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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2014-03-29, 2:33pm
Hillarycampfield Hillarycampfield is offline
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Default Newbie questions. Kilns rods release etc

Hello all. My name is Hillary. I am brand new to lamp working. I am a long time jewelry artist and have worked mainly with wire wrapping.

I have purchased a hot head torch to begin to get a feel for the art. Are there any basic how to tutorials out there. I am interested in making some large hole glass beads.

Is have 104 glass, but I am having a hard time loving my colors.

I would like to buy a kiln but I have no idea what to look for or where to start.

Also my beads are getting stuck on my mandrels even though they are dipped and dried, I can't seem to get my head release to mix well. Is there a trick to this I don't know about? How thick is it supposed to be.

With my hothead torch should I have it all the way up for it to be effective, or as low as it can be. I have read both.

Some general guidance would be amazing.

Thank you so much - lost but excited
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  #2  
Old 2014-03-29, 2:39pm
glvz glvz is offline
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Are you soaking your mandrels in water before trying to take off the beads?

What kind of release are you using? Bead release should be smooth. I find a thin coat works well.

When looking at kilns look for one with a bead door.

Georgia
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  #3  
Old 2014-03-29, 2:55pm
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houptdavid houptdavid is offline
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I have purchased a hot head torch to begin to get a feel for the art.
Are there any basic how to tutorials out there. Look thru the free tutorial section here and on Youtube
I am interested in making some large hole glass beads. How large?

Is have 104 glass, but I am having a hard time loving my colors. What glass? Some you will have no luck with using a HH

I would like to buy a kiln but I have no idea what to look for or where to start.

Also my beads are getting stuck on my mandrels even though they are dipped and dried,
Your bead relaese may have cracked and the glass stuck to the mandrel
I can't seem to get my bead release to mix well. Is there a trick to this I don't know about? Bend the end of a mandrel in an s shape, chuck it in a drill an stir
How thick is it supposed to be. Pancake batterish

With my hothead torch should I have it all the way up for it to be effective, or as low as it can be. I have read both. Id say open but not all the way

Also join in the newbie thread in the gallery
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Old 2014-03-29, 3:06pm
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Good input so far, and yes, go to the gallery and join in the newbie/intermediate thread of the week. We are friendly & like to help!
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  #5  
Old 2014-03-29, 4:48pm
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Also, before attempting large hole beads you really should learn the basics. 3/32 rods are a good place to start and a common size. Large hole beads require more control and better left for later.

Practice making doughnuts and rounds on the smaller mandrels with the colors you have. Pull stringers to learn when the glass is "ready" but not soupy. Work on making beads with nice dimpled ends. Lots of great free tutes here as David stated. Youtube also can be your friend. There is lots to learn and it takes time to get the hang of it. One day you will just "get it."

If you haven't purchased a book yet I recommend "Passing the Flame" which will give you lots of great help. It may seem expensive but will teach you what you need to know and save you money in the long run.

What glass do you currently have? Some colors and mfrs. are harder to work with.

Have fun and enjoy the ride!
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Last edited by Deb L; 2014-03-29 at 4:51pm.
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  #6  
Old 2014-03-29, 10:58pm
Hillarycampfield Hillarycampfield is offline
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I have moretti glass 104 Coe and I also have that book and I love it.
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  #7  
Old 2014-03-29, 10:59pm
Hillarycampfield Hillarycampfield is offline
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As for specific types I'm not sure. I have the glass that came with my kit and some moretti transparent I picked up at a glass shop I found in the back of passing the flame
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  #8  
Old 2014-03-29, 11:31pm
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What specifically do you not "love" about your colors? What are your specific expectations?

Otter
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  #9  
Old 2014-03-29, 11:57pm
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Easy to burn transparents, especially on an HH, and they will look horrible. Try some white glass and check whether the glass melts without boiling and sooting.
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  #10  
Old 2014-03-30, 8:05am
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First you need to master the basic round bead on 3/32" mandrels. Then move on to the smaller mandrel, 1/16". After you master those, then try the 1/8" mandrels. Master making good shapes on that size, then you are ready to move on to the much larger diameters. You are starting out trying to make big hole (Pandora/Troll) beads, so no wonder you are frustrated! Making beads on the big hole mandrels requires a lot of control and you are only going to master that with many months of intense practice on the smaller mandrel sizes. Slow down, one...step...at...a...time.
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  #11  
Old 2014-03-30, 8:12am
losthelm losthelm is offline
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I find a kiln to be a big investment for someone starting out.
You can try updating your profile and networking with others in your area.
A lot of people are willing to batch anneal your beads for a few bucks to cover energy and offer suggestions. Properly annealed beads are a must when you start selling your work.

The color pallet varys depending on supplier there are a few that don't work well on the hothead or that are tricky to work with. Transparents and reactive glass are hard to work on a hothead. Divardi is a little shocky and can be difficult to work with.


If your beads are sticking a few things could be going wrong.
The mandrel may be getting to hot.
The release may be cracking when heated or you glass may be to cold when applied cracking the release.
The release may be the wrong texture, to thick to thin or lumpy causes problems.
If your adding water to the release the water may be the problem.
Heavy mineral content or chlorinated water can cause issues.
For mixing the release a good shaking works a few bad beads can help mix things around.

Soaking the beads in water helps loosen them up.
A good pop rivet gun helps remove most stuck beads. Use a small o ring or scrap of leather on the mandrel to avoid scratching the bead.
Others use distilled vinagar, freezing the bead/mandrels or dragging the mandrel over a rough surface like concrete.
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  #12  
Old 2014-03-30, 8:14am
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BTW - big hole beads require many months of practice to obtain the skill to be able to make them properly. That is a large surface to wrap the very first wrap of glass on, and the initial wrap needs to be perfectly straight, and it must melt in evenly. If not, then the final shape will not be even and the holes will be crooked. Crooked holes will not accept the silver coring. The core will not fit properly on the bead and attempting to make it fit will break the bead.
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  #13  
Old 2014-03-30, 8:16am
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What bead release are you using?
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