Lindsay’s got a bead torch! {what could possibly go wrong?}

Happy Saturday folks! I waited for my kids to go back to school before I tried out the new toy I got for Christmas: A Fireworks Beginner Bead Making Kit! I’m glad I did because once I fired that puppy up I didn’t stop until I had made beads on all of my available mandrels (metal sticks.) Look at what I made!

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The only trouble I had with the process was removing the beads from the mandrels. They are sitting in the freezer right now in hopes that they might loosen up a bit otherwise I have a snazzy new set of plant stakes! :D Or I have to go after them with the hammer and I really don’t want to do that. After making 2 beads, it was easy you see, I decided to make a video about it, it is not sped up anywhere so you can see the full process and how long they take. I explain the materials  how to light the torch and the supplies, have a look:

After I shot the video I decided to do some experimenting because I thought it would be swell to be able to use the major amount of scrap glass I have accumulated for my bead kiln (boy, I really like to melt things!) so I grabbed so longer scraps and started melting. It worked! I soon figured out that I could not mix my stained glass and Italian rods but I suspected that was the case as it is with fusing glass in my kiln. I did not try dichro glass because that would be asking for trouble in my novice hands. I found a great you tube channel by Kate Drew Wilkinson on using scrap glass and I really recommend checking it out. She is a classy lady with a soothing British accent, she is like the Bob Ross of beadmaking LOL!

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The bumpy turquoise brown bead and the funny orange cylinder were done with stained glass scraps. After watching some of Kate’s videos I can’t wait to try again because her designs were classy and gorgeous! I wonder how long my tank of gas will last? I am surprised at how loud the torch is, I don’t think I would try and use it if my kids were home and I was the only adult around because I would not want to get distracted and it is hard to hear over. I wonder if the big refillable tank kits are as loud because in watching other videos it did not seem so noisy, hence the close-captioning during the flame work (I know how you love my witty comments LOL}

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So, there you have it! It is fun to make lampwork beads, now I just need to figure out how to get those suckers off the mandrels. I’m not sure if I used too much bead release (because it wanted to flake off) of if I just did not clean my mandrels well enough before I coated them. Oh well, if I have to break them I can use them for fused glass elements or smash them into frit, no biggie-hey, I even sound like I know what I am talking about, nice! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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11 Responses

  1. When I took a bead making glass their mandrels had what looked like a permanent layer of bead release on one end and you could easily see it where your mandrels look all “clean” to me. I wonder if there are different types. The place I went is Beads by Design in Atlanta (Marietta), GA and they may be willing to answer some questions for you. I had also heard you could soak them in water overnight to get them off. Your beads look more fun than the ones I made in class!! Can’t wait to see more!


    • I had already soaked them at this point so it rinsed off the bead release that was visible. I’m just g0ing to try tapping them with a rubber mallet and it they don’t budge I’ll smash them off and try again! Thanks for the info, I’ll check it out. I reckon I did not wash the mandrels well enough before I coated them and some bead release flaked off while I was making the beads:) 2 came off well…trial and error:)


  2. Beautiful, but Way beyond my patience. LOL Your sleeve was making me nervous, I was worried that it was going to catch on fire. Let us know if you get the beads to loosen.


  3. Wow these are lovely…you have much more courage than I do! Love to read if you got them off.


  4. What a fun video! I do love your whitty comments and am also surprised you didn’t catch your sleeve on fire. Can’t wait to hear if you got the beads off or if they have become fused glass elements.


  5. Beautiful beads….I can certainly understand why you don’t want to do this when the kids are there – LOL!
    Paper Hugs,


  6. I enjoyed your video and your comments were funny! :) Thanks for sharing. I hope you are able to get the beads off without breaking them. I always wondered how these beads were made.


  7. Hey, after watching you make some beads I want to make some too. Do you recommend this set? It looks pretty nice.


  8. That looks like fun but you did make me nervous watching your sleeve and the cooling blanket was in front of the Mapp gas tank! I kept thinking you were going to stick your arm right in front of that flame! I know I bet its just what your Mom said right? Really does look like fun though.


  9. I so want to do this, but my luck would catch something on fire. Your sleeve really had me worried. Would be interested to find out if you finally got them off the mandrels (sp?). Can’t wait to see more of what you have created.


    • gosh, my sleeve was not that close, it looked like it though! I tried gently tapping the beads off with a rubber mallet but it did not work, I had to smash them. I think I did not clean the mandrels well enough before I coated them because some of the release flaked off in the heat so I have washed them well, recoated them and will try again today! I’ll post how it turned out!


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