Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My First Off-mandrel Piece

 I am absolutely thrilled how this turned out.  I made it last night with Effetre apple blush, one of their more recent colors that I tested out back in April but never made any beads with.  There are a few technical flaws, notably the chill marks on the space between the veins on the front and the fold marks on the back, to say nothing of the blob of glass that stuck to the leaf as I was attempting to free it from the rod, but I am 100% unapologetic for these.  They add character.  I did give the bead a few sharp whacks on the steel dish I photographed it on and applied pressure trying to snap it just in case, but it seems solid as a rock.
 I would have been happier if the orange shading that occurs sometimes when this color is struck was a little more pronounced.  It really only shows up on the point of the leaf and the stem.  Hey, one of the things I like about working with glass is that it isn't entirely predictable.  Leaves turn all kinds of colors in fall and if this one gave up on the tree before it fully changed color, that's the way it wanted to do it.
 This is also the first bead I made with a leaf press I got at about the same time as the glass but haven't used at all, because it is curved and won't accept a mandrel, and I was afraid to try just heating up the end of the rod and pressing that, since how could I hang it without a hole?  Found a way.  I made another one similar out of light pumpkin with bordello frit I'm now dying to see.  The only bad thing about glass (other than the expense):  Delayed gratification.


  1. I have absolutely ZERO idea how off mandrel work is done -- you should put something up on YouTube for us!

  2. I'm really not sure how others do it, but the idea is to shape the rod itself by manipulating the gather, then supporting the end with a punty while cutting off the rod. Then I held the leaf in a pair of pliers while I fire polished the mark from the punty off. I'll see if I can coax, bribe or threaten Joe into taking a picture or two while I do one. He usually makes tracks when I start working.


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