Lampwork Etc.

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-   -   Poll on bead presses and shapeing tools (

firedancer 2008-06-06 9:03pm

Dawn: Who sells, these fav presses you love so much. A picture, or a link? And what do the Crunch tools,everybody talks about, look like, or where can we find them?

simvet02 2008-06-06 9:17pm

Sue, are you under the impression that using a press makes it easier to shape a bead? I'm here to tell you that bead presses aren't easy. I have two of them and can't make them work to save my life. There is a learning curve

I got the small triple lentil and that one I will admind that I haven't spend much time with but the second one I got is a long curvy shape and I can't make it work. Most of the time the bead release breaks. I think its a matter of going slowing and adding glass a bit at a time and getting the glass in the right place before using the shaper. Time will tell. As I said, its a slow learning process. I'm hoping that once I get one to work right the rest will be easy.

Try one, you might like it.....:-)

jaci 2008-06-06 10:00pm

Jan try the the wiggle on the end of the mandrel, and take your time. Start with a long line of glass and work your way into the curves... it takes patients, and you are not starting with 2 easy presses. Try a pillow or a nugget press. They are very user friendly. I gotta say I have presses from 4 different companies and I like Amy's the best. Her quality is above and beyond!! (zoozii's) I really like my pillow press from Mikes brass for glass, because of the shape. If you get one you don't like they are easy to trade or sell in the garage, so you might as well jump into a few!

simvet02 2008-06-06 10:05pm

Jaci, by end of the mandrel do you mean right at the tip or long bead just to the tip. I'm willing to try anything to get this one to work. I love the look of it.


jaci 2008-06-07 7:48am

like so it only has one hole. They pop right onto the bead-able cheese knives, and canapé knives! SOOO kewl!! It really is the perfect handle!

Also keep a paintbrush on your work bench. When you flake, you can just sweep it out of your press (a small natural hair brush for painting walls, not paintings)

simvet02 2008-06-07 12:00pm

Ohhhhh, I get it. You really do mean the end of the mandrel. Cool. And the paint brush is a great idea. Today I blew the stuff off the press and some of it went into an open can of frit. Now I have to sit and pick the suff out. I hate it when I roll a bead in frit and there is bead release on the surfact that I have to pick off. Nothing like having to reshape the bead.
I know I have a little paint brush somewhere.


Lisi 2008-06-07 8:12pm

I had 11 at one time but had to sell all but one. Wish I didn't do that, because I think I need to make more interesting shapes than just rounds and flat ovals.

dclutter64 2008-06-10 4:21pm

I have 10 presses and a ton of other tools! I probably use 5 of them consistently. I love tools! I alsAs an advanced beginner, I don't think presses are short cuts! It takes time and practice to make nice beads with the presses! I like my Zoozii's kalera press the best! Round beads for me can get boring! I really don't think that you can put all people in the same bucket. Everyone has different ideas and taste. You can't say that everyone should learn the same way either! Everyone learns differently and everyone has different ideas on what they want to do with their art. I think you should use what helps you achive the results you are looking for. Just think if we all only created beads the same way or with the same tools, we might not have all the wonderful variations of beads that I see in the show and tell every week!

FosterFire 2008-06-16 5:10am

Hnads down I am a Zoozii's fan. I have been playing with her star. Was thinking od getting butterfly for the Beads of Courage.

mariak 2008-06-20 7:54am

Lulie- I know zoozii's has tools for making round beads on their site, under "preorder items", because people want a lot of different sizes for those.
I don't have any presses but am saving up for some, I just got a kiln which pretty much wiped me out...


Cosmo 2008-10-07 6:36pm

No option for those of us who don't use any presses? I never have, and don't see any reason I ever will. They don't work for the way I work...

dogmama45 2009-10-14 2:59am

I've bought several presses so far, but haven't had a lot of success using them. I got one last week that is a Zoozi's pillow press with double mandrels slots. I like that one a lot, but when I made a double mandrel bead without the press, it worked as well as with the press.

barbaracollins 2009-10-14 3:16am

I have loooots of them. I am like Rachel and StaceyLynne. I even have Rachel's tool. My favorite lately, and I have all of them, are the cgbeadrollers. I love to play with them!

