Set of beads with crystal spacers

I've made a set of beads from dark purple glass, each with four very pale blue swirls and dashes of red. The plain smaller beads are also the very pale blue while they are separated by clear swarovzski crystals. The tiny bead caps are silver. I had thought to use larger Tibetan silver caps but after looking up the composition of Tibetan silver on the web, decided against on the grounds that the information was that this type of "Silver" more usually does not have any silver content at all. Indeed some of the cheaper caps have a large proportion of lead as their metal content.
The beads are what is called donut shaped rather than round and since they are made by hand, there is a slight variation in size according to how much glass is added to the mandrel during torching. After I've annealed these beads in the kiln, I intend to restring then so that the largest are centred even though there is only a few millimetres difference in all the range of sizes.Set of beads with swirls: 6 patterned beads and 5 plain spacersSet of beads with swirls: 6 patterned beads and 5 plain spacers


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kat's picture


Now you have your new torch have you had any luck making larger size objects....such as maybe a ring? ;-)

Pat from Canvey's picture

Larger objects

I've made one or two attempts and given up because I can't seem to get the torch flame hot enough. I've been disappointed with the Carlisle Mini CC. I was going to get a bigger and hotter torch but was persuaded, against my better judgement to buy the Carlisle. I have a supply of Borosilicate glass now but can only make very small beads with it as boro requires a lot of heat to melt. Not enough heat and it stays in a treacle like state. It's coefficient of expansion is about 32 like pyrex which I believe is also a boro glass. I'm trying to find a justification for buying an even bigger and of course costlier torch.