Thankfully, not everyone is crazy like me and feels the need to make everything themselves from scratch. It's a good thing I don't know how to make wire or I'd probably do that too!
So if you don't want to fuse glass and make your own nuggets like those in the photo, I thought you'd like to know that Delphi Glass is having a sale on them. Three pounds in three sizes and different colors. And it's a BOGO, too. Whee! Three pounds of shiny nuggets!
What to do with glass nuggets? Cindy Gimbrone, the Lampwork Diva, has a tutorial on her site about grinding and wire wrapping them. Fantastic idea, huh? and her tutorial is so clear and well-photographed, you have to check it out even if you don't want to do it. You'll appreciate how much is involved!
But if you decide you want a grinder, Delphi Glass is a source for those too. After all, there's no way to have too many tools, right? Delphi has the special channel grinder bits.
And there's an adaptor you can get that turns the grinder into a flex-shaft for when you aren't grinding using the grinder motor. Multi-purpose - what's better than that, kind of Tool Transformers! You can use drill bits, engravers or any dremel style tool in this and get extra power at your fingertips. Power Tools Rule!
Okay, now you know for sure that I'm a tool fool!
If you don't have a grinder to make the channel, you can check out the article showing Alexander Calder's cold connection designs using wire wrapping and stitching with wire for another idea of things you can do with colorful glass nuggets. Alexander Calder made some fantastic wire wrap jewelry in Paris in the 1930's using shards of ceramic pottery and glass, if you're interested I did a previous post about him and his jewelry.
There are no instructions in the article about how to do it but I do know how, it's not hard - maybe I'll write up a tutorial on that and keep the learning going!
Here are some helpful hints and tips about grinding and drilling glass.
1. Always wear safety glasses when grinding glass. I can sometimes feel a little grain of glass hit my cheek when I use the grinder and I'm always glad I have those safety goggles on to protect my eyes.
2. Glass heats up when you grind so be sure it stays wet to keep it cool. Otherwise the thermal shock may cause the glass to crack.
3. When you use a diamond drill bit to make holes in glass, put the glass in a shallow dish with a little water and a wet sponge on the bottom. The water and sponge will keep the glass and the drill bit cool while you drill. It's the grinding of the bit, not the pressure, that makes the hole in the glass so there's no need for pressure behind the bit. Just patience!
4. Be sure that your bit is diamond-coated, nothing else will drill through glass. And you can use the same bits for drilling holes in river rocks, too.