Encased Stringers for Leaves and Vines

Posted on July 21, 2013

So you might ask, why go to all the trouble to make encased stringers?  Not that it's really that much trouble, but it's definitely an extra step.   For one thing, I love to make different colors- more intense colors, more intense effects, like stripes and adding in a bit of goldstone sparkle, the kinds of things you can't get by just pulling a  plain stringer from a rod of glass.  The other benefit is that you end up with the best of both worlds- you get the color, and the opacity of the cores, plus the stiffness and workability of the transparent glass, giving you extra time in the flame and more control during application.

This is the basic technique for creating encased stringers.  For leaves and green vines, I start with (from the top) either Vetrofond Yellow Ochre Special,  Moretti Nile Green,or  Moretti Pea Green encased in Dark Grass Green.  


 I spiral encase the end of the rod, about 1 1/4" I'm using Pea Green as my core:

I melt this until smooth.


Stripe with small stripes of Reichenbach Black.  You can use Moretti, but it will turn out lighter, more purple and not as defined, or Intense black, but you may get some mottling and webbing:


I melt these in flat and then pull it out into varying thicknesses:


The Vetro Yellow Ochre gives you a great fall green (at the top, below)- perfect with oranges and reds, while the lime (middle) looks good with spring pinks and purples.  The Nile green gives you a truer green (on the bottom).  

Don't worry about the different thicknesses, the leaves will require a larger diameter, while the thinner stringers are great for tiny detailed vines:


 For brown vines, I like to start with opal yellow, melt a good sized gather and roll it in raku frit, #0 or #1 are good sizes, melt this flat.  I stripe this gather with goldstone, dark topaz or add stripes of darker brown.  


 You get a nice variegated vines, like the one I used on these Bittersweet beads:

Let me give you a few examples of how you can use these to make leaves and vines on your beads:



The possibilities are endless.  Try a lighter center for a pale leaf, or go dark green for more color.  Add a ittle bit or orange over the Vetro Ochre for a great fall- looking leaf (like on the Bittersweet leaves above).  I do recommend you stick with Moretti for your centers if possible, as it does not go transparent like some of the Vetrofond opaque's.    Most of the time the Vetrofond will go back to opaque, even f your stringer looks transparent, so don't panic, just test it out before you make a whole batch of beads:)  Try it and see what you can add to your beads with this very simple technique!  happy torching, Laura


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1 Comment

choschiba   January 30, 2015 at 2:46 pm

  4URT3q Spot on with this write-up, I truly assume this web site needs rather more consideration. I'll most likely be once more to learn far more, thanks for that info.  

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