-Hot Head torch
-sparker for lighting torch
-torch marver (this may be a luxury item, but I find it indispensible;
it gives me a work surface right in front of my eyes.)
-10" serrated end tweezers
-metal poker tool (mine looks like a dental tool--probably is)
-rod nipper (tile cutter, actually)
-marble mold (mine has 6 holes)
-Holder for final fire polishing (I made this myself! I'll
it at some point, but you will use your mold unless you have something
-Moretti glass rods: see specific instructions
-Kiln (if you don't have a kiln you will need to ask someone else about
how to use vermiculite or a fiber blanket.
IMPORTANT--my technique involves cutting hot rods
will need to have a place to do this that is fireproof and where the
rod cannot roll away (your hands will be full, and the rod will drop
ONE MORE THING--Do a "dry run". I still do
new idea; practice each step without the torch on. PRETEND
to do each step--pick up the tools, go through the motions, note where
you tend to set things back down, watch out for having to reach
INSTRUCTIONS FOR A "FISH" MARBLE
Part One: Make millefiore for fish.
This can be
very complicated, or somewhere in between. This is an easy
idea using red and blue opaque glass:
1. Heat the end of the red rod until it is
warm but not
(about 1" of it).
2. Heat the blue rod and lay a stripe of blue along the length
of the warm end of the red rod. Melt off blue rod.
3. Add another blue stripe on the other side of the red rod,
but do not melt off the blue rod.
4. The blue rod should be well attached to the ends of the
then melt off the red rod.
5. Add a stripe of red to each of the blue stripes, melting off
the red rod after each stripe.
6. Heat the whole mass and press it into a cylinder on your
7. Reheat it, grab the end with your tweezers and pull it
You will two sizes of slices, so pulling some thinner than the rest is
ideal. From 3mm to 5mm will work well.
8. Let it cool, then use your cutters to snip it into thin
ones for the fish bodies, smaller ones for the tails.
Part Two: Make twisted stringer for
simple method that looks good:
1. Make stringers of opaque yellow and
They should not be too thin (about 1/2 thickness of a rod).
2. Heat the end of a clear rod, thicken it to about double the
thinkness of the rod, and shape it so it has four flat sides (this
it easier to space the stripes and keeps them from running together).
3. Lay a green stringer stripe on one side and another on the
3. Repeat step 3 with the yellow stringer on the remaining
sides (I like to add thin stringers of goldstone [aventurine] between
stripes for a subtle sparkle in the finished marble).
4. Melt the stripes into the clear glass.
5. Grab the end of the glass with the tweezers, and twist the
rod while you pull. You will want this stringer to be fairly
(about 1/2 thickness of a rod).
--this will give you "grass blades" that wind around each other in
Part Three: Making the marble
You will need:
Two millefiori fish slices--1 big, 1 small (have some spares handy
in case you drop one)
3 or 4 8mm clear rods (2 or 3 with ends tapered for punties
1 to start the marble on)
1. Heat the 8mm clear rod that you have for
2. When the end is drippy hot, press it into one of the
larger depressions in the mold. Repeat until you have a slightly
curved circle of glass like a shallow umbrella on the end of the rod
3/4" across .
3. Take the seagrass stringer and add a stripe all the
way across the middle of the circle, then add more on each side of the
4. Use the clear stringer to fill in any spaces betwen the
stripes, and add some over the middle stripe (this will protect it from
being damaged by the punty).
5. Melt the stringers into the marble and shape the surface in
6. Heat one of the punties while keeping the marble warm (but
7. When the tip is soft, press it agaist the marble in the center
of the circle (you are out of the flame, here), then pull back a
9. Wait a few seconds for the rods to harden, then place
your work over your cutting surface and let the end of the original rod
rest on the surface. Hold the punty rod and DON'T LET THE MARBLE
TOUCH THE SURFACE. Pick up the cutters and cut off the original
as close the the marble as you can (don't worry if there's a bit left).
10. Put the marble back in the flame and heat the cut face of
it until the glass melts. You may want to press it against
the marver to flatten the cut nub of glass.
11. When the flat surface (well, it's going to ball up a bit,
but that's fine) is really hot and soft, pick up the fish body slice
tweezers and place it on the surface. It may take a couple of
to get it to stick; the surface must be very hot. NOTE-- you may
want to place the slice so the vertical stripes are aligned with the
seagrass, AND place it a little off center to leave room for the tail.
12. Press the slice into the surface.
13. Reheat the surface and add the tail slice as close the the
body as you can. I like to make the stripes on the tail
Don't worry if the tail and body are not touching at this point.
14. Heat the slices and press them in.
15. Use the pick tool to shape the slices. I drag the head
area out to a point, I stretch the top of the body upwards and the
downwards for fins, and I drag the middle of the tail so it is pressed
into the back of the body. I may also drag the tips of the tail
16. Melt this work smooth.
17. The last thing I do to the fish is poke it where I want the
eye. This will make an air bubble for the eye when I cover it
clear glass .
18. Heat eough clear glass to completely cover the fish with
a moderately thin layer (The fish should be toward the "front" of the
marble rather than in the center. Keep the marble warm!
19. Cover the fish with the clear glass and melt off that rod.
20. Round the marble in a mold that is larger than the
THEN roll the marble GENTLY in a hole that is slightly SMALLER than the
21. Heat one of the punties while keeping the marble warm (but
22. Attach the punty to the center of the "front" of the
Cut off the other punty as is step 9.
23. Reheat the marble and round it in the mold as in step
Repeat until it is as rounded as possible.
24. Repeat steps 21 and 22, attaching a punty to the "back" of
the marble this time. This is an inportant step! You want
"front" of the marble to be free of any distortions, so the fish can be
25. Heat the front of the marble and smooth it in the mold.
Carefully heat it again after the final smoothing to be sure the
has no flaws.
26. Keeping the marble evenly warm, pick up the mold and warm
a small hole near the edge. It should be a hole that is small
that the marble doesn't rest in the bottom of it, but big enough to
the marble steady with the mold tilted slightly (I have made a
out of graphite for this part because I found the mold draws too much
out of the marble, but maybe a mold with fewer holes [smaller, with
mass] would work better).
27. Set the mold down, place the marble in it (hold the rod
and cut off the rod.
28. Quickly put down the rod and pick up the mold.
I blow once on the marble to remove any glass chips. Then hold
mold in the flame so that the cut mark on the marble is heated and
into the marble. I use the mellon tweezers (the back of one
to gently turn the marble so that the cut melts evenly.
29. Set the mold down, wait a moment for the marble to harden,
pick it up with the mellon tweezers (they need to be warmed [but not
hot], and will already be if you were turning the marble with them),
pop it in the kiln.
These instructions may
be copied free of charge
All text and images on these pages are copyrighted.
I hereby give permission to individuals to copy these marble making
insructions for their personal use only.
Copies may not be made for resale or publication.
The techniques and themes described in these instructions are not
They are common techniques and themes and cannot be copyrighted or
patented under US copyright or patent laws.
Any items made using these
instructions are the property of the maker
to do with as he/she sees fit.