• Art Glass Resources, and some business information
  • Helpful hints and tips that we find online, in books and from our own personal experiences
  • Lots of great information for Stained Glass (Tiffany and Leaded), Lampworking, Fusing, Slumping, Glass Painting, Sandcarving, Mosaics and more
  • Lastly, HARRACH is pronounced, Hair - wreck

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to set up an Etsy shop, Part 2

Shop Profile
Public Profile
Shop Settings
Shop Title
Info & Appearance
Banner and Avatar
Facebook, Twitter
Shop Announcement
Shop Policies
Change Shop Name
Shop Languages

Once you are registered as an Etsy user, you can begin to list, market, and sell your goods online!

You will want to write up a shop profile for your customers and all shop viewers.  It seems as though a lot of buyers like to know that they are purchasing their merchandise from someone with a profile.  It gives viewers the sense that you are really operating a legitimate shop.  It doesn't have to be especially long, but it should include information as to what you make and/or sell on Etsy.

To find the shop profile section; first sign on to your shop's page, then on the top right side of the page you will see a few links, next you will need to click on the link Your Account.  From there you will find, on the left side of your page the link Public Profile.  Once you click on the link you will be able to add your profile (in the "about section"), your profile picture (your shop's avatar), and other information.

Next you will want to go back to your shop's home page, and once again on the top right hand side of the page click on the link that says "Your Shop: *********".   Once you click on that link, look on the left hand side of your page and look for the section called Shop Settings.  Click on the link,  Info & Appearance.  In the section that says Shop Title, you will want to write a very short description of what you sell in your shop.  This little section is very important since it will show up in google search results!

You will see that on this page you will be able to add your shop's banner.  For those who don't know what a shop banner is...  click on the link to our Harrach Glass Etsy shop here and you will see our banner (as shown below) at the top of our page.

On the page How to set up an Etsy shop, Part I, we have included the size and other information showing how to create your own shop banner and avatar information.

You will also be able to link your Etsy shop to Facebook and Twitter on this same page.  This is an excellent way to get people to look at your shop, especially if you have a Facebook fan page.  We feel that having your shop linked to at least one of these social networks will bring in a lot more shop views thus, possibilities of more sales!

The shop announcement section is used to give your customers added information like sales and misc, yet important info.  This section will also show up in google search results.

On the top of the page you will see a tab link to Sections.  We use our shop sections feature to break down our shop into categories.  We sell jewelry, glass art, various supplies in our shop so we have created various sections to allow customers to find our merchandise easier.  We'll get more into sections later.

Next to Sections, you will find the link to Shop Policies.  It is advised to have a written payment policy and return policy.

The Change Shop Name allows you to change your shop's name although we advise our readers to stick to their original name due to name recognition.

Last there is the Shop Languages section which will allow your shop to be conducted in more than one language.  It is an excellent way for bi lingual shop owners to get a lot more shop exposure!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to set up an Etsy shop, Part I

Etsy Dos and Don'ts
Shop name
Business license

To begin with, make sure that Etsy will allow you to sell what you want to sell.  To find out what is allowed, check out this link, http://www.etsy.com/help/article/483.  This is their Dos and Don'ts page. 

To buy and sell on Etsy, you will need to register to use the web site, oh, and it's free of charge.  You do not have to supply your name but you'll have to supply an email address and your username (your official shop name).  

You'll need to come up with a good shop name.  If you already have an online business or brick and mortar store, it's best to use that name since you already have some name recognition.  A great name should either describe what you are selling or include your business name.  

You will see that a lot of Etsy shops have banners at the top of their home pages which usually include their shop name and other information.  Banners are nice to have but not mandatory.  Banners are easily created on programs such as Photoshop and other editing software.  Click on this link to see the information listed below, http://www.etsy.com/help/article/451.  There are businesses that charge to create banners for those that are unable to create their own.   

Look for a good avatar to represent you or your shop.  Since it is pretty small (only 75 x 75 pixels), you need to find an image that will look good at that small size.  Avatars are not necessary for people that only want to buy on Etsy although they are still fun to use!  For sellers, avatars can be used to advertise your shop and can be used quite effectively for advertising.  

