Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Goldstone Stringer

If you make your own goldstone stringer - have you tried making it with an encasing colour OTHER than clear?

This is handmade goldstone stringer, encased in Rubino.

Who'd a thunk it?

I got this from a couple of different classes I've taken. Maybe everyone but me knew about it.

To make your own goldstone stringer, buy a chunk (or chunks) of goldstone. Select a piece about the size of a walnut, or perhaps a little smaller if this scares you.

(If your piece is too big, wrap some sturdy fabric around it, a chunk of leather is great, and put it on the floor and hit it with a hammer.)

Pop it in the kiln to warm up - you don't have to put it in a cold kiln, just put it in the kiln at your regular temperature, and let it warm up for a while. 15 mins or so - longer is ok. (I once put a piece in the kiln, forgot about it, was reminded when I emptied the kiln, left it there, forgot it again, kept doing that for a week! It was fine!)

When you are ready - punty onto the chunk in the kiln. To do this, take a nice long piece of clear, melt the end, reach into the kiln with the clear, and stick it onto the chunk. Take it out of the kiln and go to the torch. Start way out at the end of the flame, warming it.

You want to warm it enough to soften the goldstone and refine the shape before encasing, as it is probably pretty lumpy and irregular. Warm it slowly and keep it moving. Don't let it start to glow red, especially on the edges. As soon as it is soft enough to shape, squeeze it into a brick with your mashers. As it approached the right temperature to work, it will look dull and dark - but it will be soft enough to move, BEFORE it starts to flow and glow. This is important. If you get it all flowy and glowy before encasing - it will not have as much sparkle. Continue to work up in the cool, end of the flame. Patience is key here.

As soon as it is mashed into a shape that is reasonably regular and that you can encase, go ahead and encase it. As I mentioned, it doesn't have to be with clear. These pics show Rubino Oro over goldstone and it is pretty fabulous.

Once it is encased, add another punty (handle) to the opposite end, and now you can start heating. Again, the appearance of the glass will be deceiving. It will stay looking dark for a long time while you drive the heat into it. (It's ok to go for glowing now.) Be sure and wait until it is soft right through the middle before you pull - so that you get a nice, even stringer.

Don't use goldstone beads that you might find. While these are the same thing - Goldstone - you don't know if it is the same COE - if it is compatible or not.

Why make your own? Other than cost? Commercial goldstone stringer tends to be less sparkly, and of course, doesn't come in colours. It can be hard to find too. Goldstone rod - also encased, but a thicker rod - sort of like filigrana - tends to be as shocky as all get out. The flat ribbon is fabulous, but, colors, cost, etc.

So, if you have that chunk that you bought a while back, and haven't worked up the nerve to use, it's time to dig it out, warm it up, and encase it to make something fabulous!


  1. I make my own ribbon by mashing my gather of goldstone and clear into a lollipop and then grabbing the end with my parallel mashers, it will pull out into a ribbon. Not quite as wide as the purchased ribbon, but a nice alternative.

  2. Have you tried encasing the goldstone with Effetre E044? That really makes it pop! another good one is green goldstone covered with electric yellow 069