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mikefrantz
2007-06-01, 4:30pm
For those of you who use Lauscha clear, I have some questions. Our customer recieved some of of clear Lauscha about two months ago. The beads seemed to crack either in the kiln, upon removing them from the kiln or even days later. I suggested that they put the beads in hotter. They had also been told the same from another person, but they put them in really hot, but I do not think that doing so would cause a problem. Upon looking at the broken beads through a stressmeter, there is lots of stress. I had thought that if they had put the beads in too cool, there might be stress that would show up on a stress meter, but I thought that the stress would be gone if they had put the beads in hot. Since this has happen to two different beadmakers, it has me worried. This glass may be from our latest shipment, or it could be from one six months ago. I do not recall any problems with either shipment of clear Lauscha. I am having the customer send me a sample of both sizes of clear for me to test, and that also disturbs me since if it was only one size that was breaking, but it is two sizes. Do I have two different sizes that were bad that nobody else got? My customers did lose lots of hours and I have no idea what went wrong. If anyone can solve this problem, I would be forever thankfull.

Sincerely

Mike Frantz

Peach Blossom Beads
2007-06-01, 5:05pm
I use Lauscha clear almost exclusively and I never understand why so many people have issues with it. I never have cracking on the colors that people complain about, like cobalt & silver, for example. I also don't use it or any other clear to encase colors that just shouldn't be encased, like sulfur colors & dichro. Well, sometimes I do, but not fully and only on small beads. Anyway, I ordered 2-4mm and 4-6mm rods from you in the last few months and haven't had any issues. (My last order was in January - I've been setting up another one but your site was down yesterday). I do know there was a bad batch maybe a year ago? Maybe that's what they got? I have some of that and they're the 8mm rods but I do NOT know if it was only that size that was affected. (I bought them from someone on LE).

Putting it into the kiln hot is what's recommended but I have never made a point of it and my beads never crack. Before I got a kiln I would make encased florals with lauscha clear and put them in a fiber blanket and they would totally survive, so I have no idea why all the issues.

Can you tell me what colors they were encasing and the size of the beads? (or are you saying there were A LOT of beads?) And they were putting their beads directly into a kiln, correct? Just putting them in the kiln hot isn't going to stop cracking, by the way. And with all that stress I'd say it's a bad batch. If I knew more about the beads I could tell you why they were cracking if it isn't a bad batch. But if every single beads that these customers are making are cracking, then it HAS to be the batch.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have, in exchange for free glass, of course! lol! (Just kidding!) :biggrin:

beadbroad
2007-06-01, 10:23pm
Dunno. But thanks for obsessing about this so I don't have to. I still have a lot of good Lauscha clear that I've been using for a long time. Hopefully they'll sort it out by the time I have to restock.

Janelle Zorko
2007-06-01, 10:37pm
Mike,

I'm having terrible cracking problems with deep encasing lentils and big hole beads with Lauscha (this is a batch Larry got about 2 months ago (I think). Oddly, working with the same batch, Larry isn't - but he's encasing different colors than I am too.

Here are two I made yesterday. They looked absolutely fine when they came out of the kiln this morning. By this afternoon, this is what I had - very frustrating - especially the weekend before B&B! These went into the kiln pretty glowing and were garaged at 960 for an hour or two before the kiln came down on a programmed schedule. Again, they were fine before I put them in, and after I took them out of the kiln.

The first bead, admittedly, could be an incompatibility thing - it was probably more silver blue 96 than is allowed. However, this happened recently also with a very light coating of "Ocelot Spots" frit as well (which is also 96, I'm sure).

72358

The second is just Effetre black with silvered ivory stringer. This one was completely fine this morning and looks like a cracked mirror now. Weird.

72359

Don't know if that helps but you're welcome to the beads if you want them. I'll bring 'em to B&B.

