Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Glass Bead Headpins

Let me tell you - those are a royal PITA to make!!  I started out wiring the pieces of wire that I wanted to make the headpins out of to a regular glass bead making mandrel. Well that doesn't work very well, because when you put them in the kiln they just slide out with the weight of the mandrel.  My kiln is very short from front to back, and is made so that the mandrel sticks out of the door.  Usually this is not a problem, as the beads I make are heavy enough to keep the mandrel inside the kiln - also there is a part of the mandrel sticking out in front of the bead that pokes through a perforated piece of metal in the back of the kiln.  So I decided to cut very long pieces of wire and just hold them.  Did you know it is nearly impossible to get 20 gauge wire to be absolutely straight?  So here I am trying to roll the wire around between my fingers, as you would a mandrel, and it is just waving all over the place - grrr!!!  It was a real comedy of errors to see.  I finally managed to get enough glass on the end of the wire withoug burning off the wire (which was realy easy to do), and get them into a rough semblance of a round.  I am not sure if I will take these to the bead show, or will just use them for myself - because I sure won't be making any more.  I now have a profound respect for those bead makers who are making these on a regular basis.


Copper Diem said...

I totally love those! like little balloons!

Anonymous said...

Those are super cool!! Bummer that they are so hard to make....cause they are super cute!!

Daniela Ellenberger said...

May I ask what kind of wire did you use? They look cute.
Greetings Daniela

Glaszwerg said...

But they look great!!!!

Hot Rocks said...

I think they are pretty cool, Jane! Too bad you could not find an easier way to make them because they are so unique.

Jane Perala said...

Thanks everyone!
Daniela, I used 20 gauge blackened steel wire and also 20 gauge brass wire. Then ater they come out of the kiln, just a few quick wipes with steel wool and they are cleaned up and ready to use. I tried copper too, but it really gets black and flakey, and is hard to clean, but if you are willing to clean it up afterwards it is an option too. Just make sure you cut the wire into about 7" lengths so that you don't burn yourself - and don't keep the wire in the flame, as it will burn off ver quickly.
Let me know if you have any other questions.

Cillaw said...

I love them!
Now I have a respect for them too!

somethingunique said...

Hi Jane,those are abso cute...omg if you have any left after the show i would love to take them off your hands...shame they are hard to make they are so cute...anyway my goodies have arrived safely..i took some great pics i'll post them sometimes on the weekend!
thanks again for some beautiful bead always amazing in person.
ttfn Lana xoxo