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Beads of Courage


 
  #1  
Old 2007-07-18, 3:33am
Sylvie D.'s Avatar
Sylvie D. Sylvie D. is offline
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Default Ring tutorial (sodalime glass)

I have received and learned so much from beadmakers on this forum when I started a few years ago that I feel happy, now that I have some experience, to finally be able to kind of give something back. So before I start this ring tutorial, let me just say a huge thank you to all those who have given here so generously their tips, tricks, tutorials and time.

Last year I took a class with the italian artist Diego Bottacin on rings. This one of the numerous ways he showed us to make a ring. A few months back, after having checked that it was ok for me to use, for an on-line tutorial, what I learned in the class including the pictures I took, I wrote it for the french beadmakers forum (very small community : about 130 members, but the beadmakers movement only started 4 or 5 years ago over there, the forum opened two years ago, and very little infos are available in french. Still, it is very nice to be part of it from the beginning). So here it goes, and this time in english :

You will need :
A big hole mandrel (bead release free)
A clamp (in order to fix / attach the mandrel to your working table)
A 10 mm glass rod of any color you like (a 10 mm works better but if you don’t have it, you can take 3 smaller rods and tied them together at one end with an elastic band : not as good, but it will do the trick)
diamond shears (nice to have, but not mendatory : you can find a way around it)
A marble mold or something similar
A fairly large masher
A tweezer
Shears
And a hotfinger

The trickiest part is going to be heat control and working speed (for this, fast is good). And again the 3 Ps rule applies.

On the pictures, you’ll see Diego Bottacin use a special italian tool (but I don’t know its name in english, maybe it’s called a ring mandrel or a ring stick ?). It’s a nice tool to have (but fairly expensive), because it brings your working area to eye level. But you can replace that by a big hole mandrel clamped to your table. Just be a little bit careful : after one or two rings, the mandrel gets hot and since it might be in your way when you get up, for instance to put the ring you’ve just made in the kiln, and you might burn yourself.

Now, take your glassrod and melt a big glob of glass, about 1 inch or a little bit less in diameter.




Then make a neck with your diamond shears where the glob and the rod meet.




Put the glassball back into the flame, get it evenly hot again. Next, you just want to slightly cool the surface. So you roll the glassball in the graphite mold (this step can also help you to realign the ball with the rod a little bit if needed).
Then, just squish the glass ball flat with the masher: you now have a lollipop shape.




But the shape you need to have is more the shape of what I call a « calisson ». What is that ?! it is a typical almond french cookie, it tastes really good and looks like this :





So what you need to do, is to pull a « point » opposite to the rod with your tweezer. You now have the right shape but the glass is not warm enough any more. Reheat the « calisson », one side at a time. The faster you have worked, the less you will need to reheat, and the better because you want to retain a nice « calisson » shape.





Now grab with your tweezer again the point of the « calisson » opposite to the rod, and place the calisson under the mandrel. Center it, lift it untill it touches the mandrel and close it to form the ring. The heat should be evenly distributed in the glass and you should pull with just the same strength and speed on each side.*





Remove the ring from the mandrel. Grab the ring with your hotfingers. Just heat the rod real close to where it is attached to the ring. Remove the rod. Then carefully heat the part where the ring was closed and cut off the excess glass. Heat that very spot to make it smooth. Put the ring in the kiln and voilà ! Or as Diego would say : e basta !



*Trouble shooting :
When you want to close the ring, you might be facing three problems.
• Once the glass touches the mandrel, it cools quickly. If the glass is too cold, you won’t be able to pull the glass and close the ring.
• If you’re glass is too hot (you’ve started pulling too soon), the ring will be too thin / narrow except for the top center part.
• If you’re pulling uneavenly, or more likely, if the heat was uneavenly distributed, you’re ring won’t be symetrical : one side will be broad, the other one narrow, and the center part might off.

A last little piece of advice : at first, don’t to make a fancy ring, just try to make a plain ring, I’ve found it difficult enough. And remember it’s easier to start with a transparent color.

During the class, I totally forgot to take pictures of Diego’s rings (it is a shame, since they are so beautiful) so, instead, here are some traditional examples (with gold leaves or silver foil) of Murano rings.

And one of the very first one I've made:


I hope this tutorial will be helpful! If you’re very interrested in making glass rings try to take a class with Diego : he is very talented and there is a lot more to this class than what I’ve just reported (I believe he is going to the gathering this year). And don’t forget to post pictures of the glass rings you’ll be making !

