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

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  #31  
Old 2010-03-02, 6:16pm
funkibeads funkibeads is offline
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Default Another idea - frugal marketing & charity collections

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbowman1 View Post
Hmmmm...how about if you have little odd leftover beads that don't match anything? Those might make a nice thank you gesture too.

Lori
Superb idea Lori. I love it. Good self -promo/marketing angle too... show your customer what else you do... Hmmm - very clever.

But hey, on another slant, we did a Christmas charity stall at our local farmers market for Help The Aged last year and I collected/made up a whole load of odd individual funkibeads from various effetre, cim, vetro 104 shorts left over from the year that were all good'n'random & then encased in clear, and for every donation I received I let them choose a bead. People loved it. Much better than a silly sticker that falls off at the end off the day.

I suppose that is kind of an adaptation of the end of day leftovers mentioned up above on the posts. I liked those ideas (thanks guys) - will incorporate them into my schedule.

We raised over £140+ just by rattling the tins, wearing the T shirts and giving away free beads for about 3 hours. Lovely end of the year. We even sang carols and had a few mulled wines from a thermos...

Makes you think what magic we all can achieve with glass... Greg memories
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  #32  
Old 2010-03-02, 6:57pm
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Another thing I do. If I am in the middle of creating a bead and I know for a fact it is a lost cause, instead of dumping it in water I will use the surface of the bead to experiment in things I am having issues with. Practice your raking , poking, encasing, gravity control..........whatever you happen to need fine tuning. Last night I played with a bead for over an hour to fine tune my raking skills. I realized that I often go too deep into the glass to rake. Now I know to just catch the surface, too easy!
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  #33  
Old 2010-03-03, 12:21am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbowman1 View Post
Hmmmm...how about if you have little odd leftover beads that don't match anything? Those might make a nice thank you gesture too.

Lori
I do this with all my orders! I have some tiny pink ziplock bags (2"x2") and write on them "Thank You Bead" with a little smiley. I think it adds to your sale, everyone loves getting a little freebie! I think they are more likely to think of you next time they are shopping for beads as well.
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  #34  
Old 2010-03-03, 6:36am
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Did you know you can write on your glass rods with a sharpie? You can make a small paddle on one end, let it cool and then write on it.
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  #35  
Old 2010-03-03, 9:05am
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These are great suggestions!

I buy a 3-pack of those cheap little fruit knives-you can get them anywhere, and I use them for manipulating glass, straightening slightly wonky shapes, keeping the edges of an encased bead good, also to nudge the clear glass to the edge of the bead for encasements, etc. etc.
I'm still on the first knife and it's been 7 years!
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  #36  
Old 2010-03-03, 10:21am
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I make beads with my twisty shorts - just use a tweezer and pile on 15-20 1" twisties on a bead.

If there is a silver glass you don't like, use it as part of your twisties (especially if you use 6-8 different glass on a twisty like I do). You will be surprised at how much reactive effects you get.
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  #37  
Old 2010-03-03, 10:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oenone View Post
I also save silvered Ivory stringer and goldstone stringer shorts for some future organic beads I know I'll make.
It seems that my SIS stringers are always fatter where I grab
them with the tweezers to pull. I don't get rid of these "fat" end
but instead save them up and join them into 10"-12" fat stringer.

I once had two glasses full of these fat ends. They work great for
big broad stripes between two colors on a bead.

I then rake them toward both ends of a bead into a chevron pattern.

I have found that I like these "fat" stringers so much that I intentionally
leave fattish ends when ever I get into a SIS pulling mood.
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  #38  
Old 2010-03-03, 11:45am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkibeads View Post
... instead of spending loads of money each month on brand new bags etc, recycle, rewrap and get a large ink stamp that states

"RECYCLED PACKAGING BY THE ARTIST/PRODUCER/SENDER"
Great idea. I have been reusing packaging materials, boxes and padded mailers and worrying that my customers are thinking it looks tacky or unprofessional.

I said to my husband last night, if bubble wrap could talk, I imagine some of it would have international travel stories to tell.

I always include bonus beads. I always have random beads around, color studies, not-quite-matched pairs, that bead that has traveled with me for months and is ready to go to a new home.

OK, frugal tip, hmm. I use coffee cans for my tools (and some filled with sand to hold mandrels). For stringer I use quart mason jars with orphan beads on the bottom to add weight.

I pull stinger out of half inch shorts (I use the Greedy Grabber from Arrowsprings to get down to that last half inch. I punty the short shorts onto a fat clear rod, melt and pull with a short piece of commercial stringer for a (reusable) handle.

I make beads for BOC with some of my end of day scraps of stringer on a clear base, gravity swirled.

I melt my aventurine stringer shorts onto a small base of clear for the center of my honking florals.

I use stainless steel measuring spoons for rolling a round or hollow bead in frit. I use a baby spoon with a mini muffin tin for powder frit and enamels (I can cover it and leave it so I am not pouring powders in and out of containers). I blend frit in stainless steel condiment cups (4 for 99 cents at Walmart).



