How to Make a Cased, Horizontal-Holed, Surface-Decorated Floral Heart
I love making hearts- it's easily my most favorite style of bead to make. Natasha Puffer taught me how to make horizontal-holed hearts, and ever since, I have a very, very hard time sitting at the torch without making one. Thanks Natasha!
Out of all my hearts - my very favorite style, would have to be the horizontal-holed, raised floral heart. It looks difficult, but in fact is quite forgiving. My greatest obstacle with this bead is the time that it takes to create it due to the layering of the glass (though for this tutorial, the design will be quite basic). Because of the scrolled stringer and flowers, it's easy to hide your "whoopsies" (if you've made any), and in the end, you're left with an intricate, colorful, and supremely tactile bead! I hope you'll give it a try!


1. Begin by winding glass onto your mandrel, creating a barrel shape (for this heart, I decided to have a base of sky blue). 2. Then, add more glass to the bottom of the barrel where the point of your heart will be.


3. If you love a cased look (like I do), case the entire blob in a complimenting transparent color (I used medium aqua). If there are little bubbles here and there, don't worry about it - you'll hide them later! Just try to get the transparent color as close to the holes as you can. 4. Warm up the top, take a razor (or whichever tool you prefer) and create the crease of the top of the heart. Be careful - that glass is h-o-t!

5. Using a nearby rod, make a punty. Heat the entire heart, and then the bottom a bit extra (you want the bottom half to be a bit more molten than the top half). Attach the punty to the bottom of the heart and pull. This does take a bit of practice - just getting the feel of how molten the top and bottom need to be and how fast you want to pull, etc. But that's okay - this is fun, right??? 6. Add stringer to the heart, covering some of the smaller/medium bubbles if there are any. Again, even the stringer doesn't need to be perfect, you can always cover them with flowers later! Melt in the stringer so that it'll stay put for good, and begin adding dots for the flowers. I like three dots for every flower, so I added some white dots and periwinkle dots, covering any of the larger bubbles I might have accidentally made while encasing.

7. On top of the dots, add a complimenting transparent color (I chose light grass green for the white dots and medium amethyst for the periwinkle). 8. Heat the dots, and using your tweezers (my favorite tool) or whatever tool you like to mash things with, smash those dots down, making three little circular petals for every flower.

9. Finally - Using the same color as you did for the scrolled stringer, add little dots in the middle of the flowers. I also like to add a few dots here and there over the bead (again - another way to cover a goof). My favorite part (or the finale) using the same color you were just using for the dots, add a dot to the bottom of the heart - like a little exclamation point! Melt in the dots to make them nice and sturdy, and there you are! The final result! Of course, you can always "dress up" this heart bead with striped stringer, and layer the flower petals with different transparents. Hopefully this basic tutorial will help feed your imagination - the possibilties are endless!

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