Sunday, April 24, 2011

Making glass beads in Kennett

The most important thing that happened today was making beads. My mom recently took a beadmaking class. She bought a basic torch head that screws onto a canister of MAPP gas. She got a few basic tools, and put the setup in her craft room. She showed me how heat the glass and twirl it onto a mandrel. From there, the bead is embellished then cooled. After it's cooled down, you remove the mandrel and that leaves a hole for string or wire.

That's a simplified overview. My beads are fairly crummy so far. Like everything, it takes practice. I've seen some really nice glass beads before, and this makes me appreciate the level of skill and difficulty involved.

I wouldn't say I caught the bug right away. I didn't work on beads for very long, and probably only made about ten. This is something I could see becoming a hobby though. I want to design and create some more difficult beads, and see if this is something I could get good at. Lord knows I need some new hobbies and skills. A very basic setup like my mom's is about $150. I think professional level torches start at around $600, but they are capable of working on much bigger projects.

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