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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Process: cleaning beads

So first of all I want to say thank you to all the well wishes from everyone- it helped me bring me out of misery :)

So... after I am done making the beads, they are put in a kiln to anneal, and then when they're cool I have to clean them.




Lots of the beads I make are made on what is called a mandrel. When the metal and glass are hot they'll stick together so the end of the mandrel is covered in bead release (looks a lot like clay slip) before forming the bead.



When you pull the bead off the bead release likes to stick in the middle.

I like to soak the beads a bit to loosen the bead release.








And then I remove the bead release with a tool called a bead reamer or just a really small file from the hardware store.



Or if I have 18 million beads to do






Or I use my dremel tool if I have 18 million beads to do.







All clean :)

50 comments:

Deva84 said...

ohh my Dear Lord! that looks time consuming! wow I admire your patience!

thank you for stopping by and for leaving such a sweet comment!

Deva84 said...

ohh now I see, you've got FB badge here!

ok... added!

bisous!

Girl Interrupted said...

Your beads are so pretty and colourful, they make me feel like a little girl again :) love them!

Dutch donut girl said...

What a fun video. I love the bright and beautiful colors of the beads. But doesn't that big dremel tool grind the glass?
Wait, that was a stupid question wasn't it?

Eric said...

Great work Valerie! And what awesome technical info on bead cleaning!
I use a Foredom diamond drill for small stone shaping, but thought about getting the Dremel.
I wonder if the beads that the early settlers traded to the Native Americans for Manhattan were as clean as your beads?

Valerie said...

Deva 84- thanks! it was my pleasure to stop by your blog- you are so creative with your posts. And I actually found you on 20sb, but we can be facebook friends as well too :)

Girl Interrupted- that could very well be the sweetest thing I've ever heard!

Dutch donut girl- no not stupid at all! The answer is yes or no depending on the attachment. The silver one I use does wear down the glass a very teeny tiny bit, but if a hole has a rough edge I can smooth it out. The green one is a buffer :) And now I'm sure I told you more than I want to know!

Valerie said...

Deva 84- thanks! it was my pleasure to stop by your blog- you are so creative with your posts. And I actually found you on 20sb, but we can be facebook friends as well too :)

Girl Interrupted- that could very well be the sweetest thing I've ever heard!

Dutch donut girl- no not stupid at all! The answer is yes or no depending on the attachment. The silver one I use does wear down the glass a very teeny tiny bit, but if a hole has a rough edge I can smooth it out. The green one is a buffer :) And now I'm sure I told you more than I want to know!

Valerie said...

Eric- Thanks. I bet your drill has quite a bit more power, but I really love my dremel tool because there are thousnads of different attachments they make for it.

Soda and Candy said...

Beautiful and educational! My favorite!

Sandy said...

I had no idea how much work it took to make one single bead. Kudos to your determination and patience. I would simply have smashed the beads in frustration.

noelle said...

How on earth does one learn how to do this?? You got some serious talent, girl!

glorv1 said...

Hi Valerie. How interesting the type of work you are doing on the beads. That is definitely a lot of fun. How great! I admire people like you who really get into their craft. Thx for stopping by my blog and have a great weekend. Take care.

Laura M said...

great to see more about what you do. it really interests me! Did you make the youtube video?

Valerie said...

Soda and Candy- I aim to please ;)

Sandy- that happens too. I try to keep that off tape.

Noelle- it was serendipitous really. But there are peeps all over the world who do this

glorv1- thanks! And I hope your weekend is good as well and full of crafts :)

Laura- yep- those are my hands, and my beads... and my dremel!

Andrew Thornton said...

Using a Dremel is such a clever thing to use. We used the old-fashioned ones when we were playing around with glass and it was one of the deterrents.

Valerie said...

Andrew- you'll come to see that I'm a big fan of power tools (not just for glass making)

you'll have to do some more playing around now :)

brian said...

