Friday, May 6, 2011

Playing with Singed Carpet

The title of this post would have been "playing with fire" to celebrate my first homemade enameled beads except that during the creative process I had a little accident.  No flesh was burned in the process, so I'm still calling the evening creative session a success, but the apartment's carpet not not fare so well.

There I was, atop a stool at my kitchen counter with my new torch all set up and a fire extinguisher at the ready.  I got out my enamels from Barbara's class and lit up the flame.  Alas, most of the beads I expected to use turned out to be less than ideal and just sort of turned black and flaky.  I kept on, though, to find the "good ones" in the bunch that I picked up at Bead Fest.  As I got to town with my enamels and trying to get all creative with many layers of enamels, I ended up with a bead stuck on the mandrel.  I followed proper procedures to reheat and get it off, but when I went to pull it off with the special tool, it didn't go into the cooling tray but fell onto the tile I was using as my fire-proof surface.  I watching it slowly roll and, amazingly enough, I didn't grab the still burning hot bead.  I kept staring as it rolled off the tile and onto the floor.  Apparently working over the carpeted side of the counter was not a good idea, I realized, as I saw the bead sitting there and wondered if it would cause flames.  I came to my senses and pulled a hot pad out of the drawer quickly and picked it up leaving a smoking black hole.  At least the bead ended up with some interesting texture from the melted carpet fibers!  haaaaaaaaaaaa 

I didn't come up with much success in the bead department but I'm kind of liking the enamel/patina that came up on the washers.  I have to see how it cools and then figure out if it'll stay durable or just chip off.  There's potential, at least.  The round beads all ended up lumpy and I think the striped beads aren't going to hold the enamel, either.  Oh well!  It was good practice and I learned a few good put down something to protect the floor!!


  1. I did some torch firing today myself, I should say I attempted it. Not super successfull but not horrible either lol!

  2. Bummer about the carpet dude... but at least you got some good practice in and learned a thing or two along the way!

  3. they look good to me. I can't wait to try this method. Maybe over the summer...

  4. I think the striped beads look just fine Jenn, great first try!

  5. That's what my basement carpet looks like! Molten glass tends to do that too! I didn't replace the carpet on that side of the basement, no sense since I'm sure I'll be burning more of it! Especially from flying bits of glass!


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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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