Here are the expected sizes for each image type (in pixels):
Avatars: 75x75
Shop Banners: 760x100
Team Logo: 170x100
Listing Images: 570 pixels wide

Below we have included some links to some pre-made banner templates for those that need a little help:

Finally, you will need to have a tax identification number for your business and you will need to know what sales taxes your state expects for you to collect from your customers.  Later, when you finally begin selling on Etsy, you will find when listing your products, you will need to fill in your tax information in the shop tax rate section. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Snowman tutorial, for lampwork beads

This tutorial was written by Donna Trull and was found on the Lampworketc page.  Below we have included a link to Donna's Etsy page and Lampworketc.
This is my first tutorial. I've gotten so much help from LE over the years that I wanted to give a little something back. I hope someone can use the tips I offer though they are pretty elementary.

I've been kicking these little snowmen out by the dozens the last couple of weeks and thought maybe some of you might want to make some before the holiday season is over so here goes. I took the pictures myself while torching so if any info seems unclear just let me know and I'll try to clarify.

Here's a group shot of the snowmen.

You will need 
several twistys 
black stringer
orange stringer

I usually begin my torch session making twistys of different colors for the scarves. This can be a lot of fun coming up with different color combos. Everyone seems to like the white/transp. aqua and red/white the best. If you have a hard time making consistent twistys it's ok here. You can utilize several scarves from one pull. One scarf may be a tight twist and the other looser. But try to make your pulls small and tight as your snowman is small and a large scarf will overwhelm his body. 

I'm no expert on twistys for sure but I've found the easiest method for me is warm a base rod (say black) swipe on contrast color (say red) possible swipe in a stringer of white. Heat, wait just a few seconds, grab with tweezers, twist and pull at same time. I usually keep right hand still while twisting with left. The faster you pull the more stretched out the twist will be. Start out slow then speed up as glass stiffens.
Sorry no pictures as I haven't found a way to make a twisy with one hand and take pictures with the other. 

To begin you snowman make a large white bead about the size of a grape. You can try larger if you want a gigantimous snowman but this is the general size I've been working with.

Add a smaller white bead next to it almost touching. This one is touching but that's ok too. 

Melt round then hold vertically so "head" will softly intersect with body.

Now take you black rod (or you can use your black stringer if you feel more comfortable) to add another smaller round bead next to the "head". This will be you hat.

Gently heat only the hat and then marver to make a top hat. If you don't marver enough you will have a bolo hat.

Now it's time to add that cute little scarf you made earlier. Heat tip of twisty and lay on body. Work in the upper flame and direct the heat under the twisty. Begin roping twisty around the neck of snowman till you come back to the front and lay it across the twisty to the other side of body. Make sure to add some heat to the scarf so it attaches but don't melt it in. BTW I hope you've been doing insurance heat on the whole bead in between steps as you're working so your snowman doesn't explode!

Take a complementary scarf color and add dots to the end of the scarf. 

Time for buttons and eyes. Use your black stringer for this.

Hats need a brim. Black stringer again.

Last step is the nose. Use your orange stringer and put a small dot between the eyes. If you're really good (or lucky) it'll line up with the buttons. But if it doesn't, don't sweat it. He'll still be cute. See the dot of orange glass on the tip of my mandrel? I like to heat a small blob of orange and pull me a very small stringer, still attached to the rod, to make the nose with. I use this technique all the time if I need just a few dots of a color and I don't feel like pulling stringers at the beginning of the session. Cause you don't always know what colors you're going to be working with all the time when you bead, do you? Or for those times like now when you need a smaller dot than a commercial stringer might give you.

It's orange, you just can't tell cause it's hot.

Voila! Finished bead. Don't forget insurance heat occasionally. Don't admire him too long. Pop in kiln. I put bails on my little snowmen and sell them as pendants.

Feel free to embellish him more. Try three balls or add holly to his hat. I would love to see your snowmen.

More snowmen

The author of this fun tutorial is Donna Trull, her Etsy link is included below!  We found this tutorial in the free tutorials on Lampworketc.  

My Etsy (this is the link to Donna Trull's Etsy shop)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Making a black and white twisty for lampwork beads

This is a lampwork bead tutorial from Corina Tettinger.  Lampwork is a form of glass art created with a torch instead of by using a kiln or furnace.  Her books, DVD's, tools, etc. are sold on her page and are a must have for all lampworkers!  This technique can be used to add detail to fused glass pieces as well as lampwork beads.  A twisty is basically a twisted looking glass cane decoration.