Janelle

P.S. ACK!!! ACK!!! ACK!!! I just checked the very cool set of Kalera bracelet beads I made with Effetre black and silvered ivory and they're cracked right down the middle. Glad I didn't sell them at B&B and have them crack after a customer bought them! I'm switching to Vetro clear tomorrow!

larrybrickman
2007-06-02, 8:08am
Darn... I hate to hear about cracking problems with Lauscha. I've been using Lauscha clear almost exclusively for over two years and have had minimul cracking problems. I feel like I do everything right when it comes to annealing, my regular annealing program is aboiut 8 hours and even longer for those big honkin' Brickman beads. But, I've got to admit, every once in awhile I'll have an encased bead crack, for whatever reason is beyond me. I want to say perhaps it doesn't like silver, it seems as though this is where you see a lot of the cracking. I encase reduction frit with it all the time... no problems.


This kind of problem is REALLY hard to track down and I hope a panic doesn't start where people won't touch Lauscha. But, if it becomes known that their compatability is off somewhat... people won't touch it!!

I don't think I've helped much here... but I still thank Lauscha is the best clear on the market. And that's coming from someone that is living with someone that's experiencing serious cracking problems (Janelle).

Cheers, Larry

Mike H
2007-06-02, 9:23am
I have also had problems with extra large Fish and 2 1/2" gearshift knobs
that were encased in clear that cracked. The gearshift knob was on my wifes car for about a month and a half and just the clear encasment cracked.
I spent about 2 hours on that one piece alone! I have not used lauscha
to encase since. Its a shame because IMHO lauscha is by far the cleanest
clear available. I just wish it was a TRUE 104!

evilglass
2007-06-02, 10:47am
I've used Lauscha almost exclusively since I started making beads. I'm just now, today, going to *gulp* try some moretti clear stringers and vetro clear stringers. I'm only doing it because of 1) the cost of Lauscha is getting to me since I do encase just about everything and I don't have sales to support my habit, and 2) I'm wanting to try some things with faster melting clear, to see if I can get a couple of things down.

I've never had an issue with a lauscha clear encased bead cracking-*unless* I admire the bead for too long before putting it in the perlite. I don't do a lot of pressed beads, just rounds. I use a lot of silver, and I batch anneal.

Peach Blossom Beads
2007-06-03, 2:41pm
Mike:
Why did the price of Lauscha clear go up? It never used to be $29.00 lb for 2-4 and 4-6mm rods. I've been buying from you for a while and am about to place an order and I can't be nuts! I swear it was never that expensive.

I remember it being about $22-$24 and the larger rods were $18-$20.

Ya know, I refuse to buy diamond clear b/c of the price and I refuse to buy Moretti super clear b/c of the price. Please tell me that this isn't going to be the price of Lauscha clear now.

Thanks.

PaulaD
2007-06-03, 5:37pm
I can answer that if Mike doesn't mind. Lauscha recently (Jan 07) raised their prices about 10% and the dollar is buying fewer Euros per dollar than ever. So people in the U.S. that buy abroad and import pay a lot more than they used to just because of the weak U.S. dollar currency.
These cracks look like totally incompatible glass. Ouch. I'm wondering if someone is using 90 or 96 by mistake.
I'll test my batch of Lauscha clear this week and see what happens..
Paula

Julabula
2007-06-04, 5:35am
I had compatibility problems with Lauscha clear, too, especially on encased florals or encased press beads. I put the beads in hot, too. Mine were either cracking in the kiln, or worse, days later. On two occasions it was literally 3 weeks later. I ditched it about 7 weeks ago, and gave it to a friend who likes it.

Janelle Zorko
2007-06-04, 6:23am
Well, for Bead & Button, I've remade all my sets that used Lauscha clear. Don't want to take the chance! I find the Vetrofond crystal clear (or whatever the real name) to be a good substitute.

Janelle

Janelle Zorko
2007-06-04, 7:14am
These cracks look like totally incompatible glass. Ouch. I'm wondering if someone is using 90 or 96 by mistake.
I'll test my batch of Lauscha clear this week and see what happens..
Paula

Paula,

I'm the only one who posted pix and I can assure you that the silvered ivory one is Vetrofond black with Effetre silvered ivory stringer with Lauscha clear over it. No 90 or 96 there. The other is Effetre light ivory with Reichenbach or Kugler Silver Blue (which, as I said, is admittedly 96). When I duplicated this with Vetro clear - no cracking.

