loose enough viscosity to move out along the mandrel and the glass remains as a donut or bagel shape. Your statement says that "no matter how long I apply heat, it does not go to round". I suspect that you are not heating the bead hot enough, i.e. to a full yellow heat.
Here is what I suggest you try on a few practice beads (ones where you can allow yourself to maybe get the bead hotter than you have been getting it, even if that means that you may lose control of the bead completely). When the bead loosens at the center and begins to spread along the mandrel, take note of where you are in the flame in relation to the head of the torch. You may be somewhere between one and three inches from the "cones" of the flame at the head of the torch. You should be about two inches from the "cones" for proper melting. Begin reading the color of the heat as the bead begins to spread. It will soon show a bright yellow color of heat and be very loose. NOW move the bead outward within the flame until you are about three inches from the "cones". Watch the COLOR of the heat within the bead drop a little bit from FULL YELLOW to LOW YELLOW. Along with this change of color, you will notice that the viscosity will change a little bit also. When you do this, you are using the cooler part of the flame to get control of the very loose glass. NOW move back toward the torch and see that the color will again brighten to a full yellow. It is this full yellow color/viscosity that will allow your glass to move far enough to form the full bead shape beyond the donut/bagel shape. Moving outward in the flame allows you to gain control of the hot glass without retarding it by removing it from the flame. Do a dozen PRACTICE beads and try to control the glass at a hotter yellow each time. You will find your own place in the flame for making a perfect round bead by observing the color of the heat and only moving outward within the flame for a moment to keep control and then returning to a hotter yellow color to let the glass to move far enough to complete its shape.-----
Send me your questions and I'll try to answer them for you and all of the readers here at lampworketc.com. Tell your friends about this posting. SMIRCICH

Last edited by James Smircich; 2006-09-11 at 11:44am.
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  #2  
Old 2006-09-11, 11:46am
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swanseafarm swanseafarm is offline
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Thanks for the great tip!
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  #3  
Old 2006-09-11, 12:12pm
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I love your videos! I made my first hollow bead with no trouble at all because I've used your disk method from the start. I've also had nicely rounded and dimpled beads right from the start which, after reading these forums, is apparently not that common for newbies. If you haven't tried Smircich's video's, I highly recommend them!
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  #4  
Old 2006-09-11, 12:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lldesigns
I love your videos! I made my first hollow bead with no trouble at all because I've used your disk method from the start. I've also had nicely rounded and dimpled beads right from the start which, after reading these forums, is apparently not that common for newbies. If you haven't tried Smircich's video's, I highly recommend them!

Ditto Ditto to all of the above!
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  #5  
Old 2006-09-12, 10:44am
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Awesome - thanks for posting here, Jim!! You are such an excellent teacher! -Heather
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  #6  
Old 2006-09-12, 5:12pm
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Jim, you are great! I hope I get to take a class from you someday.

My issue is that I have been unable to be consistent in the size, width, of the glass that I wind around.
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  #7  
Old 2006-09-12, 7:35pm
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Thanks so much!!!
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  #8  
Old 2006-09-12, 10:18pm
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Karen Hardy Karen Hardy is offline
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Jim, you're on my "short list" of Instructors I hope to take a class
from someday. Thanks for all your instructives posts (and tutorials, and
articles, and DVDs...etc.etc.......)
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  #9  
Old 2006-09-12, 10:28pm
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Thank you, Jim. Again.

For any of you sitting on the fence and waiting for the right moment to study with Jim, do it is soon as you can. I took two days of one-on-one instruction with Jim a couple of years ago, and it showed me that all of the many beadmakers who recommended him were right. Nothing I have done has advanced my beadmaking skills so well, or so quickly, as studying with Jim.

Don't think you have to be past the newbie stage. The longer you wait, the more bad habits you will develop and have to unlearn. If you can swing it financially, learn it right from the beginning. Learn about heat control from the best in the business.

Jim taught me to work hotter than I ever had before. I had been working with a cooler flame because I was afraid to let the glass get away from me. I did not know how to control it. Jim will teach you how.

I wish I didn't live 3000 miles away -- I would definitely go back for more.

Barb
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  #10  
Old 2006-09-12, 11:05pm
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Hear, hear.

What I have seen on smircich's site, is nothing short of par excellence.

HOWEVER, as a newbie on fixed income it is quite difficult at this time for me to be able to afford one of his classes, let alone one of his DVDs. Almost all the money I get goes to paying the bills, and oftentimes I am left with nothing that will allow me to buy glass-related items (although in recent weeks it has gotten slightly better).

If presented with an opportunity that I will definitely be able to take advantage of, I will certainly not let it slip past.

