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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2015-10-03, 8:55am
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Default Droplets

Hi,
I saw some beautiful droplet beads on a FB lampwork bead sale site and would like to make some. Anyone familiar with those and the technique, please?
Thank you!
Christine
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  #2  
Old 2015-10-03, 8:57am
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think I know what you mean, try making a spacer and adding a large dot to one side. Melt it into a round dot sitting on the spacer, or heat it and let it droop a little while keeping the spacer warm. Or pull down with a stringer. Etc. Pics if you try it please
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  #3  
Old 2015-10-03, 9:35am
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I will, thanks! The trick will be consistent sizing of a series. Just one of many challenges for me!
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  #4  
Old 2015-10-03, 10:02am
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I make two on one mandrel to get them the same size for earring dangles. If I want a graduated set, I use my metal calipers to measure them and keep moving the calipers bigger. By the time I'm done I have a set. I usually still make two on one mandrel since I want them to be the same on both sides.
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  #5  
Old 2015-10-03, 10:58am
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I do need to buy calipers, thanks so much!
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  #6  
Old 2015-10-03, 1:06pm
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Some folks use nippers to cut off lengths of glass the same size and then use hemostats or pliers to hold the glass while melting it on to the mandrel.

That makes it easier to get the same amount of glass in multiple beads or drops without having to get the calipers too near to the molten glass.
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  #7  
Old 2015-10-03, 4:39pm
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Great idea, Phill, thanks!
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  #8  
Old 2015-10-03, 11:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaronn View Post
Hi,
I saw some beautiful droplet beads on a FB lampwork bead sale site and would like to make some. Anyone familiar with those and the technique, please?
Thank you!
Christine
Did they look anything like this?
Name:  ArkeDrop1.jpg
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Size:  78.9 KB
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  #9  
Old 2015-10-04, 5:07am
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Yes
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  #10  
Old 2015-10-04, 8:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaronn View Post
Yes
Those are mine. It's not too difficult, really.

Make a small spacer bead, then heat up a rod into a pea sized gather and attach it to the bead. I usually get kind of a teardrop shape in melting off the rod, but heat the gather to round and flatten it with mashers. (For the flat surface to face forward, your mandrel will run parallel to the end of your mashers.)

Melt a blob of dichroic glass onto the flat part and sloowwwly melt it in. I hit the side of the dichro in spots going all the way around. Try to keep the surface glass out of the flame so you don't lose the shape. (You may want to prepare the dicro by covering the exposed side with clear and pulling a stringer so you don't have to worry about exposed dichro in the flame.)

Finally, after everything is melted in smoothly, heat the dangle on both sides but mostly on the lower half. You want it soft enough to move using a tool, not gravity. Pull the bottom center down with tweezers so it forms a point. Melt off the extra glass and the tweezers mark and pop it in the kiln.

Having said it's not difficult, my Scorpion gets a pretty fine pinpoint flame, so I'm not sure how it will work on a hothead - you may have to work farther out in the flame and do more reshaping as you melt in the dichro.

Let us know how it goes, and show off your work!
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  #11  
Old 2015-10-04, 7:11pm
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Thank you so much! I will try to shape them first using transparent glass and no dichro. If I can get some nice bead shapes, I'll try the dichro next. Thanks again, ROC!!
Christine
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  #12  
Old 2015-10-05, 1:05am
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Sweet work Rachel.
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  #13  
Old 2015-10-05, 9:36am
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Thanks Phill.

Christine, it's my pleasure, and let us know how it goes. You could also use a murrini chip in place of dichro - it looks pretty neat when you pull the bottom down.
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  #14  
Old 2015-10-05, 10:40am
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This is my first attempt at droplet beads. I'm not entirely happy with them but I will try to sell them on a FB site anyway. On to other designs. Sorry about the lousy pic. Had to use my flash.
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  #15  
Old 2015-10-05, 11:41am
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Those look great, Christine! If you want more demarcation between the bead and the drop, try to keep the heat away from that area more, but I love how these look! Let me know where you're selling them so I can give them a bump.
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  #16  
Old 2015-10-05, 12:24pm
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What a great idea for spacers! I've never thought to make them small...when I make drop shaped anything they end up much bigger!
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  #17  
Old 2015-10-05, 12:51pm
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That is very kind of you, ROC, thank you - selling on the Artisans FB site.
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  #18  
Old 2015-10-05, 12:52pm
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Elektra, I only have 3 rounds in the set with 12 droplets. I like your idea and wish I had made more rounds!
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  #19  
Old 2015-10-05, 2:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaronn View Post
That is very kind of you, ROC, thank you - selling on the Artisans FB site.
I'll watch for you over there.
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  #20  
Old 2015-10-05, 4:04pm
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My husband just informed me that the sizes of the droplets are too disparate and he only likes one of them! I'm sorry to say that I agree with him. Unfortunately, I already have a bid on the set. Ugh.
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  #21  
Old 2015-10-05, 4:14pm
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No worries. Not that I have my finger on the pulse of the jewelry designers, but coordinating and not quite matching seems to be cropping up in a lot of work. Congratulations on the bid!
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  #22  
Old 2015-10-06, 7:21am
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Thanks, ROC. 😉
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  #23  
Old 2015-10-08, 7:20pm
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I don't think it's unfortunate to have the bid. They will go to someone who will love them! Some of us really like asymmetrical and not quite matching things.
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