If it's discovered that this last batch of Lauscha clear is incompatible, I hope that every seller will be upfront about it and will discuss the problem with the Lauscha factory, rather than sweeping it under the rug. I appreciate that Mike publicly asked the question as it could effect a lot of people.

Janelle

justK
2007-06-04, 7:42am
I've been using Lauscha since February, and have had a couple of beads crack weeks later. I was also using some colors that were new to me and chalked it up to practice. I do surface decoration on heavily encased beads and it can be tricky to evenly heat the whole bead before placing in the kiln without melting everything in, so I figured I must have missed a spot on the beads that cracked. Sure hope that was it! After an hour of working on each bbead, I think sometimes my patience is a bit short...

Lauscha clear is just what I needed for these beads, the clarity is gorgeous.

To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 1 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

I don't have a stress meter to test the beads out, would placing them in the freezer help expose any weaknesses? LOL now I'm almost afraid to try it!

lunamoonshadow
2007-06-04, 8:53am
Oh Janelle, how SAD...those beads were BEAUTIFUL....sigh...I love the top one!!!

Kim I love your little ponds!

~luna
crying for all those poor beads!

Aleigh
2007-06-04, 9:00am
I have been using Lauscha Clear for a couple of years now too and loved it, but A got a batch in January The cracks with everything. I used to have probelems when I used it with silver or glass with a high metal content, but this time it was everything. I switched to Vetrofond Crystal clear and absolutely have had no problems.


Amy

PaulaD
2007-06-04, 10:17am
Hi Janelle,
I wasn't implying that you mixed up the COE's. Only wondering if they got mixed up in a warehouse some where along the way. Anyone's warehouse. I'll email this thread to Lauscha tonight when I get home from work. It is so sad to see a bead crack!
Paula

Cosmo
2007-06-04, 10:30am
I bought a few pounds of Lauscha clear about two years ago (the only batch I have ever bought - sorry, I can't remember who it was from). I made quite a few beads with it then. They all came out fine. I had been told to put the beads into the kiln a little hotter. I did so, and everything was great. These were encased floral beads (insert guy making floral bead joke here). I still have most of them as they weren't that good. They are still fine - no cracks anywhere.

About three months ago I made some more beads with the same glass. I even used one of the rods that had been used before. Every one of them cracked. They were also encased floral beads. One I thought may have been because of the glass that I encased (CIM glass). The others were plain old Moretti. Every one of them developed cracks from hole to hole a couple days after coming out of the kiln. Every one looked fine for a couple days, then developed cracks that eventually spread the length of the bead.

I treated these new beads the same way I did the old ones. Same bead release, same torch, same kiln, etc. I would think that my technique has improved significantly since then as well. But they all still cracked up to three days after coming out of the kiln.

I don't know how glass is made from sand into rods, but I wonder if it's possible for the chemistry to change over time. I may be way off base here, but it confuses the heck out of me that the exact same batch of glass (and even the same rod) that would not crack before is now cracking.

justK
2007-06-04, 11:08am
Guhhhh, the octopus cracked!
This, after it cracked initially and I managed to reheat it and cook the crack out Saturday, what a pain in the a**! It was fine when it came out, but this morning, crack-ola.

I tried the freezer, and all the others are fine, for what that's worth. It will be a stressful moment when I unwrap them at B&B. If anyone wants to learn new swear words, just give me your cell # and I'll call you as I'm about to open them up...
;-)
Kim

suzanne
2007-06-04, 11:40am
I bought a batch of lauscha last november ( directly from the factory, 4-6mm)
and I;ve had loads of problems with it. First my rubino looks horrible when encased with this batch ( livery) and second.... its completely incompatible sometimes. The beads Janelle showed could have been mine ( well, hers are prettier) but I've had major problems with it.

Janine
2007-06-04, 1:53pm
Thanks for the posts and the question! I was just about to unwrap the Lauscha I bought in January and I think I will be careful what I try it on.

Good luck to you B&B people. Happy, non-cracked bead vibes being sent!!! (and to everyone else too!)

