On a rod
Take one rod, paint stripes of other colours on it, melt it all in, then either attach another rod to the end to let you pull and twist, or use a pair of pliers or hefty tweezers. You want to pull out and twist at the same time – either rotate both hands in opposite directions, or just spin one rod and pull with the other. (The second way is easier if using pliers!)
Pull slowly until you see what kind of diameter that gives you, as going too fast makes a very thin twistie. You don’t need to make a massively long twistie and it doesn’t need to be uniform: about 5 inches long is a useful length. It spreads out when melted in and differences in diameter can be a good look. If the twist isn’t as tight as you like, you can twist it more as you apply it.
This first way will make a smallish twistie because your base is a single rod thickness. To have a larger starting base you can fold the rod back on itself, or melt and form it into a plug shape before adding lines.
The downside to making twisties on the rod is that you can thermal shock the rod just past the section you are using for your twistie. This isn’t much fun. You can also heat a bit too far along the rod and end up with your mass on a bendy stick that you’re losing control of.
The alternative is to make your twistie on a metal base – use a mandrel or stainless steel chopstick. (For a mandrel, a thicker one is better – 2.4 or 3mm is fine, but 1.6mm is a little wimpy and prone to bending). Heat the end of the mandrel so it is only just glowing red, and your glass will stick to it. You now have a more stable base to build up your twistie on. At the end, you can heat up the bit of glass left on the metal and stick it into your water pot – it’ll shock off with a hissing and popping noise. It’s better to have a dedicated mandrel for making twisties, so you don’t end up putting bead release over one that might still have a little glass on the end and cause your beads to stick.
In a lollypop shape
You can do this on either the rod or on steel. Start by making a ball, then flatten it into a lollypop shape. You can then add your other stripes of colours to this. It changes the proportions of where the colours show up once you have heated it back up and twisted it all. Because you have more surface area, your colour sections can be bigger, or a […]