Friday, February 25, 2011

Lets Talk Spiral Tongs!

I finally got back onto the torch Wednesday. It felt so good! Between sick, and too cold to torch in the studio, I was off it for a few weeks. I made a few dozen big flat spiral beads, in various sizes, all using my Jim Moore Spiral Tongs. I decided that his spiral tongs are my go-2 item, and by far my favorite! So lets talk about it :)

Lets face it, It seems pricey! I am a low budget girl!!!
At about $100 bucks, it is the best investment I have made in a long time. It is rare to get them used, (but buy them if you can) because you will seriously want to hold on to them forever. They are very well made. Heavy brass plates about the size of a half dollar, and steel tongs that are smooth, and comfortable to grip. It accommodates almost any glass size from a few millimeters to probably about 1 1/2 inches round. I have easily squished a 7/8 marble size of glass and larger many times. Same rule applies as presses, you can press more than once. I tend to squish a little at a time with more glass, just to make sure I am even (if that is the plan). If I am not, it is easy to correct before I get to flat. Especially when making wine stoppers, or using a larger amount of glass.
It is like a press, or any other tool. They look a bit different, they can appear as roughness in the creases.

These are the most versatile tool I own. They really can be used in any application. You can use them to shape your final form, or just to imprint it after your done shaping. I will explain in the pictures below how I used the tongs. What I love about these is that you can shape the bead with the tongs first or last, or in the middle. You can take a basic bead (round-ish) press it, then continue to shape it. I like this for quick easy hearts. I end up using the press to initially squish the round bead a bit, then knife the top in, marver the bottom to a point, and lightly re-press with the tongs to set the shape, and flatten any ridges. 

If you want to use the tongs last (or at least not first) you can press a bead, or shape it however you like, then lightly press (or depending on shape) roll the bead along the spiral groves. Pillows/Nuggets look neat with a slight spiral either on one or both sides. Furthermore you can take any shape and press it for a slightly different effect for every shape. I have yet to use it on my Star press, but its on my short list! I have used these on barrels, tiles, lentils, triangles, free form hearts, wine stoppers, marble shapes, donuts, squares, long cube and tube shapes, bicones, and more. A lentil shape or tab will get you a nice round spiral, but a barrel will do the same. I find that you get less dimpeling when you use a barrel or well made lentil shape to get a round. You can really add a neat design element depending on the pattern of glass below it. Your possibilities are seriously endless, but easily duplicated if needed.  The trick to getting an even and undistorted shape is heat control. Press a few times, and you will figure out what consistency you would like the glass when you press it. I tend to press a little cooler than a regular press. It is easier to fix a bead that is too thick than one that is too thin. 

Right: These beads are a white barrel shape base rolled in Susan Sheehans Valentines frit, then swirled with light amber, and light amethyst glass on top, melted and squished with spiral tongs. They are about 1in in size.

Below: Shape heart first, a bit thick, but not puffy. color is med turq or dk sky blue. Then I used the tongs off set spiral imprints, and used a dark purple stringer, possibly edp, or 272.

Purple 272 base, valentine frit, light amethyst semi-wrap and goldstone stringer. Made in the same way the set above it is made.

EDP, form a narrow barrel shape (I used my lentil shaper for consistency)      Lower left: EDP, form a narrow barrel shape (I used my lentil shaper for consistency)

I spiral tonged a round marble shape, a little, then a little more until I achieved the thickness I was looking for. I then stretched the form out with a punty at the top. It was fairly easy to not distort the thick spiral imprint. I believe this is dark grass green, and silver blue frit. The frit was applied before and after sparingly with purpose to its location, then reduced.

This key chain is made with ASK Carmel Apple. It is reduced slightly. It is a basic square tab, that I lightly imprinted with the tongs, the fire polished any chill marks.


This is a tube bead, with a round bead on the end of the tube. Squish the round bead lightly, and adjust shape if necessary with a spoon, or marble mold.
Med Aqua glass (glow powder on the back)

This bracelet was made with med aqua as well. I got consistent sizes by first making a round in a marble mold, then making them slightly barrel shaped with it in my lentil press cavity. Give them a little squish, and thats it! The smaller beads are small barrel bead that are squished as well. If the barrel had been bigger, the shape would have rounded out more.

Thanks :)  Stay tuned for more reviews, recipes, and glass goodness!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Just a few things, since I thought I should update my blog.

I have a show booked April 2 2010 as my first of the season. It will be at Windham High School (saturday, 9-3) This is a pretty good craft show in the spring! 2 Gyms full of crafters! I will have my torch there and be doing demonstrations throughout the day.

I have a list of other shows I am looking into, but have not settled on any just yet. I am in the process of getting a new job, and do not want to book too many shows if it does not work with my new schedule. It's a bit of a pain, but it must be done this way for now.

