Nuggets of wisdom ……..

I recently purchased a bead press to make a new shape of bead known as nuggets. After using it for two weeks and getting some good tips from the manufacturer, I can honestly say that I just love making the new nugget beads.

The secret is in making an exact sized footprint to the bead. The footprint has to be exactly the right size. Otherwise the end holes will be overflowing with little nodes of glass, or they will be indented which is not pretty. So, once the footprint is perfect, one should then build up the glass into a nice fat sausage. After a few presses one’s eye becomes accustomed to the amount of glass required. Like anything, its practice, practice and more practice.

In the beginning I had a lot of trouble with the nuggets cracking along the line of the mandrel as they were cooling. This was caused perhaps by pressing the glass in the molten state which causes a lot of stress in the glass. Best to let it cool for two seconds before pressing. Once pressed get it back into the flame immediately and anneal it in the flame before moving to the cooling medium or the kiln.

I am now experimenting with different decorations and soon there will be some new nugget shaped bead bracelets under the jewelry section of our webpage

Do you have a nugget press? Are there any tips you can pass on to other lamp workers?

Working with molten glass is my passion and I love the community of lamp workers. Knowledge is shared freely and there is always someone willing to help sort out a problem!

Thanks for reading my blog today. Have a great weekend.

Author: Studio44Mauritius

My passion is lamp working (flame working). I use rods of Italian glass which I melt in the flame to produce my glass beads which are used in our jewelry, cutlery, keyring, etc. Studio 44 Mauritius, The Craft Centre, Cap Malheureux Road, Calodyne. Website:

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