Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feather Tutorial

After few requests to write a tutorial, I will be attempting to do so.

The skill level:
Basic skills to just make a bead, plus you need to be able to make a twistie, or have purchased ones for use, I like to use the ones with reactive glass, and to get nice feathery effect, it needs to be quite tight. The little shorts of the twisties that are too tiny to use for anything else, are great for this, you only need about 1/2 inch piece. Also raking is essential part of this technique. Other than that it is all about heat control and imagination!
To rake I use pick made out of clear rod, rather than actual rake that misplaces too much of a glass, with glass pick you can pick the excess off.

Start making a base bead, I like to use ivory, for it's natural look, and because it mottles little, so the feathers get more realistic look.
Just make a cylinder shape bead, or what ever shape you want, as big as you wish.
Let the bead cool down a little, not enough to crack, but enough so that it keeps it's shape while applying the twistie.

Take the piece of twistie with tweezers, or apply the twistie directly from the longer piece. Once it is on the surface, heat it up little to make sure it attaches to the glass, and won't shatter. Then apply other feathers, if you wish to have more than one. Once all the feathers have been applied, heat it so that the twistie melts onto the surface. I over heat usually a little, it makes the twistie spread little more, and it will make really pretty feathers, but don't let the shape get out of control.

Once you have the feathers melted, and you are happy with it, spot heat one feather at a time, and use a clear glass pick, that you have flashed in the flame few times, to rake from the 1/4 or 1/3 from the top of the feather, down to the vein. If one raking motion won't do it, no worries, you can rake as many times as you need to, just don't get your pick stuck on the feather, give it enough heat to keep it flowy enough. If your pick gets stuck, just cool it down by blowing on to it, and wiggle it to break it off, and reheat the feather to continue where you left it off. Once you have nice vein on the bottom of the feather, pick up the extra glass with your glass pick, and now you are ready to either smooth out all the raking with some polishing, or press your bead.

Sorry, no photoes of the process, I would need an extra hand!
Hope you enjoy!


Mitosis Glass said...

This is excellent! Thank you Pia! I can't wait to try this.

PiaZophie said...

You are welcome! :o)

Jane Perala said...

Thanks for the great explanation Pia - I can't wait to try it.

xtweeksx said...

Lovely beads and excellent tut Pai - will definately try it :)

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome tutorial! But I have tried to get them to look like they have the little wisping black lines on the sides of the feather and have failed miserably! Is it the stringer recipe or am I not doing the drag right. I've been mashing flat for the spread but can't get ANYTHING like yours. So beautiful!

PiaZophie said...

I believe it is about the color choices and little extra heat. I believe my stringers have Hades in them, but intensive black should work similarly.
Dont give up, mine dont always have the whispy things either, but they are still pretty!

Pia Kaven said...

Kerri, I have noticed that since I ran out of my old curdling ivory, I havent been able to get quite as nice whispies on the edge of the freathers. So that might contribute to the design more than I realized. Most of the time if is just about lucky coincidence, when we get pretty results, and not being able to replicate it, seems sometimes a taunting task, you never know what it is that makes the effects as nice. Dont give up, I bet your feathers are just as nice, I still like mine, though having the whispies made it a little more special. :o)

Andrea Simeral-Boyer said...

Pia, love your take on the feathers. One little question: How many millimeters are your twisties? Mine tend to be pretty thin. I'm wondering about yours...