Fay Katherine's Frog Tutorial
From Fay’s Flame to Yours:
Froggies and Dreamers 2003
Frogs, frogs, frogs. Everywhere I look are frogs. There are green ones, white ones, tan ones, mottled ones…. in the lights, on the doors, croaking all night long. The other night there was a baby (less than one inch!) froggy on my slider just happy as could be.
It was not a real surprise when a customer of mine requested a frog bead for her Floridian friend’s birthday. After telling her that I have never made a frog and was really not planning to, she requested that if I ever did make one to please send it to her. She even prepaid for the bead sight unseen.
The froggy gauntlet was thrown!
I started to look at the frogs that were all over my new residence. Real up-close. I investigated on my favorite pastime-- the Internet for pictures of frogs. My customer even sent me a picture of a frog!
I drew a sketch of how I wanted my froggy to look. Remembering Uncle Al’s one hundred steps on creating a lizard, I task analyzed the steps for creating my froggy. I used many of the same steps needed to create a lizzie as I do for a froggy.
The first is deciding what color the frog will be. I chose my favorite green color (other than copper green): pea green for the frog’s body, transparent emerald green for the bumps on the frog, striking orange for the core bead, and black for his eyes.
I cleaned all of my rods.
I then pulled 2 mm, 1 mm, and hair-thin stringers of the pea green. I also pulled 1-2 mm of transparent emerald green and hair-thin stringer of the black. A regular rod of pea green was needed too.
Prepping my work area is always my next step. I like to have all of the glass lined up by color and size that I intend to use.
Using a mandrel that was pre-dipped in FosterFire bead release and dried, I wound a long tube of the striking orange. Shaped and added more glass as needed. I like a barrel-shape so that I can squash it a teensy bit before making my raised critter.
After squashing and flame-kissing the chill marks away, I began to heat the large pea green glass rod. I had about 3 mm in diameter hot-honey-like ball of the pea green glass rod. I tipped the rod over so the ball was facing the table surface and placed it on the orange tube for the frog’s body. I lifted up and gently pulled away from the ball left on the orange core. This looks like an upside down funnel or chocolate kiss. Keeping it hot, I used my brass marver and gently pressed the bottom side of the round ball to form the backside of the froggy. And slowly, worked my way up froggy’s back. I stopped two-thirds of the way up so that there was a raised bunch of glass that would become the frog’s face.
I used the transparent emerald green stringer and randomly dotted the backside of the frog. Again, I stopped at the two-thirds mark. These can be left raised or melted all the way in. (Now would be the best time to melt the dots in.)
Time for legs. I used the 2 mm stringer and painted on a Z about one-fourth up from the bottom of the frog’s body. I worked from the body out. The legs may wrap around the bead. By using a stainless steel pick, I was able to push the glass under the frog’s body, and positioned the leg exactly how I wanted it to look. Then, I proceeded to the next leg following the same above steps.
All of the time, I have kept the entire bead “warm” and pulled the glass of the head up from the bead a few times too.
Next, I worked on the front arms. I worked from the body out again. I touched the stringer down near the neck and painted a straight line down, like the frog is hugging the bead. (Alternate arm option: This time I painted on a V. I touched the stringer down at the top of the body, towards the back, and then forward.)
Repeated on the other side for the second arm. I used the pic as needed.
Picking up the 1 mm stringer, I painted on the toes. Three on one side then the other. I used the pic to connect the toes to the heel. Then, I painted on the fingers using the same method.
I positioned the head with the pic.
Lastly, the froggy’s eyes! I lightly heated the hair like pea green stringer so that a ball formed on the end. I placed the ball on one side of the frog’s forehead. Then repeated on the other side. Used the pic to move the balls so that they were aligned.
Lightly heated the black stringer so a small ball formed on the end. I placed the ball in the center of the pea green slightly melted in ball. Repeated on the other side. Again, I used the pic to align the eyeballs.
Heated the whole bead and popped the froggy into the kiln to be properly annealed.
Viola! Froggy is set to croak all night while you are dreaming.
Remember: keep your bead warm during this whole time and please follow all safety guidelines for torchwork.