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"And all will turn to silver glass, a light on the water, grey ships pass into the west." Annie Lennox
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  #39  
Old 2010-03-03, 12:04pm
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I'm the queen of cheap!

Save all broken, icky or really fugly beads and then break them, use them with cement in stepping stones...sand down the top...put it in your garden! lovely!

My favorite tool...a "clam shucker" from Wal-Mart....4.00 or so. It has a long steel blade, beveled on both sides and comes to a nice round point.

I use all recylced packaging materials also (well, all except for the outer packaging), and then I also toss in a freebie bead (usually an orphan made with scraps).

When shopping for beads (I usually HAVE to find any nearby bead store if I'm travelling), tell them you do lampwork. Twice now, I have stumbled onto someone who had some glass rods and tools laying around when they decided they really didn't like to melt glass. I got a STEAL of a deal. One purchase was about 80.00 that I spent for a huge box (it was like 1.50/lb)...and there were some sweet odds that are no longer made! I could barely carry it to my car.

Julie
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  #40  
Old 2010-03-03, 12:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkibeads View Post
When your commercial bead release is getting down to the last inch or two in a tall pot - like some companies use, and it is starting to dry out and get crusty... Just add a little water and a few old redundant marbles or stones. Then shake it vigorously for a few minutes like a good vodka martini cocktail - and you'll have a load that is perfectly respectable for a few more sessions and the volume of the stones will raise the remains high enough to dip your mandrel fully.

That's what I call: " Release on The Rocks: shaken, not stirred, Miss MoneyPenny..." Lol Greg
I love it! Great tip! I always hate getting to the bottom and having to practically lay the jar on it's side to get enough coverage on my mandrel!
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  #41  
Old 2010-03-03, 12:47pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FosterFire View Post
Did you know you can write on your glass rods with a sharpie? You can make a small paddle on one end, let it cool and then write on it.
Ya know, I do this for cutting and fusing glass but it never occurred to try it with my rods.........well duh! Thanks for the great tip!
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  #42  
Old 2010-03-03, 3:57pm
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I make frit out of my rod ends!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gemsinbloom View Post
Don't dismiss those very short shorts of expensive silver glass. I soaked them in warm water to remove the labels and then heated/glued them together. I ended up with four new rods!
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  #43  
Old 2010-03-04, 7:27am
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Dog food bags make great studio trash bags. They are thicker than the plastic bags and glass pieces and other sharp pointed things that get swept up are less likely to penetrate.
In fact, I use old horse feed bags as my regular trash bags in the house. They are like an extremely heavy paper bag and are biodegradable.
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  #44  
Old 2010-03-04, 7:47am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lea Zinke View Post
For those of you who purchased the new Copper Dichroic -- don't throw the copper lining away! I use it for cutout/inclusions like leaves and dragonflies, etc. Twice the bang for the buck!
Damn. I gave it to Tim thinking he could use it in his pottery somehow. I wonder where he put it.
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  #45  
Old 2010-03-04, 4:18pm
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Speaking of pottery ... Instead of buying the fancy frit holders I use the saucers from small terra cotta pots, which cost about a quarter. They're good with the heat, hold a lot of frit, are shallow, and are totally enclosed so the frit stays contained.
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  #46  
Old 2010-03-05, 1:51am
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When in a faul mood I make FRIT. I have a jug of water under my torch and just let the molten glass drop. The sound of the hissing and exploding glass is cool . You can take it out on the glass instead of yelling at your family. Saves you some buck and your family some agony.
This is my setup for fritmaking.
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  #47  
Old 2010-03-05, 4:40am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonerp View Post
When in a faul mood I make FRIT. I have a jug of water under my torch and just let the molten glass drop. The sound of the hissing and exploding glass is cool . You can take it out on the glass instead of yelling at your family. Saves you some buck and your family some agony.
LOL. Cheaper than therapy.

Lori
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  #48  
Old 2010-03-05, 7:58pm
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When pouring frit back into the container, use a cheap funnel so you don't have any spillage.

If you don't have glass shears, you can cut glass with regular scissors. Granted, it doesn't cut as easily, but it will work.
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  #49  
Old 2010-03-05, 8:41pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artwhim View Post
When pouring frit back into the container, use a cheap funnel so you don't have any spillage.

If you don't have glass shears, you can cut glass with regular scissors. Granted, it doesn't cut as easily, but it will work.
I'm so cheap/frugal that I just use a piece of recycled paper and I form my own funnel.
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  #50  
Old 2010-03-05, 9:11pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammydownunder View Post
I'm so cheap/frugal that I just use a piece of recycled paper and I form my own funnel.


That's funny. I do the same thing, but I just had to laugh!

-Amy
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  #51  
Old 2010-03-06, 7:46pm
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Quote:
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I'm so cheap/frugal that I just use a piece of recycled paper and I form my own funnel.
I just fold a piece of paper or junkmail. The frit will follow the fold as you tip it into the jar.
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  #52  
Old 2010-03-07, 8:25am
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This thread reminds me (in a good way!) of the lady on WetCanvas who tried using spaghetti pasta out of the box to see if it would work as mandrels. I was particularly impressed that she thought to go public with it. (No, it doesn't even come CLOSE to being a good idea ...)


