How to Make a Glass Icicle Ornament

by Double Helix Glassworks

In this tutorial we will make an off-mandrel icicle ornament using Double Helix Thallo, a green lustering 104coe glass.

Supplies

  • 2 rods of clear glass for punties
  • 1/2 rod of Double Helix Thallo
  • Graphite marver, paddle, or steel plate
  • Stainless steel mandrel (without bead release)
  • Lampworking setup (torch, etc)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Let's get started! Turn on your torch, set a medium sized, neutral flame. Pick up the half rod of Thallo in one hand and with your other hand pick up one of the clear punties.

    Step 2

    Weld the Thallo to your punty by heating both ends and attaching them together. Direct the flame onto the Thallo and gather it into a ball. Avoid heating the punty so it doesn't mix with your color.

    Step 3

    When the Thallo is too short to hold, let it go and keep rotating it in the flame. Focus the flame on the junction of the ball and the stub.

    Step 4

    Attach the other clear punty to the end of your Thallo ball so you have two handles to hold.

    Step 5

    Heat up the ball of Thallo so it's nice and soft.

    Step 6

    Press one side of the ball onto your graphite marver, flattening it.

    Step 7

    Flip it over and press the other side onto the marver, creating a flat patty of glass. You may want to go back and forth, pressing each side onto the marver until it's flat and not very hot.

    Step 8

    Return the flat patty to the cool, outer reaches of the flame. Heat both sides gently, moving it around so the patty has an even heat base.

    Step 9

    Once the patty is warm, begin letting a twist form by rotating one punty slightly slower than the other. Continue applying gentle heat.

    Step 10

    As the twist becomes a spiral, let your hands move slowly apart, rotating all the while.

    Step 11

    Apply more heat where you want it to become more narrow, while rotating and applying a subtle twist to create a tapered spiral.

    Step 12

    To make the loop, gather up a bit of the clear punty on the larger end of the icicle.

    Step 13

    Allow the clear gather to cool a little outside the flame, then stretch it a bit and let it droop.

    Step 14

    Stretch the clear out a bit more.

    Step 15

    Rotate the icicle so the clear droop is now on top, and bend the clear into a curve.

    Step 16

    Apply some heat at the intersection of the stretched clear and the solid rod, and pull it thin in preparation for flame cutting.

    Step 17

    Separate the hook from the punty by heating the thinnest part and continuing to pull the icicle and the punty away from each other.

    Step 18

    Apply a slight heat to the base of the clear hook to barely soften it. Then use a mandrel or cold piece of glass to push it into position. To avoid strain, don't close the loop. Leave a little gap.

    Step 19

    The hook looks like this.

    Step 20

    Increase your propane a bit to create a reduction flame. Pass the icicle through the top of the flame. Repeat as needed to achieve a metallic shine. Keep it cool to prevent droop and over-reduction

    Step 21

    Next we are going to separate the icicle from the remaining punty. Heat up a bare mandrel until it has a slight glow.

    Step 22

    Put the mandrel through the hook.

    Step 23

    And melt off the punty with a small flame.

    Step 24

    Clean up the end if necessary.

    Step 25

    Turn your propane back up for a reduction flame, and apply a luster to the end of the icicle.

    Step 26

    There you go. Ready for the annealer.

    Step 27

    And here's a fast-motion video of the process. Give it a try!

    Step 28

    The completed icicle ornament.