Monday, May 2, 2011

Pat Frantz Dichro Tutorial- My beads

Hello all!

I thought I would share my experiences with you about Pat Frantz new dichro tutorial I received a few weeks back. It took me until just now to get a chance to work on the beads, but I really enjoyed learning something new! Mad respect to dichro bead makers.

Working with dichro takes patience and time. You have to gently heat dichroic glass, glass side facing the flame crystal side facing away. Little heat exposure burns the crystals and the clear they use for dichro gets scummy easily. Also when working with dichro a good bond has to be made with the bead base and dichro or else your glass will crack. It's a wonder people can make beads with it, huh?! lol.

Here is a you tube video Pat did to show you how to make a dichroic lightning bead. She makes it look so effortless! ;) This awesome video should help as a visual aid to demonstrate how the glass is applied to a bead.

Here were my first attempts. I didn't have the proper glass for the tutorial for these beads, but used what I did have on hand before getting the glass in the tutorial. The bead on the left has rainbow 2x 1/4" strip dichro and triton double helix. The bead on the left has rainbow 2 1/4" strip dichro and corkscrew dichro. Both pieces are on a base of Tuxedo.

Here are all of the beads from my first attempt making all of the tutorial beads. I botched the first plain dichro bead and used up the whole strip of pink and had to use other assorted strips of different colors to try out the technique. I didn't do so awesome not burning the dichro! Oops! As dichro melts the crystal layer curves upward pulling itself towards the torch flame and exposes the sides. This is why it's very important to heat the clear side that faces the flame and gently push is down and spread it out to protect the crystals.

You can see I cracked my off mandrel pendant as well :( I did this in the final steps when trying to heat off my punty(a punty is a temporary glass handle(usually it can be metal too) used to hold glass while doing off mandrel techniques. In this instance the tungsten pick I was using to hold the pendant through the hole on the top actually stuck to the glass! Whoops! I was frantically trying to push off the pendant into the kiln before it cooled too much before realizing it was stuck. Bummer cause it was really pretty too!

I ended up cracking my ruffly bead second from the top too. I am thinking I didn't get a good enough bond with the dichro and the base bead.

The top zig-zag bead turned out awesome!
Here is a close up picture.  You can see all of that pretty "oil slick" effect I got with reducing Triton. If you look at the blue zig-zags you can see the shimmery red orange dichro that lies on the top. It's such a cool bead to make and see it all come together. It pretty much has a blanket of shimmer on top of the core design! So cool!

Here is a close-up photo of the back side of the pendant I cracked from it getting stuck to the pick and cooling too much.

Here is my last attempt re-doing the beads I messed up the first time through the tutorial. I managed to get the pendant made, but I ended up trapping some scummy clear under my top layer of square patterned dichro. Dang!
I ended up cracking my ruffle bead again too! Drat! It didn't show the cracks until the next day after annealing. I must not have gotten a good bond again. 

I did FINALLY get my plain dichro bead all encased without scum on that last try too! The color is SO pretty!

Well I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences. If you lampwork I hope you will go on over and pick up Pat's tutorial and give it a try!

If you want to see the thread I posted on Lampwork Etc. to hear what other people had to say and see how their beads turned out, visit the link here :) Show me your Pat Frantz Dichro Tutorial Beads.

See you soon!

Much love,

Genea


4 comments:

Cindy said...

Did I miss a link to her tutorial or are you testing it???

Genea said...

It's highlighted under the "dichro tutorial" by her name in the first bit of the post, but here is the plain link ;) http://patfrantztutorials.com/

maryharding said...

Wow!! Such an interesting post and so clearly written. Love all your attempts and how you explain them. I love to use dichro in glass fusing and agree it can be tricky but this is so much more difficult. But worth it to have a fully three dimensional bead instead of a flat piece as in fusing. Great post Genea!!!

Genea said...

Thanks Mary! I'm glad that it's clear and easy to read. I forget that not everyone "speaks glass," so I tried to explain what techniques mean what ;)

Oh very interesting to hear about the difference in fusing and lampworking. I have not really attempted to fuse anything yet, but plan to explore fusing and glass blowing when I move :D

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