Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fresh From the Flames - Buttons!

I got my new button mandrel from River's Edge Glass on Artfire earlier this week. Yesterday was the first chance I had to try it out. It comes with 2 sets of mandrels for hole sizes 1/16 inch and 3/32 inch. Each set is 4 - 4 inch mandrel and one rubber o-ring to hold them onto the main mandrel. The first thing I did was cut and grind down several more of each size mandrel.

The image on the left is the 3/32's on the left and the 1/16's on the right.

The pic on the right you might notice a broken button on the left. Such a bummer. It was the most intricate and best of the bunch. There's a wonderful murrini in the center and bubbles around the edge.

I had a lot of trouble removing the buttons from the 1/16 mandrels. I bent 3 of 8 mandrels removing the buttons. On the other hand (er, other mandrel) the 3/32 mandrels slid off the button like butter off a hot knife. I'm going to pay a lot more attention to the mandrel and the bead release next time to see if it was something I did wrong. Looking at the mandrels I have at the ready, I've noticed that the bead release appears thicker on the 3/32 mandrels and thinner on the 1/16. So hopefully I can rid myself of this problem with just a little extra bead release. I am using Foster Fire Smooth & Tuff.

The instructions that come with the mandrel explain 2 different ways to start the button. My favorite was to place a murrini in the center and wrap around it. It worked great and turned out beautiful in the 1/16 inch mandrel. In the 3/32 button the murrini was too small and I had a hard time getting it started and centered. That's it on the right side of the lower pic. I can solve this problem by making my murrini a little bigger next time with this in mind. I'd also like to give a try to including pieces of murrini all the way around and not just in the center. My mind sees it as almost like a kaleidoscope.

Click on each pic to see the full size image.

Please come see my shiny new baubles at the Arts Market of New Orleans in Palmer Park on the corner of S Carrollton and S Claiborne on this Saturday, August 29 from 10am to 4pm.

Till later - Flame On!
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