Beadmaking Basics


When I found Cindy Jenkins book Making Glass Beads back in 1998, I was immediately hooked on the idea of making glass beads. Id never seen handmade glass beads nor had I ever seen anyone make one. I was absolutely fascinated and I still

am! Back then, the information was tough to find, but its much more popular now. I hope the following information will ease you into the fun world of making your own glass beads.

Glass beadmaking is probably one of the easiest mediums to get started in when it comes to the tools and equipment you will need. Lets start by looking at the basic equipment:

Torch A good beginning torch is the Hot Head Torch which was made specifically for beadmaking. It burns hot and clean

and runs off of a small MAPP gas tank (see description below).

Work Surface
Find an old table or desk. Youll want to cover the work area with a nonflammable surface. You can use a cookie sheet, a sheet of stainless steel, or a ceramic or marble tile to top your work area.

Connector for Torch To connect the torch to the work surface, you will need an L bracket and two large adjustable hose clamps (to fit the diameter of the Mapp gas tank and connect the tank to the L bracket). These items are available from your local hardware store.

MAPP Gas Tank MAPP stands for Methyl Acetylene Propadiene. These small yellow tanks burn a little hotter than propane. You may find them at your glass supplier or in a hardware store. Each tank should last about 46 hours. Beadmaking is addictive, so get more than one!

Article by Andree Kosak (Andie's Glass) and reprinted with permission from Stained Glass News.

Be the first to comment.
Stained Glass News

Stained Glass News

Stained Glass News is a full-color newspaper which has been dedicated to informing, entertaining and inspiring stained glass hobbyists for over 22 years. Each issue features: • information on new books, tools and glass • quick tips & hints and Q&A's • columns on stained glass, mosaics, and hot glass by industry experts • photos of our readers' projects in the Readers' Gallery • glassworking hints from our readers on The Readers' Page • a photo and information about a glass workshop belonging to one of our readers on The Readers' Page • other information that makes working with glass easier, more fun and more rewarding SGN is published five times a year (on the first of January, March, May, September and November). The current issue is SGN #90 (May, 2010).