I saw you taking pictures yesterday, little Missy! Would you please show us what you were doing? It looked interesting. And thanks for letting me hang out with you in your studio. I always love doing that.
Well, yesterday I thought I'd take some pictures to show what mandrels look like. I ended up taking a bunch of other pictures too. Once I get started, its hard to stop. I love my camera, its a Nikon D40x, and it is excellent for taking close up bead pictures, not to mention taking pictures of anything imaginable. It has a superior macro lens for close up photography. I also have photoshop and I think that everyone knows that it is totally amazing! When taking pictures of beads, especially if they are to be sold online, it is important to take the best pictures possible with the best lighting too. People want to see striking photos of artwork online. They tend to buy lampwork beads and other art that is well represented by photos.
When looking at pictures of my torch, when its lit, some people might notice one flame that is longer than the others coming out of it's tip. I screwed up once and got a glass bead too close to the tip of my torch and got glass on it. The molten glass then clogged one of the flame "jets". Luckily only one jet got glass on it! And since that time, I've just gotten used to using my torch the way it is.
Above is a picture of a bead I just finished making. Its still on the mandrel and ready to go into the kiln to be annealed. The "thing" it is on, is the mandrel. The gray looking part is the bead release that is coated on the end of the mandrel. I'm right handed so I hold the mandrel in my left hand and the glass rod in my right hand.
Now the picture above is showing some of my mandrels. I have them in this plastic bucket with some rice in the bottom that helps hold the mandrels upright and not touching each other. I put the mandrels right into the container after I coat them with bead release, to dry.
The glass jar on the right side of the bucket is my bead release jar. Keep the lid screwed on tightly so it doesn't dry out and it will last a long time! Also, in the mandrel container you can see some curved mandrels (I use to make beads with curved center holes) and large mandrels (I use to make beads with very large center holes).