Studio Musings

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Innies and Outies

It's been a while since I last posted, so I'm going back in time a little bit. Here are the surviving beads from my first day's bead making experience. I lost two beads trying to take them off their mandrels - one I could see had a crack in it when I took it out of the kiln, the other surprised me a little. The small, dark bead at the left front the first one I made. Just behind it you'll see a rather egg-shaped bead. That's not considered to be a good thing and several of my beads had this problem! The glass around the edges of the bead hole are sharp, and it just didn't look good. But some judicious use of sand paper helped considerably.

Here's the set-up we're using: a Minor torch with an attached graphite marver that you can use to shape the beads. the tool kit we're borrowing also has a 6" square marver that sits on the desktop and a tungsten pick that you can use to poke into the hot glass. Oh, and we have to wear didyuium glasses - the flame looks entirely different with the glasses on. Every once in a while I'd forget to put the glasses on when I started working and I'd keep adjusting the flame trying to get rid of the yellow, until I realised I simply needed the glasses. I like them far better than regular safety glasses.

I wondered what was the difference between flameworking and lampworking - according to Wikipedia, they're different names for the same thing. I can rent studio time from Pratt Fine Arts if I want to do more work at home, but I'd need some basic tools of my own: the glasses, a tungsten pick (my current favorite tool!) and mandrels. And I might need a graphite marver if there wasn't one attached to the torch like we have here.

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