Last edited by Sylvie D.; 2007-07-18 at 12:20pm.
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  #2  
Old 2007-07-18, 4:37am
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How cool! Very pretty! Great tut also!
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  #3  
Old 2007-07-18, 9:32am
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This is awesome! Thank you for sharing. I've been wanting a glass ring but didn't know if you could do one with soft glass and I don't do boro....yet.
Great tutorial!
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  #4  
Old 2007-07-18, 7:25pm
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OMG, that is great!!! Wow, thanks for posting this and sharing it. I will definitely try this over the weekend!
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  #5  
Old 2007-07-18, 7:30pm
jokersdesign jokersdesign is offline
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that is cool rings.
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  #6  
Old 2007-07-18, 9:21pm
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You could work a ring like this in boro as well too? right? Thanks! Great Tutorial....
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  #7  
Old 2007-07-19, 12:51am
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Great tut, thanks!
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  #8  
Old 2007-07-19, 7:23am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbyanne View Post
This is awesome! Thank you for sharing. I've been wanting a glass ring but didn't know if you could do one with soft glass and I don't do boro....yet.
Great tutorial!
I believe this tut is using soft glass. It says soda lime glass.

Thaks Sylvie - can't wait to try this!
--Cherine
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  #9  
Old 2007-07-19, 7:38am
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This is great. Something new to try. I've been needing that lately.
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  #10  
Old 2007-07-19, 8:13am
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Thank you for your feed-backs (it means that I can make an understandable tut even in english!)

I've never tried boro (I'm so much in love with soft glass). But I guess you could make it with boro. The tricky part would probably be when you close the ring since I know that boro stiffens quickly. (it's tricky with soft glass too, but only until you get the hang of it). Give it a try and let us now.
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  #11  
Old 2007-07-19, 10:23am
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Oh yeah, I knew this was a soft glass tutorial which is what really made me happy. I just didn't know you could make a ring in soft glass. The tuts I've seen and rings I've seen made were usually boro.
I have been wanting a glass ring. Now I know I can make one!

Thanks again Sylvie! I wish I could rate this thread I'd give it some stars!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flame Crazy View Post
I believe this tut is using soft glass. It says soda lime glass.

Thaks Sylvie - can't wait to try this!
--Cherine
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  #12  
Old 2007-07-19, 11:31am
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Very Cool Sylvie!!! I can't wait to go out and try it!!!!
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  #13  
Old 2008-05-17, 12:44pm
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Oh, I have been looking for a ring tutorial like this for a long time. thank you for your generousity. Can't wait to try it!
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  #14  
Old 2008-05-17, 1:29pm
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Wow!!! Great Tutorial!!! Thanks for posting
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Old 2008-05-17, 2:46pm
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great tute, it is always great to see the Italians working. especially as they work in soft glass.
cheers, Bernard
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Old 2008-05-17, 6:43pm
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Very cool.
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  #17  
Old 2008-05-18, 7:45am
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I wasted $22 on the ring mandrel which I think is really for a lathe and now I think I have found use!! Thank you so much for posting this. The whole ring making thing was kinda hard for me to understand and ou just laid it all out for me!! Thank you for posting and I hope to see more! When I get a chance to play around, I'll let you know if and how my ring turned out!!
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  #18  
Old 2011-07-15, 3:14pm
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That's a great tut. I'll try it with boro soon (as soon as I cool off from this Arkansas heat) and see what happens.

Glasskat2010
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Old 2011-07-15, 8:24pm
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The thing I don't understand is, how do you get the "ring" off of the mandrel, since there is no bead release on the mandrel? I would think it would stick. Everything else makes beautiful sense and I thank you for the tutorial.
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  #20  
Old 2011-07-26, 4:48pm
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I think the mandrel is cool enough not to stick, like using a cold tool for shaping a bead?
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  #21  
Old 2011-08-01, 9:01am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tillie View Post
The thing I don't understand is, how do you get the "ring" off of the mandrel, since there is no bead release on the mandrel? I would think it would stick. Everything else makes beautiful sense and I thank you for the tutorial.
I think this is a similar method to what I learned in Italy (but I use a ring sizer rod thing stuck in a piece of wood so it stands up). You just use the mandrel for shaping; you don't leave the glass on it.

I've made these using the same method - apologies for crappy pictures. I've got better pics in my etsy shop.
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Old 2014-10-08, 4:18pm
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Just bumping this back up - it's been a while.
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  #23  
Old 2014-10-15, 8:11am
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where did you get that ring mandrel? I would love to try this =)
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  #24  
Old 2015-02-06, 7:40am
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Old 2015-02-06, 8:15am
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This is what I use to shape the hot glass - my fella drilled a big hole in a square chunk of 2" X 4" and we forced the end into the hole so the mandrel would stand up. After a few years, I had dropped it on the floor and the piece of wood broke in two; so now I just have the mandrel standing in a jug of water (for weight) - sizes 9 - 1 stick out the top so I shape the glass around whatever size ring I am making. I bet that's about a clear as mud.

http://www.amazon.ca/Solid-Steel-Siz...ng+sizing+tool
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Old 2015-02-06, 11:49pm
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Thumbs up Wow....

Much clearer than mud (btw) and a great idea!

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  #27  
Old 2015-02-07, 10:15am
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Apologies for hijacking your thread Sylvie D!
These were all make using the same technique as in the above tutorial.
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