PaulaD
2007-06-05, 6:59am
I have an answer from Lauscha this morning. As I read it they do replace when people have had big problems. I have a question though. Has anyone had any cracking with Lauscha on Lauscha? I was told that their colors all have the same flow.
Also they ended up not raising their prices Jan 1st like they were going to. They had a lot of increases at the manufacturing end but absorbed them.
I did some test beads last night of the clear batch that we have but haven't seen then yet. I think our batch may be ok because we just got it in March and no one has come back with any cracked beads that bought it.

Paula

Reenie
2007-06-05, 9:10am
Yea ditto here. No complaints on any colors or the clear. I haven't really had any issues on cracking with the one's I've played with.
I love using the tri colors and then encasing them. Gives it soo much depth and no problems whatsoever!
Irene

PaulaD
2007-06-05, 6:35pm
The 3 I did last night are ok. They were 1 1/2 inch lentils and were Lauscha on Lauscha. Tonight I did more 1 1/2 inch lentils with Lauscha on Moretti. Just because you are all making me paranoid!! I was sure to reheat them to a glow after pressing and put them in the kiln red hot. I LOVE the way Lauscha melts. As one customer said..."Just like butter!" Paula

Reenie
2007-06-05, 7:15pm
paula....you going to share a picture of your bead beauties???
Love to see them.
You know what looks really cool...I tried last night but won't post till I figure out how to make tree branch cane....but take the brown tri color and blue tri color for a lentil bead. It is the most beautiful thing. It's like wisps of sand on a semi cloudy day. I want to make a huge lentil (somethng I've never done before!) and maybe put a tree in it so it looks like a forest or something.
I need more time to play!!
Irene

PaulaD
2007-06-05, 7:22pm
Hi Irene, As soon as I have time! I'm not set up to photograph inside and work all day so it probably won't be till a weekend...
I need to get off this computer and work on my taxes!

Paula

Peach Blossom Beads
2007-06-06, 5:52am
I have an answer from Lauscha this morning. As I read it they do replace when people have had big problems. I have a question though. Has anyone had any cracking with Lauscha on Lauscha? I was told that their colors all have the same flow.
Also they ended up not raising their prices Jan 1st like they were going to. They had a lot of increases at the manufacturing end but absorbed them.
I did some test beads last night of the clear batch that we have but haven't seen then yet. I think our batch may be ok because we just got it in March and no one has come back with any cracked beads that bought it.

Paula

So the prices did NOT go up? Then why are we paying more?

Thanks for everything you're doing, Paula.

PaulaD
2007-06-06, 7:25am
The U.S. dollar vs the Euro dollar probably accounts for some of it. Higher cost to transport accounts for more. U.S. importing fees are pretty heavy too but I don't know what they have always been in comparson to what they are now.
Welcome.
I think I should let Mike answer this one!
Paula

collectiblesbyrose
2007-06-10, 8:34pm
I have a question though. Has anyone had any cracking with Lauscha on Lauscha? I was told that their colors all have the same flow.

Paula

Paula, I see you did make some Lauscha on Lauscha that came out ok. Anyone else do ok with Lauscha on Lauscha?

PaulaD
2007-06-12, 8:53am
I spent most of my torch time last week making 1 1/2 inch pressed lentil encased with clear Lauscha beads. The bases were Moretti and Lauscha. I added silver (leaf and foil) to some of them but didn't mix in the 104 silver colors because I have never worked them before and didn't want to waste them on test beads! I didn't mix any 96 colors in either except for surface treatments (frit) on an already encased bead.
I used a very conservative annealing schedule as mentioned by Carol Ann on one of the Lauscha threads here. I was also sure to reheat throughly each time I pressed and put the beads into the kiln with a glow instead of cool.
I have never encased much until now so this was a good exercise for me! The Lauscha clear is by far the nicest glass that I have ever seen for a clear.
My advice is that if you are going to mix things up do a trial bead first because the same coe can have different viscosities. I did have one customer that encased the tranparent red with Moretti and it cracked on her. She is a fine beadmaker and has used lots of the other colors with Moretti without a problem. That is all that I know so far.

Paula

Carolyn M
2007-06-12, 8:55am
My Lauscha on Lauscha are OK, but I have given up using Lauscha clear with anything else. Too much heartache!

