Tonbo-Dama and the extra long twisty

I had a look at some other the books in my ‘library’ yesterday, and I decided that a particular few beads had to be tried, particularly some of those in the tonbo-dama book. The Japanese beads in it fascinate me, so detailed and delicate, and so well executed. I wonder how much of it is to do with the glass that they use, Satake which melts quite differently to what I’m used to working with.

oh well, you have to try these things anyway right?

so, first I tried the lace work bead, a transparent striped base bead with a cane wrapped around the entire thing. a simple concept, but has to be done very neatly or it just misses the point.

not only does the cane have to be applied neatly, but the cane itself has to be consistent thickness and evenly twisted.

so I managed that bit, but the application wasnt as neat as I’d like.

lacework bead
lacework bead

The second bead was a similar concept, but you make a graduated colour twisty, and wrap it round a white base.

I made my twisty gather far too big, and I couldn’t pull it the usual way, I had to pull it holding tip of the mass in the flame, and pulling and twisting as you go. only I had it held the wrong way round, so I was doing it left handed, with a bigger gather than I’m used to for wig wags which I make this way, trying to make a thinner cane than usual, and it kept going and going and going!

I had to do it though, or I would have ended up with a short bit of cane well over 1cm thick that would have just shattered if I’d put it near the flame. what a waste of glass! can’t have that!

so now I had this…a very long, very wiggly and very uneven twisty!

extra long twisty
extra long twisty

just to prove it is a twisty I’m holding, and not some bit of string or something:

close up
close up

as I said before, the bead depends on you having an even piece of cane…but what the hell else am I going to do with the cane now I’ve got it?


its the biggest, wiggly one incase you were wondering… and the smaller purple one. and I still have about a foot and a half of the cane left.

I also made a shorter, better length of cane and made the other two beads in the pic, and there’s another lacework one as well, but the base colours are a bit dark.

applying the cane
applying the cane
graduated cane bead
graduated cane bead

more practice required I think… or possibly making them in bullseye, or plowden, slower melting glass, or even boro…

oh, and note to self…small gathers only! my arms are only as long as they are!


2 thoughts on “Tonbo-Dama and the extra long twisty

  1. Now that’s long.

    I have to shout my hubby if I melt a gather to big and tell him to stand there and hold that while I move away from him twisting the mandrel I’m holding.

    You do have longer arms than me though.

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