Going off Mandrel

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 positive feedback about them. I had a message where the writer dubbed them discoutofcontrol.

I like to analyze things so I tried to identify what exactly I liked about the beads. First, the shape. I do many very controlled shapes – symmetrical, smooth, balanced. These were not that – and it was good.

Second, I think it is the very clean, smooth hole that is so appealing. My donut beads have a texture inside the hole, and I confess, I like to stick my finger in there and feel the texture when I’m wearing one. It’s such a great contrast to the outside smoothness of the donut. But! I really loved the look of the completely polished discoutofcontrol.


I had been kicking around the idea of attempting a donut off mandrel for about a half year. It had some design benefits that I might talk about in another post, but it also would result in a nice smooth hole. I finally got the nerve to try it.

I started by making a ring with clear by coaxing a clear rod into shape. I then wrapped a twisted cane around it in a spiral, and finally I encased it. Recognize the colors? It only ended up on the floor once – I do need work on my puntying skills. But, oh happy day! I’m thrilled with the finished bead.

Rosemarie Hanus makes glass donuts in her home studio in Northeast Ohio.


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