Great make-shift tools or techniques

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    What tools have you made yourself that have helped your craft? Or have you found useful items at the local hardware store or kitchen section that have aided your artistry? Are there techniques that you have been refining that may be under the radar?


     Bob Leatherbarrow was the first person I know who used a screen tea infuser for applying glass powder. It has been one of my most important tools since.

    Helios Kiln Glass Studio



    So many to chose from!  I love the foam paint “brushes” from the hardware store for moving, neatening, and cleaning up frit.



    Wow! Where do I start. I make many of my own tools and equipment pieces.

    I make my own bead making mandrels from stainless steel welding rod. I use the same rod to make the rakes and pointed tools for manipulating the glass while it is on the mandrel. When I have used the rod to the point that it is bent and not so good for beadmaking I bend a hoop in one end and rough up the other end on a grinder, I use that to clean out the bead separator.

    I took three broken kilns put them together, paid $106.00 to have the digital controller and thermocouple repaired, added a 220 volt circuit to my studio, and now have a very nice glass kiln.

    I bought a 70 gallon plastic pickle barrel, cut the end off and put a plexiglass window in it and now have a pretty good abrasive blaster.

    I’m now working on a sandblasting handle that is small enough to blast a vase from the inside.

    If one is “handy” there is no end to what you can adapt.

    Anyone have a good plan for making a vibrating Lap? I have a coulpe of ideas, but would love to heard from someone that has done it.

    I was very lucky, my Dad insisted that I help him on pretty much everything he did, and he did a lot.

    Easily half of me equipment, I made. If I hadn’t, I couldn’t afford to be working in this art medium.


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