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Lorraine Chandler 2007-08-11 8:51am

Poll on bead presses and shapeing tools
There are so many shapeing tools and bead presses out there that I thought it would be interesting to see just what kind of impact they are having on lampworkers?, and which ones are most highly favored.

Consistently means not gathering dust because you use it frequently.

What are your three most favored and used presses or shapeing tools and tell us why. Is it just you like the shape itself, it fits into your jewelry creations better size wise, the tool itself is fast and easy to use, seems to sell better, etc....

Please tell us which ones you bought and then didn't like and why.

Lastly how many of you feel you have turned into a "glass TOOL junkie"?

I always thought I would never have much to do with frit....YEA, RIIGGHHTTT!

I'am thinking I WOULD be a tool junkie but I can't afford to be, right now. But I'am working on it.

ElaineRusk 2007-08-11 9:26am

love, love, love, new tools
My favorite is Catt's sleek pillow. I bought the rippled pillow and ruffler at the Gathering and having loads of fun with both of them.

AlivELampworK 2007-08-11 9:28am

i use the crunch and i have overages of presses. but the crunch i use by far the most and have no problem selling beads made with it. in fact, just from experience selling, people really like that shape too.

Hayley 2007-08-11 9:33am

I use the Zoozii's 1" Tile Large the most - I don't fill it up but use it more as a "masher."

stefanie 2007-08-11 9:47am

My 3 favorites are the Squeeze and Zoozii's straight sided lentil trio and her nugget trio. I use them every couple of set but I mostly make small round bead sets.
Stef :-)

Lorraine Chandler 2007-08-11 11:27am

This is very interesting. Thanks for all of the replies so far.:smile:

I am always impressed at the resourcefulness of lampworkers to invent ideas for implementation of items to use as glass tools. =D>

They always seem to come up with ideas to use tools for much more than that which they were intended to be used for.

Such a creative bunch of people we are!!:wink:

beadysam 2007-08-11 11:39am

If it goes wrong it gets made into an organic and gets crunched!

debkauz 2007-08-11 12:08pm

Well I couldn't vote because I have 10-15 and I almost NEVER use them.

Three Muses Glass 2007-08-11 12:30pm

My favorites are Zoozii's Crystal and Catt's Deeper Crunch and Wide Crunch. I love the crystal shape! And the Crunches are more than just a crunch. One of them has a reversible bottom and the tops of either of them make great marvers for olive shapes that you can leave be or crunch. I also like the Button quite a bit but you said 3.

Shapes I've bought but don't jibe with the way I work would be anything with corners. Tiles, Kaleras, etc. I do better mashing them and then shaping.

NLC Beads 2007-08-11 12:32pm

Crunch press, love it.... I use the spiral second most.

Lorraine Chandler 2007-08-11 12:35pm

Hey Deb,

Sorry you couldn't vote. I would be more than happy to give those poor darlin unused bead presses a good home:-\" :wink:

Magicfire 2007-08-11 12:48pm

I have lots of presses, but seem to use the straight-sided lentils the most. However, I am getting rather tired of that shape and have recently rediscovered a love of lentils!

Also, my new favorite tool is the quad bicone roller by Cattwalk. I absolutely LOVE rolling those fat bicones!! It is so easy to use! I haven't had that much luck with rollers in the past, but I'm in love with this one!

I made these beads a couple of days ago, just playing around. I think I'm going to remake them for ebay with better dots. Some of them were too big and got distorted (the dots, that is!). But I'm crazy about the colors and the shape!

And no, I know that you don't need a roller to make bicones. I am perfectly capable of making bicones without a tool, but rollers make it so easy and quick, it's a lot more fun. I get more beads made, quicker, and they are more consistent in size. Just thought I'd mention my opinion on that, since I have heard disparaging comments on using presses or rollers in the past. It is just my opinion, of course! :) I'm all for using a tool that makes me more efficient and is fun to boot!


EstherD 2007-08-11 1:28pm

I have more tools than hours spent at my torch.

Otter's Flame 2007-08-11 1:37pm

I only own one shaping tool these days, a marble mold and I use it frequently. For me personally presses etc just didn't work out. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE OFFENSE........I looked at my beads one day and decided they all looked the they came out of a press....and to me they were boring. I like other people's pressed beads, I have nothing against presses or pressed beads...but I decided that I did not put enough creativity into my beads if I pressed I broke from the direction I was headed and decided not to use presses etc. I kept my marble mold and it is an invaluable tool for me.


Magicfire 2007-08-11 1:57pm

I certainly respect your opinion! I would never tell an artist how to practice their art.

I do make a lot of beads that are not pressed too. You can check out the food bead exchange for a good example! :D

I also like to manipulate the bead after it has been pressed. Like using the smallest straight-sided lentil to make the hamburger pattie part of a hamburger bead. LOL


LyndaJ 2007-08-11 2:38pm

#1 cattwalk crunch
#2 lentil (love the shape, but it's hard for me to get it consistent, especially with clear glass because it breaks the release in the center.)
#3 jim moore lentil - forgiving in the amount of glass to get a good shape on a large lentil.

