Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lampwork Tutorial: Frit Twisties

Today I thought I'd show you how to make frit twisties!  I'm sure there are lots of videos on youtube to show you how to do it, but in case you don't know how, here goes!

First, you need a pile of frit on your marver, a clear glass rod (I'm making clear frit twisties, you can use other colors if you want!) and an old 3/32" mandrel.

Coat the end of your rod with the frit.  Get enough on there so you can really see the texture!

Melt it in, and make your rod all nice and smooth by running it over your torch mounted marver (or regular marver if you don't have a torch mounted one).

Attach the old 3/32" mandrel as a punty - get the end of the glass rod hot, and get the end of the mandrel hot, then push it slightly into the glass.  A trick I have learned is to move the mandrel up and down then side to side (NSEW), and it will attach nicely.
Soooooo here's the part you need to imagine, because this is not a youtube video and I was taking this photos myself.  Heat up the blob of glass in the flame - it's almost runny at this point, at the very edge of the flame, ever so slightly push the end of the glass rod and the mandrel punty together, to make a sort of a football shape with your glass.  Take it out of the flame, and for a few seconds, just let the glass be.  After a few seconds, start pulling the glass straight out and then start twisting from both ends, pulling as you go.

This is how the punty end looks when you are done pulling.

And this is how the rod end looks when you are done pulling.
I like to use my tweezers to break the glass off each end - dip your tweezers in your quench bowl (or glass of water like I have!) and then apply them to the mandrel end of the twistie.  It should pop off because it's still hot.  If it doesn't, just lightly wiggle the tweezers until it works.  Do the same on the glass rod end of the twistie.
Here's your twistie, next to the pile of frit! 
I was not feeling too creative the other day, so I just spent some time making frit twisties - pretty and colorful!

*** I used uroboros clear glass and Val Cox frit.  They have basically the same coe.  I will need to use uroboros or bullseye glass to make my beads, because the coe needs to be very close.  If you are using effetre glass or any other 104 coe glass, make sure you do not put too much frit on the rod, and make sure you use 104 coe glass to make your beads when you use your twisties!

Susan Kennedy

SueBeads Etsy
SueBeads Web Site
SueBeads Blog

1 comment :

  1. Great colors Sue, Val Cox is my favorite frit blends and colors.


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