I am not a tight person financially - not that I have much money I don't, but I reckon money is for using to make your life better, not to hoard away or wave in someone elses face in an attempt to prove how much better you are than others!!! Its purely a means to an end to me, probably why I will NEVER be a millionaire! But, when I have needed some lampwork tools I have managed to save a few bucks and come up with things that work really well for me (thanks to Leo my husbands help). These are definitely not professional or anything, but they work for me.
Firstly, after hearing me whinging about having no hot fingers and trying to work out a way to remove marbles from the last punti with leaving a bellybutton (punti mark) he spent a few minutes huddled in the back of the garage and then came out with these....... marble holders!!!! The marble purists wouldn't like the metal against the glass which could potentially cause marks, but given that my marbles are in no way professional I dont mind one bit. They are simply a pair of cheap stainless steel tweezers with two thin mandrels sort of soldered on with some wire wrapped around for strength at the join. Leo them just curled the ends over so they met and could hold a round object neatly between them.
The other tool he made me last night was a spoon press...... what is that you might well ask - well I had a request (from my Mum) to make a glass jam spoon after she saw my boro honey dippers and suggested that a set would look good. I tried making a spoon for the first time last night and this is what I used to make it with.
I bought two cheap stainless teaspoons from an asian supermarket and got Leo to stick them on the ends of another pair of tweezers so they could meet closely cupped togther. They worked really well, although I did have to squash the gather of glass a little to fit in between the spoons nicely.
For those wondering what the spoon looks like, here is a pic of the first one I made with the matching honey dipper. They are made from borosilicate glass (encased in clear, I don't want anyone eating off any dodgy metallic additives in the glass).
The camera battery has died, so sorry about the pic!