The trick with the black and white twistie is to EMBEDD the black! Black only bleads if it is used in a thin layer, like a dot or a stringer....but not if there is a solit mass of it. And, of course it makes a HUGE difference if you use Vetrofond black instead of Moretti.
1. Make a square pancake with Vetrofond black (if you need more info, Passing The Flame shows how to get to this point, in the chapter on complex twisted cane!)
2. In "Murrini-strokes", paint on white glass, without covering the EDGES of the black pancake.

3. Cover both sides of the black, leaving the edges exposed. The amount of black you leave exposed determines the thickness of the black line in the twisty. If you add an equal amount of white to both sides, the twisty will appear "regular", if you have more white on one side of the pancake, one of the white stripes will be wider - which can be nice, depending on the design you are planning to make.
4. Punty up with a second black rod, heat the pancake part in the flame, make sure not to heat any part of the back punty-rods.


5. Once your gather is glowing red, take it out of the flame, pull apart slightly, wait 4-5 seconds, until most of the outer glow is gone (the "skin" forms) - then twist quickly, left hand towards you, right hand away from you (reversed for left-handers) - good luck!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Glass cutting and etching video from Murano Italy

We saw this very interesting video on YouTube and thought we'd share it with our blog readers.  It is called;  Glass cutting in Venetian workshop on Murano Island, click here to view video.  We'd love to see the finished product.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Complex twisted cane tutorial

This tutorial was made by Corina Tettinger and can be found on her web page, Corinabeads.  This was one of the first tutorials we followed when learning how to make lampwork beads!  You can use these twisted canes to decorate lampwork beads and a variety of fused glass pieces.

 Today I wanted to show you something I learned from my friend Liane Jaehde, who was my teaching assistant in Germany this May. Her boyfriend is a glass-blower, and he showed her this method - it's nothing NEW, just a different way of making a complex twisted cane. I am still confident you will enjoy this, it's actually so much easier and cleaner than the "usual" method of building a complex cane, it might take your interest in cane-making to a different level. Every beadmaker I have met so far builds can more or less from a pancake, the way I have shown in Passing The Flame, which means that you build it the way it's twisted later on - with the punty more or less in case. This method requires a little shift in thinking, instead of building from the center out, you start with the glass that is on one SIDE of the cane. Just look at the pictures (which I took myself WHILE making this cane....holding the glass in my left hand and the camera in my right...they turned out pretty well, actually...)

1. Make a big blob in the color you want to be on one outside of the cane (I used transparent teal)

2. Flatten this blob with a graphite marver
3. Add a contrasting color (white)
4. Flatten this color, so there are no holes or dimples in the surface
5. Add more glass, flatten again (you can repeat these steps as often as you like, the more layers, the more complex the twist will be). The LAST layer will be the other outside of the cane (transparent grass green).
6. Melt this gather lightly, so the layers bond with each other.
If you want to, you can now add some stringer or filigrana around the CENTER of this gather (where the white and pea green meet, in this case).
7. Attach a punty to the SIDE of this gather!!! THis is the COOL moment!
8. Now melt OFF the initial rod of glass and attach it as a second punty opposite to the first punty. Get the idea where this is going? The most difficult part here is to move the entire thing in a way that the flame heats the part where the teal rod is still attached to the gather. It's a little like moving a wrench, you'll get the hang of this quickly.
9. Now all you have to do is melt the gather, pull it out slightly, twist and pull, just like a regular twisted cane. But I promise it will be a lot prettier than what you're used to!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Multi layered rose petal lampwork glass beads tutorial

We found this tutorial in the free tutorial section on Lampworketc by Fine Folly Glassworks.  For lampworkers, it is excellent to follow.  For non lampworkers it allows you to see how glass beads are really made!  

This tutorial will show how to make a multi-layered rose petal bead using dots instead of spreading layers of encasing between each layer of petals. It is an easier method to make multiple layers of petals. I am using a Hothead Torch to make this bead and it takes about an hour, more or less, depending on how you work.


