Friday, January 16, 2015

Free Tut Friday!

The second in my Free Tut Friday, we'll explore making headpins. This is a style and technique I cam up with that has been very popular.
You will need: Reichenbach Iris Orange #RL- 6208 (aka Raku) CIM Stone Ground #511251 Effetre Black Transparent #591064 20 Gauge copper wire. Pliers Clamp tool Wire cutters. Make some twisties with the Iris Orange as a base and Black lines. I pull them about 3mm. Cut the copper wire about 4" long.
To hold the wire, I use a "Broach Holder" from Arrow Springs, but you can use hemostats or even make one of these with an alligator clip. Some people also use a pin vise, but I find it cumbersome to get the wire out and into the kiln.
Heat a gather of Stone Ground and barely heat the end of the copper wire. Apply the gather to the wire. This takes several applications. Remember, hot glass does not stick to hot glass, so take the bead out of the flame to apply the new hot glass. It should end up about 8 to 10mm. Be sure you keep the wire out of the flame or it will burn right though it.
Next apply the twistie in a sort of back and forth "S" around the bead.
Heat to melt in still keeping the wire at the edge of the flame, only the bead should be in the flame.
Don't let it get too drippy either! When the twistie is all melted in, hold the bead upside down so the gravity will form it's shape. Sorry for the blurry photo, the camera phone does not want to focus on the bead!
Last step is to slowly heat the bead for about 5 seconds at the top of your flame. This will help bring out the colors in the raku. They will develop more in the kiln too, so don't overdo it! Pop it in the kiln by unlatching it from the clip. After annealing, I swipe the wire with steel wool, then polish with Renaissance wax to prevent further rusting.
I hope you enjoy making these, they can be addicting!