PaulaD
2007-06-12, 9:00am
I have an idea after re-reading this thread. Maybe the people with cracked beads can send them to Lauscha or give them to Mike to send....

Paula

Julz
2007-06-12, 10:05am
So, the batch in question is from a few months ago- like maybe March? My supplier is supplied by Mike, and I did purchase some new bundles of clear then, 8-10mm rods. Haven't tried them yet- should I just stick to Lauscha on Lauscha with this bunch, and save my older L. clear for encasing others?

Is there a consensus on what the sizes, and approx production dates were, and what to do to eliminate the cracking issues?

I'll be looking for a follow-up post from Mike and others. Thanks!

collectiblesbyrose
2007-06-12, 6:14pm
Well, I think I'll buy some Lauscha colors to go with my clear.

PaulaD
2007-06-15, 3:36pm
My batch got here in March and was ordered in December of 2006. Mine seems to be ok but I have just ordered more Lauscha clear that has been reformulated this year and is supposed to be more compatible with Moretti. I don't know about how it will work with silver glasses until I get my hands on it and test it!
Paula

Reenie
2007-06-16, 1:43am
My glass got here in May and no problems at all with it. Hopefully the bad batch is long gone!
irene

firelady
2007-06-18, 12:44pm
I can confirm one reason why costs have gone up.... There's a new fuel surcharge now because of the cost of oil...(a big drag!)

Regarding incompatibility....first, somewhere up the thread there's mention of using the Lauscha with 96 COE. Personally I wouldn't try that. Also, it doesn't do well with reduction frits between the core bead and encasing. At least I observed that in Tucson in February...

There are several things I've learned since I began researching compatability. One, COE is not the be-all and end-all of compatability like I always assumed it was. VISCOSITY is another big variable...but it doesn't come with "numbers" so it's harder to track. Two, each company, no matter what their official COE may be, has a variation within their own line of maybe 5-10 points. That just makes it interesting.

Also, because of the metal content within each color....as you work the glass, depending on WORKING TIME and also FLAME SETTING, you are burning out certain components within the glass, causing the molecules to change some while being worked. This actually changes both the viscosity and also the COE in some cases. In other words....if you have been working from a single rod of glass for 15 minutes, and you then change the flame setting or another variable, and add another layer of the same glass from the same rod, just via how long you worked the core versus the last glass added....the two layers may be incompatible!!! This is chemistry in action. It's awesome, untrackable, exciting, and frustrating. Just thought I would cheer you up. Isn't this fun?

Janelle Zorko
2007-06-18, 9:37pm
Hi Marcie,

Your explanation makes sense. However, it used to work. Now one batch doesn't. I've "spoken" with Rene via email. I believe it was probably one slightly "off" batch. I have every confidence that Lauscha has corrected the problem and any future shipments (and probably MOST of the older shipments) are/will be fine. I LOVE Lauscha clear - that's why I was so surprised when I had the cracking with silver - which I'd never had before with it. As others have suggested, I'll try it with my other Lauscha colors and will continue to use the clear when I get some from a newer batch.

Janelle

Reenie
2007-06-18, 10:25pm
I use "Only" Lauscha clear on all my beads. Some crack, some don't. My problem is that I like to look at them when I'm done...sometimes a bit too long.
I probably won't ever change:-) But I'd choose the Lauscha clear over any other just because it's crystal clear and no smudging.
Because of my minimal amount of Lauscha glass at the time all my beads were either Moretti or Vetrofond. The Lauscha is too pretty to use lol. I do the same with my gemstones...gee I wonder why I don't make much!
Irene

PaulaD
2007-06-19, 4:47pm
I agree Irene. It's pretty awesome clear!

Paula

meadowesky
2007-06-20, 6:00pm
I made 2 encased florals about 8 months ago. I gave them to my MIL as a gift. Last week she called me and said that they cracked. after 8 months!!!
I went over to look at them and the clear was spiderwebbed down to the base color.
how many of us have sold beads with lauscha clear and had them crack down the line by customers?? and lost business because of it, and damaged our reputation???