I use the others some, and just got a crystal that I need to try out. I love the look of the shape, but I'm not sure how comfy the finished beads are in bracelets. Like Patti said, a lot of the pressed beads are a starting point for something sculptural - straight sided lentil for dog and cat heads frequently

Lorraine Chandler 2007-08-11 3:16pm

Otter, I totally understand your thinking about bead presses. Anyyone can start with a mass produced pressed bead mold but the fun in those is how they individualize it. Glass color, textures, and as Patti said manipulation..etc.

I also love and understand a preference for shaping tools, much more freedom in the making of the base bead.

I really do not think I could have enough of them at this point in my glass bead making life. :waving:

Holly 2007-08-11 7:49pm

I have a graphite Osibin Lentil Shaper, a small graphite shaper that's cylindrical with one side cut off, and I just got another graphite Osibin shaper.
Except for the new (unused) one, I use them all the time, usually in ways they weren't really designed to be used :) I like them a lot!

caspertorch 2007-08-11 7:58pm

I use the spre trio alot - though Ionly use a duo of the trio -- the tiny one is too tiny...
I also just got (from villa design) a 1 inch nugget and a 1 inch Tab which ILOVE!
And the one I wish I used more and will as soon as I get a bigger torch is a 2.5 inch spree.

I have 6 hole marble mold on the way and can't wait to get it == though still MOST of what I do does not encompass a press.

Ruth Nichols 2007-08-11 9:13pm

If I had to pick a tool (other then my own of course) it would be Cattwalks!

Otter's Flame 2007-08-12 2:34am

Exactly...that is the fun and creative aspect of it....all the work you do after you create the base problem was that for some reason I could not get myself thinking far enough outside of the box to make anything creative once I pressed the beads. Everything took on a very boring similarity that I really didn't like. That is why I wasn't knocking people who use presses. There are some amazingly creative people out there who start with a pressed bead and can do wonders with them.....I am not one of those people :)

sarsigirl 2007-08-12 6:10am

I love the Zoozii presses and the small brass stump shaper I got from Arrow Springs. I only bought the stumo shaper because it was the only one they had but now I think I got the right one the first time.

The Zoozii presses straight side lentil is my complete fav. It's got the best shape and feels good even just holding it. I also like the kalera and the nugget shapes.

Bead release - I have been using a sample of the new FosterFire Smooth & Tuff and I love it!! Even if I am klutzy and break off the release I can keep working on the bead, anneal and it and it still comes right off the mandrel with no problem.

Just Nancy 2007-08-12 10:00am

None of those match me. I own two. One press and one 10 way (or some number) marver. I'm not even sure the special marver is out on my bench and I use the press on occasion.

I keep thinking if I get a mini Kalera long and lean or something similar to the squeeze (but without a base) that I'll use it more. But with my track record of how little I use my lentil I am cautious about spending the money.

Lorraine Chandler 2007-08-12 12:35pm

I hear ya Nancy..I really like my tongs the best.

I have the mini lentil and the lentil spiral and they are so easy and quick to use. I wish all of the bead presses came in a tong....I would be buying them all.\\:D/


AnnDK 2007-08-13 12:22am

Ooooh the satisfaction of taking a bead, that didn't turn out the way I wanted it too, and press it in my newly won brand-new-used mini lentil press!!!
(I have used it every time I've torched since I got it last week! - Thank you Wendyki!)

Oh! I also use my graphite padle and my heart-shapen mandrel a lot!

:D Ann

Sheltie19 2007-08-13 5:34am

I have Tradesbears press.. and I use the oblong tab alot.... and I have her bicone shaper and have used that several times.. and love them both.. I also have another tool of hers.. shaper I guess you would call it.. and it comes in very handy... fixing up some stuff on a bead... and it doesn't stick to the glass...
I also have a zoozies knob press.. have the used the heck out of that... but I am finally finished my knobs for my kitchen.. so I can see I wouldn't be using it a whole lot now...
But I am thinking for my sister's birthday.. I might make her knobs for her kitchen.. so it might be getting some hard use again.. LOL

Glass Gardens 2007-08-13 5:52am

Greetings all and please don't take offense to what I am about to say. I LOVE TOOLS!!!!
But one thing I have kept myself from investing in are the presses. I feel it is more important as an artist to get better at what I do. I also notice that I scroll more quickly past the pressed beads than the hand shaped ones in the show n tells.

So I have been spending the $$$ on glass instead.
Have a great day everyone

ElaineRusk 2007-08-13 4:28pm

I think I just figured out how to post a picture! This is my favorite right now!

jaci 2007-08-14 1:06am


Originally Posted by debkauz (Post 1323174)
Well I couldn't vote because I have 10-15 and I almost NEVER use them.

well you can send them to me for storage... i won't even charge like they do for furs and such!!!! :wave: :grin::grin::grin:

sue i'll have to let you borrow a press! they are really fun!! hey... how come i haven't seen you in show n tell!!!
Coach purses

rainygrrl 2007-08-14 8:43am

Elaine, that bead is gorgeous! What press did you use?

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