Lorraine Chandler 2009-10-14 9:41pm

I started this thread such a long time ago it seems. Well now I have probably triple what I had back when.

I bet others have increased their tools also. I can't vote again but I would have to make a new category: LOST COUNT AND AFRAID TO LOOK!!:-\"](*,)

I need to insure all of my equipment I think!!!


Fine Folly Glassworks 2009-12-29 6:09am


Originally Posted by 2 TOUCANS (Post 1322543)

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 just got 3 of the CG Bead-Rollers for Christmas and I love them. The ones with gradulated sizes in the same shape (Round, Tube, Oval). They DO make it SO easy to get a true round bead, or tube or oval. I got one with all the shapes on it and I can't use it as I over-shoot the glass amount to easily, but the gradulated sizes are fabulous - you just go to the next size up to shape your bead.

I also got a 1" Zoozi Lentil press, and the larger CG Bead-Roller round makes the near-perfect size to then put in the lentil press. I wish I had gotten a flat back option, but I will likely do that later. I am hooked on rollers and presses now! I started out making the 100 spacer beads, and I can shape a bead now, but the rollers make it so quick and accurate. They restore an out-of-round easily too, and can re-center a round thats been heavily worked and miss-shaped before using the Lentil Press too.

I use Devardi glass a lot and it is very stiff, so it is great when used in the rollers or the press.

I felt the same way on the frit, until I got hooked on the Dragonfly Glassworx color combos. They are wonderful! I can't experiment enough with them!

Great thread idea!

patienthand 2010-03-02 7:12am

I use my big lentil and my crunch the most as far as presses go. For hand tools, dental tools and my mashers are most often used.


Lorraine Chandler 2010-03-02 6:43pm

Sorry Cosmo..this thread is about presses and shapeing tools....don't you have any shaping tools?


J&M 2010-03-03 9:47pm

I've got five or six presses that I use once or twice a month it seems. Not as much as I used to use them. I always have my trusted graphite marver, brass marver, and tungsten pick... plus about 15 other hardware store items, kitchen appliances, workshop tools, etc. (and I love me some "Tabulator" from Cattwalk)


CO_Phantom 2010-03-03 10:21pm


Based on my response to the poll and seeing what's currently the winner, it's pretty obvious I'm a tool ho. But I already knew that...:hide:


Doodletart 2010-03-05 6:51am

I, too, feel uninspired by all the press doo dads. I love the look of them when other people do them.....they are all so very perfect, so identical, so amazingly similiar that they look mechine made. Is that what we are after? Nah. Also, I have found that they don't sell well in an Art Festival venue. I make my living, full time, selling lampwork beads made into jewelry at festivals around the country...and for some reason, although they look made beads just don't keep up with hand formed Perhaps because my customers are the kind who are looking for original artist made, the perfection making press beads look to commercial...who knows? (or perhaps they are behind the times)
I love the look of them myself....and at the beauty of a full set of pressed beads....but, it just doesn't work for me.
Acutally, I just wrote an article on my blog on the very subject.

Lorraine Chandler 2010-04-01 6:48pm

Well, I feel like Alice in Wonderland that just fell down the rabbit hole that Donna made..CGBeadrollers that is..just got off the phone with Donna a little while ago ( super nice lady by the way!!) and ordered four of them.

Did you all know she is debuting several more new tools VERY VERY soon????:shock:

I still love all of my other tools but I am so excited I can't wait to get these in the mail. I have surpassed the 21 tools or more and I can see that I left out a poll answer that says:

too many and too late to turn back now!!!

Susan, I have customers that love both kinds of beads you mentioned and some want the perfectly little shaped beads, okay had to rephrase my original statement...There are buyers for all kinds of beads...I do freeform and pressed and rolled and much much more and some I like to do better than I hear where you are coming from.

