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Coral Reef Fish

By: Val Oswalt for Diamond Tech
Coral Reef Fish
This image courtesy of diamondtechcrafts.com

Have you always wanted to learn how to make glass beads? This Coral Reef Fish uses a glass making technique that you pop in the microwave! Make beautiful this beautiful fish bead in no time with no previous glass making experience.

Project TypeMake a Project

Bead TypeGlass

Time to CompleteIn an evening

Bead Technique UsedGlass Beadmaking

Bead Project TypeOther

Easy

This project brought to you by Diamond Tech.

Materials:

  • Moretti Glass Rods: black, white & orange
  • Black and White Stringers
  • Bead Press
  • Stainless Steel Tweezers
  • 1 Fireworks Beginner Beadmaking Kit
  • Protective eyewear
  • Mandrels coated in bead release

Instructions:

  1. To form a base bead, heat an orange rod until a 1/2" ball of glass forms, apply glass to a warmed mandrel. When thoroughly heated, place bead between the paddles of a bead press and gently squeeze to form a ¼” disk. (FIG. 1)
     
  2. Using a black stringer, apply three horizontal stripes around the body of the fish. Next, apply a white stringer, on top of the black stringer. Heat until the striped area is smooth, trying not to loose its initial shape. If necessary, heat one side at a time and use a graphite paddle to keep flat. (FIG. 2)
     
  3. To create the top and bottom fins, heat an orange rod until a small ball forms. Apply two vertical layers of glass, one on top of the other on the upper portion of the bead. Repeat this process on the lower portion of the bead making sure the lower fin is shorter than the top fin. NOTE: Keep the entire bead hot as you work.
     
  4. To apply the side and rear fins, continue to warm an orange rod in the flame until a pea-sized ball forms. Place glass at the center right rear of the fish and a second smaller ball in the center of the bead. Repeat process on the left side. (FIG. 3).
     
  5. Direct flame to each orange ball of glass and heat until soft, using tweezers, pinch glass to create fins. (FIG. 4). NOTE: Keep the entire bead hot as you work.
     
  6. Using a white stringer, apply two dots on either side of Coral’s head. These will be the eyes. Using a black stringer, dot each eye. Heat the eyes until black and white dots are slightly blended, but still retain shape.
     
  7. To make the lips, heat and place a horizontal strip of orange glass around mouth area opposite tail fins. Using a bead rake, pull out the corners of the mouth. (FIG. 5).
     
  8. Fire-anneal your bead by heating and allowing it to cool in the outer regions of the flame for a few seconds. Repeat several times then carefully place the bead in the fiber blanket to cool. If available, anneal in a bead kiln.

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I've never seen anything like this before! I can't believe you can get such great detail as a beginner.

I love this fish project. It looks a lot easier to make than I would have ever thought. I can't wait to try it!

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