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  #1  
Old 2008-03-23, 9:29pm
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Default Hot Head "Reduction" Black Nebula Tutorial...

HOT HEAD BLACK NEBULA REDUCTION TUTORIAL by DeAnne Buchanan/The Glass Zone

(All material contained within this Tutorial is protected by Copyright, "The Glass Zone" DeAnne Buchanan, 2008; all rights reserved.)



After much prompting, I’m FINALLY posting my Tutorial on how to get an excellent “reduction” flame on a Hot Head Torch. This demonstration features George Tessman’s “Black Nebula” glass, one of my all time favorites!!! Bear in mind that although a “Striking” flame is difficult if not impossible to establish on a Hot Head Torch, a “Reducing” flame, as demonstrated here, works wonders with all “Reduction” glass – Black Nebula, Iris Blue, Iris Yellow, Di Vinci, Olympia Rain, and many more!

Special thanks to my daughter, Kira, for her photography skills (without whose help this Tutorial would NEVER be), to Irene (“Reenie”) of Flame Kissed Glass (http://www.flamekissedglass.com/) and to Mr. George Tessman of GT Glassworks, for creating and producing his wonderful Black Nebula for the lampworking world! (EDIT: August 2012/"Black Nebula" is no longer available but this technique works great with lots of different and still-available glasses! If you're lucky, you may be able to find some old stock Black Nebula around. If so, grab it!)

SUPPLIES, SUGGESTIONS AND IMPORTANT CAUTIONS:

As you all know, safety while working with hot glass is of the utmost importance!!! Because this technique requires covering the intake holes of your Hot Head Torch, I’d like to make the following recommendations and suggestions for the best result under the safest circumstances:

1. Above all, use sensibility and care!!! PROPER VENTILATION IS A MUST (ESPECIALLY WHILE WORKING WITH SILVER GLASS!)

2. Even though a “reduction” flame can be achieved on a Hot Head torch using a tin foil “collar” which can be slid up the shaft of the torch (and thus covering the oxygen intake holes and yielding a “fuel rich” flame) I find this technique variable and sometimes insufficient. Therefore, for my purposes as demonstrated in this Tutorial, I utilize a Leather Welder’s Glove with Kevlar stitching which is pictured below. I find that using the “Glove” technique offers virtually complete coverage of the holes, and proffers a consistent, wonderful fuel rich flame that can’t be beat! The glove manufacturer (in this case, “Lincoln Electric”) is not as important as the flame and heat resistance. This particular glove is not intended to withstand direct contact with the flame, but is sufficient to protect your hand while covering the holes on the Hot Head for approximately 25-35 seconds at a stretch, which is more than sufficient to evoke the silver/metallic surface effect with Black Nebula and other “reduction” silver glasses.

3. I purchased these gloves from my local Home Depot, and you should be able to find them readily in your area; they can also be purchased from www.homedepot.com. (EDIT: March 2009/These gloves are sometimes seen in a Red color as opposed to the Grey that is shown. Either will be sufficient, so don't worry if they look a bit different at your local Home Depot. Just make sure they are heavy-duty, "heat resistant" and intended for welding purposes.)

4. Remember that all that is needed is ONE GLOVE, which should be for your NON-DOMINANT HAND – your dominant hand will be holding the mandrel & bead in the flame, and you will be using your other GLOVED hand to cover the Hot Head intake holes. For reference purposes, please note that I am LEFT HANDED, thus, the Glove goes on my RIGHT HAND.

5. If you use 1# MAPP or MapPro canisters with your Hot Head, be sure to start with a new, full (or nearly full) canister to insure that you have plenty of fuel to create your bead and evoke the “reduction” flame without risk of running out of fuel right before you are finished!

6. First, make sure all your supplies are within reach! I keep my glove on my lap, with the opening facing the hand that you’ll be putting it on – this way, it’s easy to just slide your hand right in there when you’re ready to do your “reduction”. All pressing, shaping, etc. should be done in advance of the “reduction”, which will be the very last step before placing the bead into the kiln or vermiculite filled crock pot.

7. So as not to lose your reduction effect, which is a “surface” treatment of your glass, I suggest annealing your bead on the lower end of the heat spectrum. I kiln anneal my beads, and set my kiln to never exceed 940 degrees throughout the entire annealing cycle.

A photo of the "Lincoln Electric" Leather, Heat Resistant, Kevlar stitched glove I use:


READY? OK – LETS GET STARTED!!!!!

