Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Graphite Shaping Tool - Finally - One I Understand!
Finally - A graphite shaping tool that instantly makes sense to me!
No ends - so it doesn't matter how long you make the bead! Which tends to be my problem with molds and shaped marvers - too much glass - spilling out the ends, and then knocking the bead release and breaking it, and then it all goes downhill from there.
"Aha" sez I when seeing this one! This is a shaper for me!
And, in fact - it works really well. I really like using this tool!
And with two sizes of grooves - you have some choices of sizes.
If you've been making, on planning on making, bead handles for the bead accessories, like bead pens, letter openers, cutlery and other stuff, this is a great shaping tool. It is a whisker wider than the letter openers need - which is longer than the pens and some of the other items. But, you can make a reference mark on the graphite with a Sharpie, and use it to check the length as you work.
Did you know you can write on graphite with a Sharpie(tm) brand permanent marker and, in defiance of all odds, it shows up on the graphite, and does not burn off. Sharpies are amazing. I have no idea what is in them.
Here, you can see the profile of the two grooves in the tool. The back is flat, which is also handy for straight marvering.
Here you can see a bead in the slot - obviously I don't hold it this way in the flame - I just have a shortage of hands when it comes to operating the camera.
And the larger slot. The handle gets noticeably warm after a lot of marvering - but the squidgy rubber coating keeps it handle-able.
To use this - start small - I started with a very thin wrap of glass in the center - and marvered it out on a flat marver - then went to the grooved marver. I added glass in the center, and melted it and mavered it in, to get the size - and extending the length. When I had the size correct in the middle, I built up the ends to match.
Beads above are Raku Jitterbug frit on Hades. Bead below is Ghee + Ivory and reduced + Psyche, raked, and then reduced again.