Make Glass Beads From Broken Bottles (+video)

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Introduction: Make Glass Beads From Broken Bottles (+video)

Make sure to check out my blog!

 Her's a video I made that shows you how to make some pretty nice beads from a couple of shards of blue glass.

If you want to learn more about this kind of art, it's called "lampworking". There are scores more tutorials out there!


VERY IMPORTANT!
In order to clear up the whole eye protection confusion:
DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING THIS WITHOUT SAFETY GLASSES! Chips of glass can actually shoot out when you heat glass!
Whether or not you want to wear didium lenses is up to you! Personally, I do not wear them!


The torch I used is a Propane fueled Plumber's torch from Ace Hardware...nothing special!

Safety tips:
-Heat glass slowly, or it may fracture.
-Make sure your torch is not near anything flammable.
-WEAR SAFETY GLASS
-I have a fire extinguisher within arms reach, I recommend the same for you.
-Don't make large beads. They might break while they cool, or worse, while you wear them!
-Do some research! :D




Step 1: Part 1

I had to break up the video into 3 segments because YouTube doesn't like to upload things longer than 4 minutes.

When you make beads for the first time, they should be pretty small. When glass cools in the air, it builds up stress and may break (if the bead is too big)! Professional bead makers immediately put there hot beads into kilns where they are slowly cooled over several hours. You probably will not have access to such a kiln, so your first beads will have to cool in air. If you really like making beads and you want to make larger ones, get some vermiculate from any gardening store. The vermiculite is in a fine pellet form, so put your still hot beads in a dish of it such that it cools slower (the vermiculate insulates the beads, so it cool slower and introduces less stress into the bead)



Ok, the basic steps are:
-Take 2 shards of glass, and melt them together at the tips.
-Stretch out the melted part into a thin rod of glass.
-Get a bicycle spoke, cover one end of it with bead release/plaster.
-Heat the spoke until it glows red hot
-Wrap the spoke with the thin glass rod you just made.
-Heat the new bead such that it gets smooth and rounded.
-Let it  cool
-Pull it off the spoke and wash the clay off of it.

The torch in this video is just a plain old propane plumbers torch.
The glass is from a busted vodka bottle.
The clay is from a specialty store, but you can use plaster of paris instead.

Step 2: Part 2

 

Step 3: Part 3

 

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FYI - The reason the glass breaks when it's either heated or cooled is because of temperature differential, not pressure. Glass is an insulator so heat transfers poorly. If it's heated up too fast one side will remain cool and the temperature difference between one side and the other will make it shatter. The same thing will happen if you're using cold metal tools to hold the glass. The best way to avoid this is to gradually heat a larger section than what you'll be drawing the glass from and by constantly rotating your mandrel in the heat source.

I use an old electric grill to preheat the glass I am going to use - it cuts down on the time it takes to make the beads and I can switch to different colors. The easiest way to test compatibility is to heat 2 glasses together and pull them into a thread.

If you stick the mandrel with the bead into vermiculite or some other insulating material, you can anneal the beads w/o a kiln.

This is a really good way to re-use old glass bottles!

Awesome Idea!

I have been collection old pieces of glass off of my property, which consist of Depression, Old canning jars, medicine, and snuff jars....

Would i be able to use this type of glass to make beads ?

Thanks

IMG_3386.JPGIMG_3387.JPGIMG_3389.JPGIMG_3388.JPG

Yes, you can use all of it but probably not together because different glass has different heat coeficients, meaning the length of time it retains heat. If you use glass with different coeficients the object will crack or shatter because one cools faster than the other.

I have been collection old pieces of glass off of my property, which consist of Depression, Old canning jars, medicine, and snuff jars....

Would i be able to use this type of glass to make beads ?

Thanks

IMG_3386.JPGIMG_3387.JPGIMG_3389.JPGIMG_3388.JPG

Can I melt glass a glasbottle in a melting pot and poured in a sinkers mold directly??? angelrod90@hotmail.com

Awesome Article.

This is great informative post that you make.Really Fantastic post.I like it very much.I enjoy reading websites like these.

Thanks a lot for sharing this extreme post.


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