Other than that, I have gotten some great feedback about my new bracelets from people who basically rip it off my wrist and want to know where I got it! Good news!!! I even had an interview that the lady stopped mid sentence, and apologized, but she just could not go on with out seeing my bracelet! haha.

Noah turned 10 this week (today is his actual b-day.) The Party Sunday was a success, and they whole family enjoyed Dave and Busters in Providence RI on Saturday. I'd say that he had a pretty cool B-day, and he said it was "the most awesome ever". I am happy with that! Now what to do for the 12 year old in may.... hummm

Ok just a pic and I am gone! This set is on Artfire, Bye!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Bracelet Style

just some candy from a new bracelet I have listed on artfire right now. I am planing on making similar styles to this. Do you like it? should I make more??? I have an affliction to purple, so of course the first few may be very purple!!!! I am warning you now!!! Let me know what you think! These are made on stretch cord.

To DYE for....

So I have naturally blond hair that has gotten darker over the years. Its currently (naturally) a dark dirty blond to light brown color.  Well.. I have had it bleached pink and blonde for a few months now (LOVE IT! everyone should have pink hair) BUT my roots needed to be done a few weeks ago, and I really need a job other than my glass business. Its just time. (Dont worry I will still be making beads as always)
So boyfriend helped me pick out a shade of color at the store that is very very close to my natural color. its called "blonde beige" (picture does not do it any justice)
Yea.... I am grey... Like STORM from X-Men! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Funny thing is, its a really nice grey! It has tonality, it looks natural, with striations, and varying shades perfectly put together... oh and the box claimed to have excellent grey coverage.... So I go back to the store today to get a more golden blonde to cover my grey hair... Funny thing is I am 27. I don't currently have any grey hair! But when I do..... I already decided I am streaking it with blue or purple or something!! It really is a great foundation for other colors!

Hopefully the old lady jokes will stop when I get a color that takes care of the grey! hahahaha....
Im really kind of laughing about it... BF keeps telling me to take out my teeth before I come to bed!!!! OUCH! He is 13 years older than me! he is MY old man! He has REAL greys!! LOL

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh Blogger Where Art Thou?

It has been a L O N G 2 weeks!! Let me tell you!!!!
GROSS FACTOR BEWARE< THERE ARE TALKS OF SNOT HERE> proceed with caution. And skip down if you choose.
I have been sick something awful the past few weeks I am still coughing actually... It happens almost every February! This year was especially awful. After so many years of the same thing I don't eve bother going to the dr any more. I get the same speach... "well i can give you a Z pak (or same basic thing) and you can take it NEXT WEEK if you are not feeling better by then." but dr.. my throat hurts, and not from anything except pos-nasal drip that is somehow by-passing my nose, and going straight to my throat, where of course I am choking on it, and eww.. just hacking it up. Ya my throat hurts from all that coughing! "well i can give you some cough medicine with codeine"  Will it stop my cough??? "no but it will fell better, and you might get some sleep" Oh OK... how do you stop the cough??? I have been battling this for years and have no clue.. This year I had all this, and on top of it felt just plain iky all over, head ach, sore body, hurts to do anything... I thought for a day that the way my mouth started to hurt I might have strep! Thank god, that did not materialize into anything! So low and behold I have been sitting around the house snot rag in hand.. sneezing and coughing. I cough so hard I'd pee a little, so I was really in no mood to go out in public! heaven forbid I coughed, and peed myself! I'd make it onto the people of wal-mart photo's website!!! NO I will not!!!! So cooped up in the house I have been.

I have really spend most of the time looking for a job. I may have been successful... Not sure yet.
Tomorrow I will divulge my grey haired valentines day!!! hahaha!!! Its to DYE for! LOL

Friday, February 11, 2011


Unique Gifts

A collection of my earrings :) enjoy

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bracelet Collection

Handmade Gifts

Check out my new Bracelets!
There are matching earrings for some in my shop!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

bead candy

Tear Drop Pink and Green Pendant Necklace Lampwork SRA OOAK

NIghts of Passion Blog Winner!

Yey, and congrats to Yadira A. who won the NIghts of Passion contest, and won the red heart necklace!
I hope you enjoy your prize!

Thanks to all who came and checked out the blog, and my artfire listings :) I hope that you enjoy my work!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Welcome Visitors!!

SO today is the big reveal! My very first blog interview is going live! I am being featured on the "Nights Of Passion" blog!  To all of you who came over to peek at my blog and my work, THANK YOU. I really do appreciate it. Also.. GOOD LUCK in winning this great heart necklace! To all my readers, and locals, Please check out this great blog! We all need a bit of romance, and sci-fi in our lives!

I hope you really enjoy it!