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

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  #1  
Old 2014-10-31, 7:49am
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asiceloff asiceloff is offline
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Default vermiculite vs fiber blanket

For those of you who batch anneal ---do you prefer vermiculite or a fiber blanket? I am just, just beginning although I've used a hot head torch before for torch fired enamel. I KNOW that a kiln is essential but i want to make sure I can learn to make non-wonky beads before I buy one.

Also ---while I'm asking newbie questions ---is there a thread that talks about 'easy colors' for beginners? I know to avoid anything expensive (DH I'm talking about you) ....and I've pretty much put some efferte trans/opaque in the cart along with some (less expensive) CIM colors. But I imagine that some colors are just more challenging than others.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 2014-10-31, 8:48am
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Okay...I found out about annealing bubbles which might be a good option for now.
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  #3  
Old 2014-10-31, 10:33am
losthelm losthelm is offline
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You may want to update your profile and list a general location.
There are a number of clubs or groups, it helps to ask other local artists.
Chances are decent someone would be willing to batch anneal your finished beads.
You can also learn a lot from direct observation at demonstrations or trading tips and techniques.
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  #4  
Old 2014-10-31, 10:44am
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Annealing bubbles are awesome. Better than vermiculite or fiber blanket.
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  #5  
Old 2014-10-31, 3:26pm
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Lost helm --- I would love to find a local lampworker! I did update my profile --- thank you for mentioning that!

Last edited by asiceloff; 2014-10-31 at 3:28pm. Reason: Add name
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  #6  
Old 2014-10-31, 3:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnette View Post
Annealing bubbles are awesome. Better than vermiculite or fiber blanket.
Thank you! I have some on the way! Do you use yours in a crock pot?
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  #7  
Old 2014-10-31, 4:18pm
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No. They don't need to be in a crock pot. I have them in a paint can lined with fiber blanket. Works great.

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Last edited by shawnette; 2014-10-31 at 4:21pm.
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  #8  
Old 2014-11-02, 4:46pm
Shelly Shelly is offline
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Shawnette, your paint can idea. Can you travel with this set up? I hate waiting for shop day to go back and get my beads. Was thinking if this would work with may be a chunk of blanket to go on top? When I get up and going I will be doing a lot of bead work at SCA camp outs so I really need to work out a traveling set up.

Second question, Am I reading right that you can go back and put a bead in a kiln after its cooled? This would be great. My mother has a kiln but I only see her once a week.
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  #9  
Old 2014-11-02, 5:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelly View Post
Shawnette, your paint can idea. Can you travel with this set up? I hate waiting for shop day to go back and get my beads. Was thinking if this would work with may be a chunk of blanket to go on top? When I get up and going I will be doing a lot of bead work at SCA camp outs so I really need to work out a traveling set up.

Second question, Am I reading right that you can go back and put a bead in a kiln after its cooled? This would be great. My mother has a kiln but I only see her once a week.
Yes. When you buy empty paint cans, they come with lids. They're around $4 at Home Depot.

Yes. The whole point of using annealing beads, vermiculite, fiber blanket, etc. is to batch anneal later. I live in Florida, so running the kiln every day in the summer isn't all that fun. I also use this for experiments, small runs, etc.; any time when running a kiln cycle doesn't make sense.
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  #10  
Old 2014-11-02, 5:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnette View Post
Yes. When you buy empty paint cans, they come with lids. They're around $4 at Home Depot.

Yes. The whole point of using annealing beads, vermiculite, fiber blanket, etc. is to batch anneal later. I live in Florida, so running the kiln every day in the summer isn't all that fun. I also use this for experiments, small runs, etc.; any time when running a kiln cycle doesn't make sense.
Thank you!
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  #11  
Old 2014-11-02, 6:50pm
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Ok , so where is a good place to order a fiber blanket and the beads? All I am finding in one or the other and I am trying to not pay two shipping costs...
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Old 2014-11-02, 6:53pm
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You can probably pick up fiber blanket locally. Look for a pottery supply store. It will be cheaper, as well. The only place I know of that carries the annealing bubbles is www.Artcoinc.com. He probably has fiber blanket, too, though. You can ask. Get the Annealing bubbles in the bag. You get a lot more.
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Old 2014-11-02, 7:07pm
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Thank you again!
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  #14  
Old 2014-11-02, 11:57pm
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When you put your cooled beads in the kiln, make sure the kiln is cold. Ramp up to temperature with the beads in the kiln. When you're ready, there's lots of people here who will help you with an annealing schedule for the kiln.

I've used the blanket, vermiculite, and annealing bubbles. I currently use annealing bubbles in a crock pot, but I don't turn the crock pot on - it's strictly a holding container.
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Old 2014-11-03, 6:51am
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I use the annealing bubbles too. I like how they are more lightweight than the vermiculite, so they will easily move away when placing a bead in there. I just have the beads in a ceramic pot, no blanket. Don't think the blanket is needed.....
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  #16  
Old 2014-11-03, 8:36am
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A crock pot is a big joke... And does nothing for you or beads, and also consider traditional "coffee can".... Almost any container will work.... All you are doing is to corralling the cooling beads or vermiculite, nothing more....

Dale
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  #17  
Old 2014-11-03, 11:07am
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Good info to know... Just getting my first setup ready and had the same concerns with getting a kiln to early the annealing bubble seem like a good solution...

~Pam
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  #18  
Old 2014-11-03, 11:18am
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Please know that Annealing Bubbles won't anneal your beads. They will simply help your bead cool a wee bit slower for proper annealing at a later date.
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  #19  
Old 2014-11-03, 1:27pm
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when i started glass working i used a crock pot and vermiculite i would heat up the crock eairly in the morning and torch in the afternoon , i would leave the beads in the crock running till the next morning and turn it down , and let run like that till the evening and turn it off. and let cool down . then take out my beads .. it seemed to do a great job, doing it this way . i never put them in a kiln at all .. i made a bracelet out of one set of these beads for my sister and still to this day has never cracked..i left them in the crock so long as my beads were larger in size,and would need more time to hold the temp ... maybe i just got lucky
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  #20  
Old 2014-11-03, 8:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topher wren View Post
when i started glass working i used a crock pot and vermiculite i would heat up the crock eairly in the morning and torch in the afternoon , i would leave the beads in the crock running till the next morning and turn it down , and let run like that till the evening and turn it off. and let cool down . then take out my beads .. it seemed to do a great job, doing it this way . i never put them in a kiln at all .. i made a bracelet out of one set of these beads for my sister and still to this day has never cracked..i left them in the crock so long as my beads were larger in size,and would need more time to hold the temp ... maybe i just got lucky

Holding at crockpot temperatures overnight would do nothing at all. Annealing happens closer to 915 degrees than 215. Your beads certainly didn't survive because of that trick.
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