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Domed Tile Tutorial

Lay down your initial footprint approximately 1mm shy of the edges of the cavity on both sides. You can 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. 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..


When you have the right amount of glass on your mandrel and it is still soft enough to move but not soupy, gently let your gather begin to settle into the bottom of the tool, centered in the domed area of the cavity.



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). If you want real crisp edges and nice square corners, the glass needs to be molten enough to seep into those areas.

Align your tool with the back fence of the base and the left brass pin and press straight down. As soon as you press, remove the top part of the tool, as every moment it is closed you bead is cooling.

TIP: If you get the exact right amount of glass (or sometimes a little extra) you may find that your bead sticks in the cavity. Don't panic, but it is recommended that you keep some type of tweezers or pick nearby so that you can help nudge the mandrel up out of the cavity if necessary. This can happen with any of the tools that make beads with a 90 degree corner or edge.

You will notice that after you press, the glass has spread and filled the whole cavity and your bead is no longer 1mm smaller on each side. This has helped to give you a nice even bead hole without any extra seeping out. Gently polish out any chill marks, if desired.

The pictures here are from the puffy pillow but apply to corners on any shape of this type with corners.


Can you see the extra rim of glass on the edge of this bead? This is what happens with any tool if you have too much glass before you press.

The good news is that you can fire polish a minimal rim back in.

This picture shows the other side of the bead above after the extra rim of glass was fire polished back in. You may want to use the slight touch of a marver to help coax the rim back in, but with a slight amount of seepage that may not be necessary. Try it with just the flame first to minimize distortion of your design.


This could be the result if you didn't have enough glass before you pressed; rounded corners. The good news is, you can fix that without having to turn your bead back into a round gather. It works best if you are working with a solid colored base or can work the corners into your design.

Simply add dots of glass to the corners that are rounded. I will show you 2 here for illustration.
Begin to spot heat your first dot and use a marver to shape the dot back into a 90 degree angle. It works well to use a torch top marver because it doesn't move and is always parallel and perpendicular.
Keep spot heating and going back and forth between marvering the side and top or bottom (whichever corner you're working on). This process will go much faster after you get the hang of it.
I didn't get a good picture of this next step yet but once you get the corners you were working on back into somewhat of a square again, pick up enough heat in your bead to have a slight glow and let it soften up enough so that it can fit back into the cavity and press again. If you're a master marverer, you might not need this step. Otherwise, it works like a charm!

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