Thursday, July 4, 2013

Thursday's Tutorial.

Every Thursday, I Izzybeads, as the curator of the Craft Pimp blog, am introducing Thursday's top tip and tutorial blog.  We have many wonderful artists, designers, silver smiths, lampworkers, fused glass artists, card and textile designers and many more who come to the Craft Pimp Forum and chat and share ideas, disasters, fun stuff, craft and art tips and tutorials, so I thought it would be nice to share here on the Craft Pimp Blog too. 

To start off the Thursday tutorial, I have dug into my own archives and found this tutorial I wrote a couple of years ago, for lampworking, on how to make an Elephant bead for the Beads of Courage - children with cancer charity.  This is a wonderful charity that is supported whole heartedly by the Craft Pimp Forum and for the second year running we are doing the 24 hour Beadathon on July 26th and 27th.

  A small group of lampworkers get together at Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass studio and for 24 hours we make as many lampwork glass beads for Beads of Courage as we can in the 24 hour period.

For more information on the Beads of Courage programme click this link.  If you would like to support us on our 24 hour Beadathon please click here to leave a donation.  Also if you would like to make and donate some beads of your own to the programme please click on this link to down load the donation form.  Beads do have to have nicely rounded ends and no reactive glass can be used on the surface of the bead, please remember they are for children.

And on that note, enjoy this Elephant bead tutorial from me, Izzybeads.

How to make an Elephant Bead

Elephants are the gentle giants of the animal kingdom and I love them.  This is not a difficult bead to make, but do remember to play safe!

Whimsy creature beads can be any colour, but for this one I have used:

1 Rod of Grey
1 Stringer of Grey
1 Stringer of light ivory
1 Stringer of black
1 Stringer of white
1 Stringer of clear

1 Lentil press by Zooii
Lampworking tools, such as pick, sharpe blade etc.,

Start by winding a nice sized blob of grey onto a prepared mandrel. 

After pressing into the lentil press, no need to be fussy about any over spill...

add a stripe of grey glass to both sides of the lentil, 

Using your tweezers pinch the stripe of glass two or three times, this will be the ear of the elephant,

do both sides...and using your sharpe blade, gently press the 'ear' crease up slightly to give more definition to the face shape.

Now add the eyes, I layer black, white, clear and then a black dot for the iris, but you can use another light transparent instead of clear to give different colour eyes.

Using the grey stringer, draw a J shape from between the eyes down to the bottom of the 'face'

Using your sharp blade, put some 'dents' into the 'trunk', then using your pick gently push the end of the trunk in to shape the elephant mouth.

Next, using your stringer of light (or dark) ivory, make two little stripes either side of the trunk,

again, using the grey stringer, put two dots on each top of the ivory stringer and gently press down, we now have tusks on our Elly!

Give your elephant a nice warm bath in the flame and pop into the kiln for annealling.  All Beads of Courage beads have to be annealled and properly cleaned before you can send them in.  Using the lentil shape means you don't have to concentrate too much on good ends, again, pointy and sharpe ends are no good to the children.

Finally....after soaking in a nice hot kiln, and cooling!! take out your Elly, give him a good clean and put him to one side whilst you make lots more.  You could add a bow to the ear for a girlie Elly, or a bow tie under the trunk for a boy Elly, have fun, but make lots!

Its been such a long time since I made Elephant beads for Beads of Courage I might just revisit this design over the weekend.

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