Happy Accidents

Sometimes you just have to let things happen.

I have been working on a new series of beads that I call my Nautilus beads. They are derived from my donut beads; the differences being they have a smaller hole in the center and the twisted cane wraps around the bead in one spiral. I usually make them with a transparent center and this invites you to look inside the bead in between the spiral wraps.

These start out as a pretty large (in diameter) disk bead, but with a very small width or footprint on the mandrel. This puts a lot of stress on the bead release holding the glass onto the mandrel, so if I am not very careful, the bead will break loose and I cannot continue to work on it. Sometimes it is possible to perform a rescue using a temporary bridge of glass to stabilize a bead to keep working, but I was not successful doing that with this type of bead.

Now, these beads take a long time to make, and when this happens, it is not a very happy moment. So, when it happened, I stubbornly decided to rescue it another way.

I puntied it onto a clear rod of glass, and pulled it totally off the mandrel. The hole had a bunch of bead release stuck on it, so I pulled that off with tweezers. I then let it droop and added some decorative blobs of glass on the bottom. I reamed the hole larger. In other words, I tortured that poor piece of glass.

This is my favorite piece that I have done so far! I have had a couple of opportunities to make more after this one, but this one is special, because it was first. If I would have dunked it in the water jar, because things did not go my way, this would have never happened.

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Rosemarie Hanus is a glass artist who writes from her studio in Bath Township, Ohio. Her website is www.SpawnOfFlame.com.

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4 Responses to “Happy Accidents”

  1. beadabundant Says:

    I love it! I’ve been experimenting with off-mandrel donut beads, too. It opens up a lot of new design possibilities, and I love the fact that I don’t have to clean bead release out of the hole. Happy accident, indeed!

  2. rose h. Says:

    Yep Karolen. Not having to clean that bead release – that is the best!

  3. Watch Me Create » Going off Mandrel Says:

    […] the RSS feed or have it sent to you by email!. Don’t miss a thing!I wrote a while back about some disk pendants that I make when nautilus beads break free from the mandrel. I really like those and even got some […]

  4. Watch Me Create » Another Happy Accident: Glass Nautilus Bead Says:

    […] have revolved one way or another around the nautilus series of beads. I mentioned in my “Happy Accident” post, that I have a new design that came about when a nautilus broke free from the […]


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