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Saturn/Lollipop Tutorial

Always make sure the X stamp on your tool is at the left side of the base.   Lay down your initial footprint and check the size by either bringing the mandrel down to the base of the tool for reference, or the handle portion of the tool up under your mandrel. One millimeter shy of the edges on both sides is a good gauge, but as you get better, you might find you can get even closer to the edge than that. It is better to estimate smaller at first because you can always add more to the footprint. Once it's on, you cannot take it off.

 

   

If you've followed our tip about determining how much glass you need for the cavity, you will know about how much glass to wind onto your mandrel. The picture shows the suggested shape before pressing. It is the shape of a plump olive pit. (It will be a more plump shape for the Saturn cavity).  Don't worry about pointy ends.

Do not press when soupy and fully molten. Wait until your glass starts to slightly 'form a skin' (don't wait too long or you won't be able to press). Allow your glass to begin to settle into the bottom of the tool so it doesn't slide around too much when you begin to press.

   

While centered over the cavity as shown above, press straight down while steadying the tool against the back wall and left pole of the mold.

The pressing motion will take care of any pointy ends.

For any of the tools with straight sides (such as tabs), it is a good idea to have a tool nearby that you can help nudge the mandrel and bead up and out of the cavity in the event that it sticks a little.  With these shapes, if you get the exact right amount of glass it really gets down into those crisp corners and likes to snuggle in there.  Don't panic.  Rather than wiggling and bending your mandrel, just put a tool under the mandrel and coax it up.

You can see on this bead that there are chill marks.  This will happen with any tool because the coolness contrasted with the hot glass.  You can leave them if you like them or gently fire polish them away.  If you like the crisp edges around the rim, just be gentle.  If you like more rounded edges, be more aggressive.

Side view of Lollipop cavity. 

 


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