FINISHED BEAD NOTES: Both beads have three layers of petals. The bead on the left has the first two bottom layers of petals placed directly on top of each other, and vines around the core. The bead on the right has each layer of petals staggered and Goldstone around the core. The second bead is the one being made in this tutorial.


You will need to make the following stringers to work with. I used the effetre glass listed below and the tools shown to make this bead.

Mandrel dipped in bead release (I use Sludge Plus)
Tools as desired to work glass
Bead Core Color (Pea Green)
Vine or Goldstone (Goldstone Adventurine was encased in clear and then pulled into a stringer)
Flower Petal Base Color (White)
Transparent Petal Accent Color (optional - Pink/Rose Opalino)
Flower Center Stamen Stringer (optional)

A simple Stamen Stringer can be made using a rod of clear and drawing 3 to 5 opaque stripes on it's side for 1 to 2 inches with a yellow/gold stringer, and then heating and pulling it to a stringer thickness. The yellow and clear stringer above on the far right was made this way.

You can also use a pointed tool like the stamen stringer is used, to press in the center and then apply a tiny dot of clear. After melting the clear dot in you will get a bubble in the center. For another option, you can apply a CZ in the center of each flower.


1. Wrap your core color one stringer-wrap around. Smooth it out and let it cool a bit (second picture). If you don't let it cool before wrapping with the clear stringer it may merge into the clear. Wrap your slightly cooled core with a clear stringer. Slightly over-wrap with the clear so that clear goes around the mandrel on both sides. You are encapsulating your core color. You don't want your core color to come up through the clear on the sides or in the middle (see third picture). Melt the clear smooth and let it cool a bit.

2. Wrap your vine or goldstone stringer if you want it on the bead next. Melt it in, cool slightly and then wrap with a clear stringer (third picture). Make your clear wrap a barrel because it will give you the right amount of glass as it rounds into a ball. Melt the clear round and let it cool a bit.

One way to get your bead to come to a round shape is to heat it to a glow and then take it out of the flame and keep turning it. As it starts to cool it wants to pull into a round shape. You can repeat this process to bring it round, or use your graphite roller to make nice rounded ends. You want a nice round shape at this point because your dots will melt across this shape and continue it.

3. Using your Base Petal Color stringer and make 3 or 4 or 5 small dots, depending on the flower shape you want (second picture). The size of “O” around and tall is a good size. Dots really spread and keep on spreading with each layer you add. Place your dots ½ to 1 “O” size apart around the imaginary circle of the flower space. If you place them to close they will merge.

The first picture shows a stretched tiny amount of glass being added to that dot to make it the same size as the other four dots. Take time to add teeny bits more to make all the dots on the flower circle the same size. Melt in your dots completely (fourth picture). Allow the bead to cool slightly.

To space your flower rings evenly you can add teeny clear dots where the centers will be. Use your mandrel as your guide. Put the top dot on and then roll it to the bottom and add your next top dot. Then turn your mandrel so that you can see the top and the bottom dots. THEN place a dot right in the middle using your mandrel to center it. Repeat on the other side.

If your teeny clear dots are to big use your tweezers to pick off the extra. They will push your petals apart if they are to big, but will make no impact if they are just a tiny clear spike-dot.

When you look at your dot placement around your imaginary circle sometimes one dot is to close or to far away. I heat the dot a bit and use the flat edge of a brass tool to scoot the dot over a teeny bit. You can almost always get away with it because each dot sits on a layer of clear, which gives protection to the petal underneath to prevent it's distortion as you move the dot gently. I move it on 2 or 3 nudges to keep the dot as round as possible.

The bead on the right shows a large clear dot to close to the top 2 white ones. I would scoot it to the center and/or pick it smaller if need be before proceeding.

4. Place dots of the transparent color for the shading in the same size "O" or a touch smaller in the middle of the flat white dots. Take the time to adjust your dots to be the same size so they spread the same.

If you want solid colored petals don’t add the transparent dot layers. Just do solid color dots and clear dots between.

5. Melt in your transparent dots completely (first picture). Keep melting to shape the bead as round as possible. Let it cool a bit and then apply clear dots like you did the transparent dots. Melt in completely (third picture). Make the clear dots at least as large as your initial dots.

