The “spree” lentil press is available here. I like this shape, it gives a straight-sided lentil rather than the one with the little indentations at either end. Some people don’t like those. These ones look like spree candies!
“Tempting Tigress” lentils & rounds.
This is a basic guide to using this press, most of what is here should apply to other lentil presses, in general, too. The main tricks that I have found helpful are as follows:
– make the footprint first, line it up with the press to see that you have the right length footprint. a bit too small is OK, but a bit too big is not.
– make a football type shape
– wait until the bead is stiffening up to press it, don’t press it when it’s molten and liquidy
– flame polish away the chill marks, they really show up if you don’t
– make sure to give the whole thing a good heat soak before putting it away in the kiln
– I find that 1/16″ mandrils are the biggest I like to use in this press. I think it can handle the next size up but this is what works for me
– if your bead release is breaking too much, you might want to try a different brand! especially one that is formulated for presses. Tougher = better.
|I start with a really small bit of glass.|
|I add another one, leaving a space in between.|
|I line it up in the press to make sure I’m not too big. If I’m way too small, I will add more on one or the other end, but if I’m just a tad too small, it usually works out.|
|Fill in the gap, start the football shape..|
|Keep adding glass. You eventually develop an eye for how much glass is needed.|
|Keep holding it up to the press to try to eyeball your volume.|
|Melt it all round, it will round out into a football shape ideally.|
|Add decoration. Depending on the decoration, I might do this step after pressing, and re-press after melting it in. Often though it looks best to have the decoration all done before pressing.|
|Here is the bead with all the decoration melted in, ready to press. I am letting it cool a bit more before pressing.|
|Now it’s just starting to lose its glow, time to press it!|
|And here is the lentil. You can see bits of bead release in the press, luckily none of it got on my bead this time. I make sure there isn’t any in there before I press. It’s helpful to use a really tough bead release. The one I have right now is so-so.|
|Flame-polish away the marks. I’m sure there are scientific reasons for chill marks (which look like pond ripples almost), I don’t know what it is. But they are undesirable. They screw up the way the bead reflects light.|
|Give it a heat soak further out in the flame before sticking in the kiln.|