3 Ways to Make an “Oops” Work When Making Glass Beads

Trust me, I am no stranger to making mistakes and flubbing glass beads when I am torch firing, the fact that I am still a beginner and I am very impatient probably has a lot to do with this. I have learned, however, to embrace, cover up and or learn from my little mistakes.


  1. Embrace your mistakes! The most common mistake I make is over firing or burning my glass, especially with filigree (vibrant color, encased in clear glass) leaving a wispy, smoky look.  Sometimes the smoky look works out and you’ll find marbled swirls of grey and black encased in clear. Use these as accent beads with solid black or clear beads.  
  2. Cover up your mistakes! The handiest tools I have are my graphite paddle and parallel press! Sometimes I use them for their intended purpose like adding texture and shaping a bead. But their added bonus is that you can hide a little mistake too. If you dislike the pattern you create or you add too much or too little color, you can change the look of your malformed bead very quickly by flattening the molten bead with a parallel press or change the texture with a graphite paddle or even swirling your colors with a rake!
  3. Learn from your mistakes! I figured out that a lot of my pattern/texture mistakes came from the way I had my tools and glass laid out- rearrange your workspace to figure out what works for you. I also started the difficult practice of timing myself and I made a little chart with the time it takes to create an optimal bead and the time it takes to burn one.  

Check out the Diamond Tech Creative Corner for some fun glass bead making projects and check back every week for more glass craft tips and tricks.


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