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How to Make a Glass Dragonfly PendantArtist: William McNerney
Photography/Graphics: Ryan McNerney
It took a friends persistent request for a glass dragonfly and the serendipity of seeing Ryan Higgins awesome dragonfly in the book Formed of Fire by Bandhu Dunham. Dragonfly’s iridescent wings and quick flittering inspires thoughts of magic and travel to faraway worlds. Faerie stories say they use to be real dragons. Glass is a beautiful medium in which to explore the imagery of the dragonfly. I came up with this dragonfly pendant idea, using big eyes, translucent wings and segmented tail to make it very recognizable, yet also sturdy enough to wear.
Borosilicate glass rods: 3mm clear
7mm NS-066 Sublime Green
7mm NS-041 Butterscotch
7mm Momka Purple Thunder
7mm Momka Obsidian
7mm GA 4838 Dragons Eye
Tools: Small masher
1. Prepare stringers of obsidian and purple thunder for decorating the wings. These stringers will be used to make fine lines to suggest the many-veined wings of dragonflies.
2. Heat end of sublime green rod into a ball, flatten with masher into circle, and start striping the outside edge with the obsidian stringer. See Steps 2a and 2b.
3. Place center stripes and connecting stripes all using the stringers of obsidian. See Step 3.
4. Rake lines as desired. Place a bit of purple thunder stringer material in wigs to give some variation and melt everything in. See Step 4.
5. Using trimming shears cut wing through center to about the middle. See Step 5.
6. Stretch the wing segments, separate wing set from rod and set aside. Don’t get concerned with perfect shaping yet. Save that for later. Now make another wing set with similar patterns (try to make a mirror image of the first set). See Step 6.
7. Start making the body by melting butterscotch into ball. This will be the thorax. Now attach the purple thunder rod, and melt the junction smooth. You will be starting the segmented tail (anatomically the abdomen). See Step 7 photo.
8. A real dragonfly has ten segments in its abdomen/tail. I think 2-3 segments suggest it nicely without driving me crazy. Use gradient heat and place flame strategically to accomplish. See Step 8 photo and Graphic #1. Leave end of the tail/abdomen connected to the purple thunder rod as the punty for continuing work on dragonfly head and body.
9. Create head by pulling and condensing butterscotch end attached to body. Flatten top of head (See Step 9 photo) and then round bottom side of head (I use side of my torch) for future loop area of bail. See Graphic #2.
10. Add dragons eye color for the eyes. Make these babies BIG and melt in rhomboid-like round. In a real dragonfly the head is relatively large and dominated by two large compound eyes that are oriented up and to the sides. I think the eyes can make this dragonfly not just look like any old bug. See Step 10 photo.
11. Attach wings to the completed body. Once wings are well centered and melted-in, final shaping of the wings is done. Use gradient heat to pull, shape and tip the wings so that they are symmetrical. See Step 11 photo.
12. Use 3mm clear rod to add loop connecting to head and underside for bail. See Graphic #3 and Step12a photo.
13. Dip the entire dragonfly in a bushy, reducing flame to bring some of the silver metallic sheen and colors to the surface. Flame cut tail. See Step 13 photo. Anneal at 1050F for 15 minutes.
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, Feb 16 2009, 1:08 AM EST
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|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|shawnette||Pretty cool!||1||Feb 14 2009, 4:41 PM EST by crystalbill|
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