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The Mad Professor

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I felt like the Mad Professor today trying to work out what went well in glass stringers. I made stringers with encased brass frit, encased pixie dust, and un-melted frit on the outside of the stringer; none of these were very successful. But then I had a brake through and made some really good stringers with enamel.

enamel 1c sized

1. Enamel 

2. Un-melted Frit

3. Pixie Dust

4. Brass Frit

enamel 1f sized  Enamel 

1. Enamel - I made a small gather with clear glass and then repeatedly rolled the gather in enamel, melting it in each time. Once I was happy that the glass gather was coated, I pulled the gather into a stringer. The finished stringers worked well when decorating the outside of a bead and also worked well when combined with clear glass to make a swirl bead.

2. Un-melted Frit - I made a clear stringer and while it was still hot rolled it in frit and left the frit un-melted on the outside of the stringer. It was diffiuclt to get the frit to stick to the stringer as the stringer cooled down quickly, as a result there was only a small scattering of frit on the outside of the stringer. I tried to add more frit by reheating the stringer, but this caused the stringer to become mishapen. The finished stringer was not very effective when decorationg on the outside of a bead as there was not enough frit on it, but it looked pretty good when I combined it with clear to make a swirl bead.

3. Pixie Dust - I made a small gather with clear glass and coated the gather with pixie dust, and then encased with clear. I gently heated and pulled the gather into a stringer. The finished stringer looked very insipid and was not very effective. I found that because the pixie dust is easy to burn, it was difficult to coat the gather with enough to make the pixie dust dense enough to be thinned out when it was pulled into a stringer. I tried to do it using various layers of pixie dust and clear encasing, but this was still not dense enough to carry the colour and sparkle through in the pulled stringer.

4. Brass Frit - I made a small gather with clear glass and rolled this in the brass frit, and then encased with clear ensuring that I did not cook and burn of the brass frit. I gently heated and pulled into a stringer. The finished stringer looked pretty good, with brass frit running through it, but when I used it to make a bead I was not happy with the end result. I think the concept of encasing particles such as brass frit in a stringer is good, but i'm not sure that I actually like the effects of brass frit as it made the bead look burnt and dirty.

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