Regards,
- Becky in MN
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Last edited by flyingcorgi; 2010-03-07 at 8:26am. Reason: Fat fingers early in the morning
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  #53  
Old 2010-03-07, 9:43am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcorgi View Post
This thread reminds me (in a good way!) of the lady on WetCanvas who tried using spaghetti pasta out of the box to see if it would work as mandrels. I was particularly impressed that she thought to go public with it. (No, it doesn't even come CLOSE to being a good idea ...)


Regards,
- Becky in MN
Oh this reminds me of years ago when my DH worked in a machine shop. He had to do a bit of welding occasionally and would save the left over welding rods for me and grind and polish the ends to make into knitting needles. They were the right gauge for the socks I used to make. Just so happens that's the same stuff we use for mandrels.

Now what did I do with all that old knitting stuff...

He works on old computers for friends now as a hobby and sometimes someone will give him an ancient one that has outlived it's usefulness. Old computers are a gold mine of jewelry making parts. I especially love old hard drives. The machined spindles the disks sit on are my favorite bead caps for large beads. After you're done take what's left to an electronics recycler or reclaimer or whatever they are called in your area.

Oh btw I use old envelopes for funnels all the time. Just snip out a corner with scissors. They look amazingly like the disposable funnels sold at the auto parts store.

Lori
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  #54  
Old 2010-03-07, 9:59am
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What a cool thread.

I make small cabs with my glass shorts. Works very well.

I also use all my sterling silver "garbage" - little wire snip offs, saw remnants etc - for my jewellery. I either solder it onto sheet copper in a design or melt it into balls for decoration.

Since my silver scrap is building faster than I'm using it up- I plan on melting and pouring an ingot very soon..

I love to save money.
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  #55  
Old 2010-03-07, 3:25pm
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With silver prices so high right now, I'm actually making money on the box of scrapes. I take them back to my supplier and get paid.
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  #56  
Old 2010-03-07, 9:07pm
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I do have a tip, although I don't know if it's a money-saver or not.

When you buy your bead release, buy a very small bottle of the same stuff at the same time. As the small bottle gets low, refill it from the big bottle. Dipping a mandrel all the way down into a small bottle of bead release gives a good-sized coating on the mandrel without a whole lot of waste. It also makes dipping go a bit more quickly, as you don't have to gauge the distance you are dipping the mandrel into the bigger bottle.

Make sense?
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  #57  
Old 2010-03-07, 10:48pm
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Even if glass is cheap and service might be terrific, it isn't a bargain if it turns to frit, scums, bubbles and has compatibility issues. In Economics class, it's called a false economy; you think you're saving money but, in reality, you would have been better off paying a wee bit more up front for higher selling bead at the end of the day.
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  #58  
Old 2010-03-08, 3:29am
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Default OMG Spaghetti Mandrels - what next ?

That thread about the lady who tried to use spaghetti as mandrels is just soo way out crazy I keep laughing when I think of it.

Anyway I was at our local recycling tip yesterday. It's a place when you can dump your household goods you don't want anymore & pick up stuff for a bargain that others have dumped them. There I found a wrought iron wine bottle holder - will take up to 18 bottles & I thought hey presto - brilliant glass rod storage device. It only cost £2. What a bargain.

Which also got me thinking - nobody has mentioned freecycle: http://www.freecycle.org yet. It's a perfect place for picking up odds and ends for free. Just google it and you should find one in your local area, set up an account, give some stuff away and you are all set for a wonderful recycling experience. Have fun - Greg
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  #59  
Old 2010-03-08, 3:51am
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Default More craziness...

More laughs - somebody out there apparently (according to a thread on wetcanvas) uses pancake batter mixed with powdered graphite as bead release... wonders never cease - but I don't think I'm going to try it yet - but then I might get desperate... All the best Greg
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  #60  
Old 2010-03-08, 4:32am
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[quote=He works on old computers for friends now as a hobby and sometimes someone will give him an ancient one that has outlived it's usefulness. Old computers are a gold mine of jewelry making parts. I especially love old hard drives.
Lori[/QUOTE]

Unwanted monitor and tv glass is wonderful for beginners learning to facet. It is easy to work and the "BLING" is unsurpassable, and it is surprising everyone has a different colour to it.

I went to my local op shop, and bought a small wine rack (brand new, just unwanted by someone), it can hold 12 bottles for 5 dollars, it now holds my glass rods very nicely, I just group them together by colour, easy enough to match up that way.

Couldn't afford (and still can't) any of the brass presses. I wanted to flatten beads as evenly as possible, so again, my beloved op shop had an old metal cake serving spatula, I just put the bead on my graphite marver and carefully squash with said spatula.

As they say, necessity IS the mother of all invention!
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Brenda

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