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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 
white
black
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)

2 comments:

Margi said...

Wow, cool! These snowmen remind me of a gigantic snowball I made in the backyard on Monday. I was attempting to make a life sized snowman, but it didn't work out. These snowmen are adorable!

Harrach Glass said...

Thanks Margi!

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