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Beadpins Behind the Scenes

I love making beadpins. And, just like making beads, one idea leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to a huge pile of beadpins.

I have local friend who works in a bead store and wanted to see what I am working on. She loves beadpins, and ended up buying many of my beadpins. (wahooo!) This is double great because I appreciate the sale and it is the perfect reason to have to make more beadpins. Not that I need a reason, but still.

I decided to show a little of the glass-melting process for beadpins.

It starts like this.
HeadpinProcess2015-05-10-17.41

After the glass is shaped, it goes into the kiln to cool slowly over 8 hours. This process is called annealing, This allows the glass molecules to realign which strengthens the glassĀ (reduces stress fracture possibility).

After 8 hours, the beadpins come out of the kiln looking like this. The copper oxidizes in the heat of the flame and kiln. That fire scale is what is on the wires and the dusty black specsĀ in this photo.

HeadpinProcessIMG_2635

Lots of wire polishing and straightening ensues, and the beadpins look like this:

HeadpinProcessIMG_2637

And then I select a few and wire them up:

HeadpinProcess-PurpleJoyIMG_2654