But your statement of "looking machine made. Is that what we are after? Nah." is incorrect for me.. the same could be said a string of finely matched pearls for example but defintely not machine made. I choose to think that way instead of saying machine made which puts a negative twist on bead presses and bead press users, think hand pressed or pressed by hand like hand made ravioli, for example.

Fine Folly Glassworks 2010-04-02 4:37am

I agree Lorraine, there's no need to be insulting. Artists should use the tools that work for them to support and amplify their work.

The presses, rollers and shaping tools just make life better in my opinion. I like to get the base shape done and then have a lot of time to spend on the surface design.

I'm thankful we have so many options! Let's don't bash our own community of Artists for different ways of creating.

SuzyQ 2010-04-02 4:50am

If you read Susan's blog post she explains a bit more what she means. She isn't against presses, she just thinks beads that aren't all perfectly matching are more in line with the handmade artisan bead concept. She mentions perfectly matching little spacer beads. I tend to agree that a set of 8 perfectly matched lampwork spacer beads seems like a waste when what I think is cool about them is the fact you can tell they are handmade.

margaretz 2010-04-02 9:19am

I own one press, and used it for one custom order. 5 years ago.

I'm with Otter on this one... also because they just don't suit my working style well. I don't like not seeing the bead when I'm squashing it. If I mash a bead I use my beloved BBQ mashers, held at eye level so that I can see what I'm doing. Any other shaping sculpting is done by hand (which I lovelovelove) using razor blade shapers, my mini stainless stump shaper, and dozens of other little sculpting tools.

Lorraine Chandler 2010-04-02 11:22pm


Originally Posted by SuzyQ (Post 2964711)
If you read Susan's blog post she explains a bit more what she means. She isn't against presses, she just thinks beads that aren't all perfectly matching are more in line with the handmade artisan bead concept. She mentions perfectly matching little spacer beads. I tend to agree that a set of 8 perfectly matched lampwork spacer beads seems like a waste when what I think is cool about them is the fact you can tell they are handmade.

Handmade? You think perfectly matched can't be indicative of hand made?
You agree that perfectly matched spacer beads are a waste?

Handmade artisan bead concept??? True Artistic concepts do not box in artists. Who says beads can't match...perfectly.... and not appear handmade? A hand made bead means it comes from a rod of glass melted in a flame by you. Maybe you need to go to Italy and see what the masters use to make beads. Tools are all over the work benches..yes..even PRESSES...:jawdrop: and every one of their little petal flowers they use in their beautiful mirrors are pressed..exactly the same except for colors and sometimes the whole art piece is made out of exactly the same pressed glass.

You think it is cool that to have beads LOOK handmade they have to have a visual difference.? That is your take on what is handmade and certainly not mine by any means. But please do not tell other lampworkers they have wasted their time by making perfectly matched bead sets.

Making matching beads is one of the hardest things to do in lampworking besides encasing. It takes great skill and talent and is an artform in itself.

SuzyQ 2010-04-03 4:05am

I was giving you a bit more information on what her blog said. The only thing that was mine is I tend to agree 8 tiny spacers that look exactly the same seems like a bit of a waste. That is a far cry from saying pressed beads aren't artistic. I own at least 50 presses. I love them. You'll have to find someone else to get angry with.

Lorraine Chandler 2010-04-03 9:10am

No problems here. Enjoy your 50 plus bead presses...\\:D/ Wish I had at least 50 bead presses!!!

FosterFire 2010-06-04 9:55am

I own more than 12, but use some f the most of the time, not all of them all of the time.

JanithS 2010-06-04 10:01am

My new favourite tools are the Electric Mandrel Spinner and the rolling marver. I got my tools in less than a week from ABR Imaging. I also have quite over 10 presses, mostly from Cattwalk, and I use my small stump shaper every time I make a bead.

Lorraine Chandler 2010-06-06 11:18am

I am seriously consdering a spinner but now he has several to choose from:hide:

So I need to go watch all of his you tube videos and then decide which one. That is the hardest part for me, trying to decide WHICH one!! Can't afford to buy them all.](*,)

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