PaulaD
2007-06-20, 6:05pm
I think that if you or any other artist is having a problem they should send photos of the beads to lauscha via email. We can all be very sympathetic but none of us can do anything about it. IMHO.
Paula

encantado
2007-06-24, 9:54am
I used to use only Lauscha clear, but I had the same problem everyone is talking about with the beads cracking--- sometimes a week later. After this happened a couple of times I switched over to the Moretti Super Clear, and haven't had any more problems!!!

P.S. I did experiment with the Lauscha by just encasing plain white moretti, etc and they still cracked. I chalked it up to a bad batch of clear.

*StarleensStudio*
2007-06-25, 10:02pm
My 2 cents... I hardly ever voice an opinion but I do not want to see Lauscha get slammed again over cracking when there are so many variables to consider. Mike, I have bought lauscha from you in 5-20 lbs several times a year. I love it despite some batches being more favorable than others. It is worth every penny when the quality is dead on. When it's not... well you just ride it out. I have never experienced excessive cracking and apprentices test 10 random rods upon a new shipment arrival from the suppliers I order from regularly.

Here is what has caused lauscha cracking for me at times:
(all beads go into the kiln with a slight glow)

* encasing some opal/milky lauscha colors. Galaxy always gave me a70% crack ratio. Same for Milky way.

* encasing glass that contains a high metal content. Not just silver! For example, every time I get an order for an encased rubino bead I cringe. If the ruby layering over the base bead is over 2mm thick it will crack on those dark cranberry old stock rods. Now you combine this with a lentil press and forget it...

* some of the vetrofond odds such as parrot green/key lime cannot be encased in lauscha. BTW, any color with a translucent quality causes me to raise an eyebrow as I encase for the first time. Opalino white silk was the only exception. Cirrus has cracked on me a few times...

* Excessive use of inclusions: wire/mesh/cz's

* lauscha is a bit more touchy if I have encased over 104coe and a bit too much 96coe frits that have a high lead content. It's funny, some you can get away with it and others forget it.

These are just a few… Truly there are so many variables to consider and this is an ever-increasing issue with all the wonderful new glass types for us to use. Even equipment provides more to consider. An individual using a bushy flame will curb the stress more than someone working on a little narrow flame. If there are only a small handful of complaints it could be a strange combo on the artists end? At any rate, I feel for the individual that has lost work.

Out of approx 70lbs of lauscha purchased in 2007(some from Frantz), I am happy to say that none of my stock was returned due to cracking. If one of my students or I had an issue, we made a project to study cause and effect. Every time it was a strange combination of operator error on our end.

Hope my 2 cents was worth the read.

~Starleen

Janelle Zorko
2007-06-26, 8:37am
Starleen,

It was! I think Lauscha clear is WONDERFUL and I think your tips are very helpful. It's the clearest clear and *normally* gives GREAT results.

I was just in Lauscha. I met Renee. I wandered the factory. It was spectacular. In the Lauscha factory, you'll find a ton of small figurines with one or two colors on them. Nothing is encased (unless it's made in the furnace). Lauscha, in general, isn't doing anything different for the beadmaker than they are for themselves. A lot of vendors are importing Lauscha's stock glass and it's beautiful. The problems sometimes happen when we try to mix glasses or do something different with it than it's intended for. Unfortunately, different batches sometimes also behave differently with our "experiments".

People should know this. I think it's really good to discuss (and not slam the company for doing what they've done for 400 years).

Janelle

PaulaD
2007-06-26, 7:19pm
Actually with so many pretty Lauscha colors available why even mix the manufacturers up? I've been emailing Rene about this thread and he gave me some advice. He pointed out to me that not all glasses (from any manufacturer) are always within the coe limits or are on the edge of the coe limits and that can cause cracking and that working with cold tools can cause cracking.
Laucha has just manufactured a more Moretti tolerant crystal clear which I have just ordered lots of. But like any new color people should do smallish test beads first or a stringer test before they put hours into a bead or a series of bead sets.
I agree with Starleen about the flame size and think that a lot of people are just not working with enough heat and don't realize it. That's why they can't get their raku or their silver colors to pop.
Btw, the only bead that cracked on me this weekend was a Moretti Copper Green On Moretti clear.
Paula