Corina's Magic Wand
8.5 inches long, 7/8th inches wide, brass, rubber coated handle
What's magic about the Magic Wand? You'll see once you start using it! Just imagine you are Harry Potter, and this tool has been hand-tailored to fit your needs. Of course, it hasn't, but we believe in weirder things than this. It IS made just for you in the way that you will discover ways to use it that fit exactly YOUR style of beadmaking, you will have "moves" that no other beadmaker even thought about.
Speaking of "use", you might wonder what this tool is meant to do. Before I came up with the Magic Wand (the prototype was actually created by a dear student of mine, Mike from Ashville, NC), I used the Economy brass Stump Shaper. Which is an excellent tool, but my problem was that it was WAY too heavy to use on beads (the Stump Shaper was invented by Loren Stump, probably the most incredible glass artist alive) BUT, he doesn't make beads, so the size of the tool fit HIS needs, the amount of glass he works with, and the amount of heat the tool has to withstand. Also, the tool wasn't sharp enough to "grab" the glass on a small scale.
"Grabbing glass?" Yes, that is one of the main uses of the square paddle. If you feel the edge of the front part of the paddle, you will notice that it is very sharp, and that is might even "fold over" ever so slightly.
This sharpness helps you move glass from one part of the bead to another. This is particularly important when encasing with clear, you might find that you have a little more glass on one part of the bead, and instead of adding more glass to the side that has less, you just heat the excess glass and move it over to where it's needed.
Brass is the material that is by far superior for "grabbing" glass to any other material commonly used in beadmaking, especially graphite, but even stainless steel. If you don't believe me, experiment with a variety of tools (a graphite marver, a butter knife, whatever), and you will understand what I'm talking about.
So, besides moving glass, I use my Magic Wand for pretty much any occasion where I want to influence glass. I flatten dots, straighten out stringer lines, cut grooves, and scratch my head (preferably when it's cold, the tool, not the head). Cutting grooves is particularly popular these days (like in Michael Barley's "Baileen" design for example) but you can probably come up with a gazillion new designs that require making a sharp indentation into glass.
There are no "rules" for holding the tool, but I find that it's easiest to make sure that the FLAT side of the paddle is facing down, towards the bead. If you want to move glass with it, a STEEP ANGLE to the glass is much more effective than "sliding" the paddle over the glass. You can even use the flat side of the square as a little marver,again, it's all up to your imagination.
What is the pointed end of the wand used for? To tell you the truth, I have no idea! The initial idea was to have something to counter-balance the square piece, and while we were at it, we thought that it might as well have a different shape, to give you more options. The last time I used the pointed end was to separate petals in a sculptural rose, to prevent them fromtouching each other, but I could also imagine to use it to shape the inside of 3-dimensional bunny ears. Stuff like that, you'll figure it out for yourself.
What else is there to say? How do you care for your new tool? First, if you can avoid it, don't stick it into the flame. It's not going to hurt the tool, but in general, you should make a habit out of keeping tools away from the flame, because the majority of tools will not be happy. So, don't. After a relatively short time of using the wand, it WILL change color, that's part of the deal. If you like to keep your tools shiny at all times, o my, you'll have to keep polishing it. There are all kinds of products for polishing brass, but my favorite recipe is soaking the metal in a mix of vinegar and salt (lots of salt). It's magic, again!
If you want to sharpen (or un-sharpen) the edges, a simple emery board will do the trick. And if anything should ever be wrong with your Magic Wand, email me, all of my tools have an unconditional life time warranty.