Thursday, 14 November 2013

Owl Tutorial

I originally wrote this tutorial in September 2011 for Beverly Hicklin's Make Glass Beads resource but she has now taken that offline so I thought I'd preserve it here.

I noticed that owls are really fashionable right now, they’re on fabrics, stationery and people are even making owl-shaped beads!  I was looking at a heart focal I made and realised the shape would make a great base for a wise old bird ...

1. First of all make a heart shaped bead. Use a press or shape by hand.

2.  Heat the surface of your bead and roll in frit to decorate – I used a fine iris orange (raku) frit for a feathery look.  Melt frit smooth.

3. Apply large dots for the eyes, press flat into the bead, then cover with a large dot of coloured transparent.  I used Effetre sky blue and Effetre transparent medium blue.

4. Pick up a murrini chip in the tip of tweezers, flash the bottom of the chip in the flame and at the same time, lightly warm the eye area, then apply the murrini onto the centre of the coloured dot.  Twice!

5. Warm and gently press the murrini down with a marver.  Do this a few times until the murrini chips are almost – but not completely – flat.  Use a sharp point to poke the centre of each chip.

6. Cover each murrini with a dot of clear to really magnify the murrini for proper owl eyes!

7. Add two large dots at the bottom of the heart and flatten from the bottom to make feet.

8. Use a razor tool or knife blade to mark claws in the feet dots.  I used sky blue for my owl’s feet.

9. Add a large dot in between and below the eyes, then use tweezers to pinch into a beak shape, it should be long and narrow, slightly wider at the top than the bottom.  I used dark chocolate brown.

10. Add feathers!  I made 6 large raised dots in sky blue, then added another small dot on top of each one to make them look a little spiky!

Give the owl eyes extra depth by shaping the socket with a flower rod tool from Mango Beads: heat and soften the eye area, lay the bead back in the heart press or on a marver to support the shape, then gently press in the round tool to make indentations for eye sockets.  Add the opaque and transparent dots, then support and indent again before applying the murrini.

All glass from , frit and murrini from , flower rod tool from , heart presses from or