Blue bell flower made on copper wire - copper conducts heat, so use a pin vice to hold the wire while you work.

I like sticking wired flowers directly into my flower pots for some added decoration.

I took a glass flower beads class last year with Nolly Gelsinger of Nolly’s Folly Studio.  She makes the most gorgeous flower beads…entire bouquets of them, in fact.  But one of the coolest ideas she shared with us involved creating glass flowers, or shapes and designs, directly onto wire.  Specifically we used copper wire and galvanized steel wire.  In the case of flower beads, the wire acts like a stem, so you can hold the flower upright.  You can even twist multiple wired beads together into a bouquet or grouping, or wrap the wire to incorporate the beads into other designs.

Wire can act as built-in headpins for earrings.

Since both types of wire conduct heat, either grip the end of the wire in a pin vise (Note that if the pin vise is metal, it may also conduct some heat) or you can wrap the wire around the end of a mandrel, leaving about two inches off the end to work the glass onto the wire.  Then simply wind the glass directly onto the wire to create your bead. Anneal the entire piece, just as you would a regular bead.  When the piece comes out of the kiln, you’ll notice the wire has a scummy layer of oxidation.  Rub the wire with a piece of steel wool to remove the scum and shine the wire.  You can also string beads onto the wire, or wrap it with another type of wire.

So the next time you get on the torch, take a piece of copper scrap wire and play around with this simple idea and let us know what kinds of neat things you come up with.