Making Layered Twisties

Posted on September 29, 2010

 Making Layered Twisties

 Line up your supplies-
1 rod of 5-6 mm crappy clear
2-3 rods or stringers of opaque color
2-4 rods or stringers of transparent color
1 nice clear rod- 5-10 mm (I use lauscha soft clear)
an old mandrel
I make mine in the end of a bent-up 3/32” mandrel, you can make them on any size mandrel you have, or on a clear punty (although I have never tried this). 
I start by melting a 5-6 mm rod of clear, wrapping about two spirals of the clear onto the end of the mandrel (this is a perfect use for that scummy clear you have, because it will be hidden). 
I melt it down and then roll it into a cone shape:
For this next step, I will melt a nice gather of the opaque color and stripe it onto the barrel, horizontal to the mandrel. Continue all the way around- you can vary the width of the stripes, this will make a nice twisty, as some of the colors will be the main color, others will become accent colors.  In this case, I used Moretti dark red, light lapis, pea green and dark turquoise as my base opaque colors.
Once you get the barrel striped all the way around with the opaque, melt these stripes together so that they meet along the edges, in other words, so none of the clear core is showing. 
Once it is melted down until it is smooth, you can begin adding the transparent top layer. I like to layer same onto same- dark transparent grass green onto the lime base, or dark aqua onto the dark turquoise opaque base. This will create a wonderful depth of color that only comes from layering. 
I use clear to top off the red and the blue stripes.  However, remember that clear will wash out some of your blues and greens- this can be desirable, but it can also leave you with a twisty that does not have good definition of color.
Once you get each opaque stripe covered in its transparent counterpart, melt the whole gather down together. You can push any seams together as you go, and don’t worry about the way it looks at this point, (it will be a big ugle blob) - as you twist it, the colors will align and it turn into a beautiful layered twisty! Don’t overheat, you want it soft enough to pull, but not so soft it droops. I start heating the bottom, and push all the little octopus legs in against the mandrel as I go, this will adhere the gather to the mandrel, and as you pull, you will get a more even pull towards the end.
You will then want to concentrate your heat on the end, at the point where you will start your pull. Once it is heated through, and the end is pretty soft, grab your tweezers and get a good amount of glass in your first grab:
Holding the tweezers still, I rotate the mandrel (I happen to rotate towards me, you can do it either way), just like you would when you were making a bead, gently pulling away from the end held in the tweezers.
The faster you spin/slower you pull, the tighter your stripes will be, and the slower you spin/faster you pull, the looser your stripes will be.
Make sense?
I usually go overboard and have these huge gathers, that rarely make is all the way to the end without some disastrous thing happening, usually the end held in the tweezers breaks, the entire twisty hits the floor, and I end up with a 6” usable section of glass. I have been trying to practice some self restraint, and stopping about half way through, nipping off the end closest to the gather, and starting a second twisty. 
So here is the finished product:
Some things to remember:
If you have varying diameters of twisties, don’t worry, this is a good thing! I use the thickest ones as centers for encased discs, the thinner ones as surface decorations. They don’t have to be perfectly even, and it’s all good! You can even nip them down and use them as murrini. You can also clip them off with your glass cutter, apply on the surface, and then plunge and encase for a nice spiral with a bubble in the middle:
If you don’t melt the underlying colored layer down, you will get a "ribbon effect" under the encasement. The flatter the opaque base is melted, the more defined your stripes/pattern will be. can also clip them off with your glass cutter, apply on the surface, and then plunge and encase for a nice spiral with a bubble in the middle:
Some of my favorite combos:
Lots of turquoise, one stripe of lime green, and one stripe of light orange, then a stringer stripe of dark orange. Cover the turquoise with stripes of light and dark aqua, the lime with dark grass green, and the oranges with clear.  If the orange and turquoise are together, a thin line of black will form.
A stripe of red, light red, orange, light orange, lime, dark turquoise, and blue on a black base. Leave just a hair of the black showing between each color. Cover each color with it’s corresponding color, when you pull, you will get these divine hair-thin stripes of black that separate a rainbow of color.
Perhaps you have noticed my sparkling clean work space, everything in its place, barren of debris, tools neatly lined up……….wow, my life is just so incredibly organized! Well, just so you know what it usually looks like…………
There, does that make you feel better:)? I know I do now that my secret’s finally out!
Have fun torching!  Laura

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1 Comment

Sweetsoap   August 2, 2013 at 11:39 am

  Thank you thank you thank you! I have tried other tutorials on how to make twisties and have never had any luck. Yours works for me. thanks again  

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