mary lockwood lampwork beads

mary lockwood lampwork beads
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mandrel Day...yuk

The bane of a lampworker's existence---cleaning and dipping mandrels.  I could probably find a handful of beadmakers who SAY they don't mind doing mandrels but they must be lying. LOL

I've noticed lately that my torch time has depended too much on the fact that I only had 3 mandrels in use.  I would make three beads, say 'Oops, I'm out of mandrels...guess I'm done for the day". LOL  Then I'd quit.  I was almost using it as a crutch for days I didn't actually want to be working glass.  (Yes- it does happen.)

I would clean and redip those three mandrels and use them again the next day because I had a whole stack of mandrels with chunks of glass on them, half-made and abandoned beads on them.  Color tests and all kinds of rejects that I just did NOT want to deal with.

Since my ventilation is busted and I'm not in a position to fix it today (I don't relish working with oudoor electricity in the pouring rain), I decided to tackle that stack of mandrels.  A year or so ago I had probably 200 mandrels that I would clean and dip all at once and not do it again until I was completely out.  My stash is getting depleted.  Here is what I have left and the sorry shape they were in:

I lost 12 more of these that were too bent to fix.  There were a small handful that I managed to straighten out.  The thicker rejects were put into the 'punty pile'.  I will press those into service pulling twisties, canes and stringers. The rest cleaned up rather nicely.  It had been so long since I dipped a big batch of mandrels that my bottle of bead release was completely dried out.  I had to reconstitute it and mix it before I could even dip these.  But, I made it and here they all are happily waiting their turn in the flame:

That sight makes me want to torch. LOL  All those mandrels just beggin' for it!  Blasted ventilation fan, stupid ice.  Grr.

Maybe now is the perfect time to take the bead door layer out of my kiln and do a little fusing. my brain is humming.

Hubby has taken the two older kids to the matinee so now I'm off to make a huge pot of minestrone.  I can't wait to eat that!

ps- I just came back to add a link to these adorable baby slippers I found on etsy.  She is a brand new seller too and I thought she might could use some extra traffic.  I wish I had a baby to buy these for!