PondRacer
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  #11  
Old 2006-09-16, 6:44am
natty natty is offline
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NO! DO NOT pass the opportunity to take a class with Jim even if you think that you are "good" !!!!
working since 2003 constantly as autodidact i took my first class with him last year in germany and he corrected 2 things........ just 2 little things but...................that was so important for my work

thanks Jim again for all your kindness and loving patience
nathalie
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Last edited by natty; 2006-09-16 at 6:47am.
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  #12  
Old 2006-09-16, 2:20pm
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Thanks for the tip! I do have a possibly silly question -- what is the difference between a donut bead and a round bead? Aren't they the same? What is the difference?

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 2006-09-16, 6:15pm
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Oh yes. I just got Jim's new video "Let This Be a Lesson to You". I didn't know I could control the heat. I thought the heat controlled the bead!
Thanks Jim!
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  #14  
Old 2006-09-17, 1:25am
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Margrieten Margrieten is offline
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James,

Is it possible to show some pictures about what you exactly mean?
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  #15  
Old 2006-09-20, 6:07pm
Livonia Glass Studio Livonia Glass Studio is offline
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Thanks for the great tip Jim. I hope you post more!
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  #16  
Old 2006-09-22, 6:03am
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As I understand it, a doughnut bead is higher, but with flatter edges (though with the puckered indentation)--in other words, it is shaped like a doughnut. A round bead is as perfectly round as possible but still with a small pucker. Correct me if I am wrong here -- newbie myself.

My question is this: do people consider well-shaped well-puckered doughnut beads any less of quality than a well-shaped round bead? I agree that it's important to learn to form both shapes so that you get what you want consistently. But I see a lot of doughnuts out there, and, frankly, I prefer the doughnut shape for both stringing and wearing, so that's the shape I work toward.
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  #17  
Old 2006-09-23, 7:22am
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Thanks Mincot!!
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  #18  
Old 2012-06-20, 10:48am
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I found this very helpful and just wanted to bump it up for anyone who hasn't seen it before. Thanks for sharing, Jim!
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  #19  
Old 2012-06-21, 1:45am
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Default Hotter flame?

Haha! I have always worked hotter in the flame than most, and when doing demos or teaching others who had some experience, I was always told that I worked too hot - too close to the candles (usually I am about 2").
I thought I was just impatient with the glass, and just put it up to "to each their own", but glad I am not the only one! )
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  #20  
Old 2012-06-21, 10:25am
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Sue in Maine Sue in Maine is offline
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Jim,

YOU are the reason I am able to be a lampworker. I've always wanted to tell you that and thank you. My hands are so shaky that without that little divot in my graphite paddle to help me hold a bead level while I work it, I would not be able to make a decent bead. I would have quit and given up a long time ago.

I've been fortunate enough to take some classes with amazing instructors at Playing With Fire (which everyone knows is my favorite 10 torch teaching studio in Rockland, Maine!) but, with the exception of my marble classes and my Trey Cornette classes, I use your method with my graphite marver in every single class.

Thank you.

Sue
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  #21  
Old 2015-01-24, 1:41am
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Bumping this for the Newbies!
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  #22  
Old 2015-01-24, 10:00am
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Lorraine Chandler Lorraine Chandler is offline
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A round bead is perfectly round, it will roll off a flat surface just like a marble. Anything donut shaped is actually toroidal shaped and will not roll but will sit on the table when laid down on one of the puckered ends, even if only slightly puckered. There are times when a desired shape is perfectly round or toroidal donut shaped. What is more important in the balance ( eveness ) in beads so that they look nice and hang properly when used in jewelry.

One of my pet peeves is seeing a beautiful bead with a bead cap on and it is crooked because either it's center is off or the bead is not balanced. Kinda like a picture hanging on a wall that is tilted. here is a great thread on round beads.

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...ighlight=round




Quote:
Originally Posted by FourTailsLampwork View Post
As I understand it, a doughnut bead is higher, but with flatter edges (though with the puckered indentation)--in other words, it is shaped like a doughnut. A round bead is as perfectly round as possible but still with a small pucker. Correct me if I am wrong here -- newbie myself.

My question is this: do people consider well-shaped well-puckered doughnut beads any less of quality than a well-shaped round bead? I agree that it's important to learn to form both shapes so that you get what you want consistently. But I see a lot of doughnuts out there, and, frankly, I prefer the doughnut shape for both stringing and wearing, so that's the shape I work toward.
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  #23  
Old 2015-01-24, 8:23pm
28676bhe 28676bhe is offline
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Tried Googling Jim's name to see if he has a class schedule for 2015. No luck. Can anyone help?
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Old 2015-01-24, 9:24pm
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Sue in Maine Sue in Maine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 28676bhe View Post
Tried Googling Jim's name to see if he has a class schedule for 2015. No luck. Can anyone help?
My understanding is that he has retired.

I would love to be wrong. He's a major talent.

Sue
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  #25  
Old 2015-01-25, 6:39am
Mesnik Mesnik is offline
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Someone mentioned "his videos"....

Are they you tube? Couldn't find it.
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