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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mini Tutorial ~ Marcy's Quick & Easy Bead Stands

Are you a beadmaker or bead lover who could use a little stand to display your beads? By any chance, have you bent a mandrel and don't want to throw it out, because it seems wasteful, but don't know for the life of you, what to do with it?

Well folks, here you go...
Marcy's Quick & Easy Beadstand - modeled by Jack the bunny. (I couldn't get Vanna White to do the honors.)

Here's what you need:

1 glass rod (any color you like)
1 approximately 1/2" cut piece of bent mandrel that needs to feel useful.
1 pair of mashers to flatten your bead
1 marver
1 pair of pliers or other gripping tool

Directions To Make Marcy's Beadstand
1. Choose your color glass and roll a barrel shape onto your mandrel.

2. Marver it into shape.
(make it a little longer and wider than you think you need, so there's a large enough stable place for your bead to sit.)

3. Flatten it with your mashers

4. While keeping your stand warm, pick up the little piece of mandrel, and heat just the end in the flame. Spot heat the location where you want to place it on your bead.

5. Poke the steel piece into the glass being sure not to place it exactly in the middle where your mandrel is. It will go a little behind that, so it can go down deeply into the glass.

6. While keeping your stand warm all over, spot heat the area again where it went in, so the glass flows to the connection point.

7. With your pliers, make any minor adjustments to be sure your mandrel piece is standing up straight. Look at it from the front and the side and adjust it.

8. Anneal same as any other bead.

I use these for photography, selling at shows and home display. They're quick and easy. If you want to get fancy, how about making the bead on one of your bead presses, (make sure that it's flat on both sides) and it will look really professional too.

Hope you enjoy this mini tutorial. It's a great way to feel like you're doing your part to reduce, re-use and recycle, as well as have something great to show for it too.

If you don't feel like trying them, my etsy shop has these bead stands for sale starting today.