Introduction: Silver Fume Glass Implosion Bead

About: I've been a glass artist since 2012. I spent 3 years as an apprentice and have been on my own for the last 3 years. My glass is mostly functional art but I do make some pure art as well.
  • Not responsible for any injuries.
  • Must have a working knowledge of Glass Blowing
  • Materials needed
  • Glass Tube
  • Glass rods/puntys (clear and color)
  • .999% pure silver
  • Tweezers
  • Graphite pad
  • Graphite Reamer

Step 1: Heat the End of the Tube

Begin heating the end of the tube in the flame to get a good gather of molten glass on the end of the tube

Step 2: Spin the Tube

Ensure that you continually spin the tube. Spinning the tube will ensure even heating as well as keeping the molten glass on the end of the tube evenly distributed.

Step 3: Remove From the Flame

Remove the glass from the flame and ensure that you have a nice even gather on the end of the tube.

Step 4: The Bubble

After removing the glass from the flame point the molten end of the glass towards the sky and begin to blow a bubble. Make sure that you continue to spin the tube while blowing. This ensures a bubble with an even thickness.

Step 5: Bubble Inspection

Inspect the bubble for uniformity as well as proper thickness (thicknesses very based on personal preference)

Step 6: Apply the Fume

Using your fume stick with the .999% pure silver on it fume the bubble. Make sure you get a nice even distribution

Step 7: Adding the Dots

Add dots to the fumed bubble so that you can trap the silver (that's where the pattern at the end comes from). Make sure that when you're adding your dots that you add them in an even layer all over the end of your bubble. That will make it implode easier.

Step 8: Heating the Dots

Begin heating the dots and your bubble up. Make sure that you heat it evenly while you watch for the dots to start melting into the bubble.

Step 9: Imploding the Dots

To implode the dots into the bubble you heat the end of the bubble back to about halfway from the beginning of the bubble. The object is to get the clear glass closest to the tube to fall down and over the dots on the end of the bubble. You will have to reblow the bubble a couple of times to get the full motion of movement on the dots as they are sucked up into the new gather of glass.

Step 10: Punty Up

Punty up to the now flat/concave end of the piece. Make sure that it is a good weld because that will be used as your handle on the piece as you continue to work it.

Step 11: Removing the Bead

Flame cut the bead off of the tube as close to the bead as you can.

Step 12: Round It Out

Use the flame to round out the bead. Using a more intense flame will burn off the excess fume left on the edges that you're trying to round out and create a convex curve that will magnify the dot implosion pattern.

Step 13: Repunty

Repunty up to the opposite side of the bead, and rip off the first punty.

Step 14: Clean Up the Punty Mark

Clean up the punty mark. Cleaning up the punty mark, which is a lump of clear glass at this point, will give you a nice flat surface to apply a backing color to the bead.

Step 15: Punty Up With the Color Rod

Use a good weld when you do this step so that you can apply the layer of backing color.

Step 16: Back the Bead

Using the backing color, I use black when I do a fume dot implosion to make the colors of the fume pop, apply a thin layer of the color rod in a smooth circular motion. Remove the color rod when you're done and set it aside, you'll be needing it soon. If you have rough bumps on your backing layer then use your graphite pad to smooth it out.

Step 17: Reweld the Color Rod

Reweld the color rod to the rim of the bead. This will become your loop later on so make sure that the rod is well melted into the bead rim.

Step 18: Break Off the Clear Punty

Break off the clear punty in the center of the bead and clean up the punty mark.

Step 19: Repunty Up

Repunty up to the opposite rim of the bead.

Step 20: Cut the Color Rod

Flame cut the color stick about an inch up from the bead. This is what you'll use as a loop for the necklace bead.

Step 21: Forming the Loop

Get the entire length of your color rod that's left on the bead molten in the flame. Use a set of tweezers to curl the end of the color back over onto the bead. Ensure that you use the flame to really weld that tip to the bead.

Step 22: Polish Up the Loop

Using a graphite reamer to keep the loop open continually reheat the loop until it starts to close up and form a more polished loop.

Step 23: Break Off the Punty

Heat up your tweezers in the flame and grab the bead by the loop. Break off the clear punty and polish up the punty mark so you don't have any rough spots.