All righty now, it’s official, I am in my Christmas production mode. I haven’t reached the screaming panic stage yet but it’s close. Every day I have a quota of beads to make. Once the quota is done then I get to play with new ideas. I am a bead making machine. Bead making begins with this jar of “mud” which is bead release.
Bead release is a clay substance that you apply to the mandrel. It prevents the glass from being one forever with the mandrel. (The mandrel is the thin steel rod that you wind your glass around to make a bead – when you pull the bead off, voila! there’s a hole in the bead.) It also acts as a heat insulator so I can hold the mandrel without gloves.
This is called “dipping your mandrels”. Wow, such a technical term. Open the jar, dip the mandrel, hold it upright for a few seconds and then place the mandrel in the mandrel holder. The mandrel holder is a piece of scrap wood with holes drilled in it. Then let the bead release dry. Make beads.