6. Place your second ring of base-color dots on the divides/edges between the petals about in the middle of the petals or in just a bit toward the center (first picture). It is more important to get a round circle of dots then to sit exactly on the petal divides. Repeat the process of melting in and then placing your transparent dots and your clear dots.

In the top picture on the left you can see that the very top (melted-in) dot is bigger than the other four melted in dots. This is because the first base color dot was bigger than the other four. Beware of this or you'll have mixed sized petals. To counter it a bit, put a smaller dot of Transparent and Clear on the larger base dot and it should spread less compared to the others.

In the bottom right picture you can see the right edge of the mandrel has a tiny spike area. A small amount of clear can be run around the bead, not touching the mandrel, and then carefully melted and pressed toward the mandrel with a small brass or graphite tool to fix this.

7. Repeat the steps for your third layer of petals, including the clear dots at the end. Round the bead with more heating (half in and half out of the flame).

8. After rounding the bead let it cool a bit and then if you are doing the stamen centers do the following:

a. Take your stamen stringer and pull it into a point in the flame - to a small point shaped like a sharpened pencil. This is so that when you push it into your rose center it doesn’t punch through your petals and make a round hole in them, but instead it pushes them down and in with the stamen stringer - so that it appears only as stamen coming out. Take the time to pull and re-point your stamen stringer for each flower center.

b. (First top left picture above) Heat one flower to a glow. Move it out of the flame a bit and take your pointed stamen stringer - carefully center it and gently press it in toward the mandrel.

Take the bead with it still in the center out of the flame and blow on it gently until the stringer easily snaps off. Return the bead to the flame and roll the bead to reheat just a bit. Repeat this cycle for each flower until all of them have a stamen center.

Then apply a tiny dot of clear on top of the stamen spot if the break is below the surface of the bead, which it almost always is. You can pull your clear stringer to a point to be able to place it in the center on the stamen if it is a wider stringer. If you put to big a clear dot on, gently pinch/pull off excess clear with tweezers. You want a tiny dot of clear to fill the center indent hole, not one that over spreads your petals (see the two pictures on the bottom left).

After all of your flowers have stamen inserted and a tiny dot of clear on top of the stamen, gently melt in the dots. Keep half your bead out of the flame as you turn so you are heating the surface of the bead, not the core. You do not want to overheat and shift the inside of the bead or make your petals slide or elongate.

DIFFERENT CENTER OPTIONS: You can also use a pointed tool and after heating the center, gently press it in and then apply a tiny dot of clear. After you melt in the clear you will get an air bubble in the center of the flower which is a pretty look, or you can apply a CZ for another center treatment.

9. You are done at this point unless want a layer of clear on the outside of your bead to magnify your flowers. If you do, then let the bead cool a bit and apply your final encasing layer and melt it in.

ENCASING LAYER NOTE: If you don't allow your bead to cool before applying the encasing layer your design with smear or shift with the melting in of the encasing layer. Be sure to keep your bead half in and half out of the flame as you melt in your encasing layer or you will still overheat your inner bead and cause it to shift. Even if your bead gets cool enough to get a slight crack before applying your encasing layer, it should heal in the flame as you melt in the encasing layer.

10. All done now… so smile at yourself, garage the bead or put it where you normally do.

If you can’t seem to make this bead at present, practice your dot control - practice learning to place dots where you want them and in the size you want them. It will get easier with practice. Pay attention to how the glass stretches when you add more to a dot, and how long to take to lift off your stringer to get a set size of dot. Almost musical or like a dance step, there's a rhythm to it.


If you are getting to much of a donut shape, you can widen your base bead a bit, like this picture shows. It will give a wider bead base as you add layers of dots and round the bead up.


I added 2 layers of clear dots to each petal layer on this bead - except for the final single layer of clear dots. It gave a bit more depth to the encasing, and it also increased the spread a bit.

Then I used a pointed brass tool to press in the centers of the flowers. Brass drags glass and I wanted to see if it would take the petals in and down with it. It did a bit. I added a goldstone Adventurine dot to the plunge hole, tamped it in a bit, then covered it with a teeny dot of clear and melted it all in.

This bead has only 3 flowers, so it has gone toward the donut triangle shape a bit, but you can see the layers and the press into the center fairly well.



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