Sep 28, 2014

There are lots of situations in beadmaking when you find yourself wanting for a third hand: pulling off scum from a clear rod, pulling off the tip of a balled up stringer, pulling a striped cane to a point, stuff like that. I have seen lots of people “circumvent” the need for a third hand by depositing scummy clear at the end of the mandrel, or dipping the tip of a stringer into a glass with cold water to make the blob disappear.

I am not very fond of either method, I find that depositing glass on the end of the mandrel often causes the bead release to break – and dipping a stringer into water, I just don’t like that idea, because it can cause the stringer to break once you apply it. And then there are just situations where neither method will help, so you might as well get used to a different way of using your hands…

In this mini-mini-tutorial, I want to show you what to do. Here is a picture, which pretty much explains the whole idea:

“Tuck in” the mandrel into the curve of your index finger, and hold this at an upright angle, so the bead you are working on is in the upper part of the flame. That leaves you four fingers to hold whatever else you need to hold (a stringer, rod, cane…) – you will be able to easily rotate this new “item” while the bead stays warm.

This might be a little strange when you try it at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will make your beadmaking life a lot easier.

While this picture is pretty self-explanatory, seeing things in action is always much easier – so, I created the short video below.