Those are absolutely lovely! I'm fascinated with the process, and rather enjoy the design of your blog...I found it through 20sb. Bravo. :)

Valerie said...

Hey Brian- thanks for checking me out!

Cabin-boy Dave said...

That was fascinating. I've never quite thought of all the effort that must go into this :O

Valerie said...

Dave- its really no effort when its something that you love doing :)

Hollyrocks said...

This is such an interesting process! Thanks for all the info and photos. The video was a nice touch too! You're one talented girl!

mo.stoneskin said...

I hate to imagine the situation where you have spilt 18 million beads on the carpet. I say "hate", but actually...

Valerie said...

Hollyrocks- thanks girl!

Mo.stoneskin- you should hear the foul things that come out of my mouth when I drop one bead. I might become dangerous if I dropped all 18 million ;)

King of New York Hacks said...

WOW !! Who knew ?? Not me !!

Jonesey said...

Damn. I'd just throw them in the dishwasher. I had no idea.

Valerie said...

KofNYH- well now you do. And keep tuning in and I will tell you waaaay more than you'd ever want to know. I'm good like that.

Jonesey- hmmm, that's actually not a bad idea. May have to try it.

Yet said...

Wow. I didn't know you could do that. That's amazing!!

Tellie said...

Wow, I didn't know all that work went into beads. I guess I take them for granted lol.

Engagement Rings said...

Great work, This is interesting, few days before i saw beautiful Engagement Rings, Gold rings and must visit this you will also be surprised to see such a beautiful designs.

Mr. Condescending said...

Shiny, colorful things always make me happy :P
Your work even makes me slightly happy in my pants.

post some more valerie, we miss ya!

Valerie said...

Yet and Tellie- Thanks!

Engagement rings- already have one. thanks.

Mr. C- hehe. Happy pants are good. I was on a little mini-vacation and I'm having a hard time getting back into blogging. Soon though I think I can brave it :)

Matt said...

wow u really take this seriously dont u??
I wont pretend to know much about beads but i do laud you for your patience:)

Anonymous said...

Glad you are feeling better. Ambitious with the beads again.
Where is your mom when you need her? Camping on Madeline island out of cell phone reach apparently.

LiLu said...

So glad you're feeling a bit better... the blogosphere is an amazing place, isn't it? :-)

mylittlebecky said...

late to the party (i was on vacay) BUT this is very cool!

Valerie said...

Matt- I take everything I do seriously ;)

Anonymous- thanks mom!

LiLu- thanks! It really is... I would still be feeling sorry for myself if it wasn't for everyone's kind words!

MLB- no worries. It's always a party in this part of the blogosphere... though I have been taking my own impromptu break from blogging.

Sally-Sal said...

You must've made a shit ton of beads.

I miss you like the deserts miss the rain.

Valerie said...

are you confessing to hanging 'round my old address? :P

I'll come back soon I promise!

Michelle said...

wow! that's awesome! i envy people who has found a creative outlet. i'm still looking for mine :)

Valerie said...

Thanks Michelle! A creative outlet could be anything really.... baking, sewing, painting, blogging... ;)

Elise said...

Hello, loved this post ! Really enjoyed reading it so thank you and best wishes

MeCassieMarie said...

You are truly a patient and talented person! Such beautiful beads too!

MeCassieMarie.blogspot.com

Rachel said...

Those beads are gorgeous, I'm jealous of your craftiness :)!

Workforced said...

Every skill is a new one to congratulate. I wonder if you've ever worked with red coral. Not a bead as such but a great material.

Wait a minute. I write office comedy. What am I doing here?

Don Joe

www.workforced.com

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Mr. Condescending said...

it's been almost a year since you've blogged but I still think you are so hot.

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petite hermine said...

Wow, that's amazing. So that's how they're made! Btw, found you through the 'WeLoveComments' Group :)

Krista said...

Wow that's beautiful! Do you sell the beads or make jewelry out of them?