Start by heating your mandrel and winding your base bead. I am using a 5/32” mandrel, and will be winding a donut-shaped Big Hole Bead for my Pandora bracelet.






After winding your basic bead, this is the point where you want to press or otherwise shape your bead. I’m using a couple of graphite marvers (one right in the flame) and one flat on my work bench just to even up the bead’s donut shape.



You might see a bit of “luster” appear on the glass at this point, but this is NOTHING compared to what can be achieved.


NOW FOR THE FUN PART! Slide your NON-DOMINANT hand into your glove; be sure to keep your bead warm at the back of the flame so you don’t have any cracking issues.


CAREFULLY use your glove to cover ONLY THE INTAKE HOLES ON THE HOT HEAD. This will cause the customary Hot Head “noise” to reduce considerably from the lack of oxygen, and the resulting flame will be a wonderful, bushy PURE FUEL flame. (Notice how ALL the holes are covered by the glove, all the way around!) BE SURE TO BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO SLIDE YOUR GLOVED HAND ANY FURTHER TOWARD THE FLAME THAN JUST WHERE THE HOLES ARE LOCATED.



Bring your bead into the mid-range of this flame, and quickly roll it around to hit all sides of the bead. You will IMMEDIATELY SEE the Silver “bloom” on the surface of the glass!!! Gorgeous! Keep in mind that a very quick exposure to the Reduction Flame will cause a metallic iridescent coating on the surface of the glass; the longer you expose the bead to the Reduction Flame, the lighter color (peacock blue) the surface will turn. If you over reduce, simply remove your glove from the intakes, put the bead back into a neutral flame (turns the glass back to basic black) and try again. I prefer a very quick exposure, which is what I’ve done with the bead demonstrated.

REMEMBER that you will begin to feel the heat through the glove within about 20-30 seconds, and if your hand starts getting hot, remove your gloved hand from the Hot Head (you can keep the glove on, unless of course, it’s on FIRE – just kidding!), give it a moment to cool down, and then repeat the process if necessary.

Once you’ve achieved the look you want, slowly cool the bead in the very back of the neutral flame, being sure not to bring it into full flame or you will lose your reduction effect. At this point, pop it into your kiln or after a couple of moments of slow flame annealing (remember, back of the flame only), push it down into your vermiculite and allow it to cool down slowly.


Here’s a shot of how the glove looks covering the holes completely (this is how you want to cover the holes – only with the torch ON):


Here’s a few shots of how the finished bead looks (NOTE: These were super "quickie" shots my daughter took indoors - although it looks like just a "patch" of the bead is super mirror shiny, in actuality, the entire bead is this reflective):




NOW GO GET YOUR BLACK NEBULA AND FLAME ON!!! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial; I would love feedback and input, and will be happy to try and answer any questions or concerns you might have. If you are so inclined, I’d LOVE you to post your beads here, too!!!

Hugs from CA,
DeAnne/theglasszone


All rights reserved; this Tutorial may not be transmitted or duplicated, in part or whole, without the permission of the author.
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Last edited by theglasszone; 2012-08-22 at 8:52pm.
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  #2  
Old 2008-03-23, 9:34pm
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ooooo...excellente'!
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  #3  
Old 2008-03-23, 9:40pm
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Thank you, Kevan! Coming from you, it means so much to me!!! It was really fun to do this with my daughter's help, too!

DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-23, 9:41pm
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Very Cool DeAnne!!!
I think you did a great job explaining and kudos to Kira for the great shots!
I think we need to tell your husband to make you a bigger studio
Irene
PS Love the nails!
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Old 2008-03-23, 9:44pm
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All for you...thanks for encouraging me to finally get it done!!!

DeAnne in CA
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Last edited by theglasszone; 2008-03-23 at 10:01pm.
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  #6  
Old 2008-03-23, 10:50pm
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Woo Hoo! That is some reaction my dear!

Can't wait to get my hands on a glove so I can give it a go.

Thanks for sharing.
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  #7  
Old 2008-03-23, 11:00pm
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I reached my "maximum" attachable photos in the tutorial, but here's another (sorry, a bit fuzzy) shot of the finished bead - shows that the super shiny, mirror finish goes all the way round the bead:



See (kind of)? You'll get it, I'm SURE!

DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-23, 11:58pm
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DeAnne,
Do you ever encase the bead? Does it lose the luster when you do?
I haven't tried yet as you can tell.
Irene
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Old 2008-03-24, 12:14am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reenie View Post
DeAnne,
Do you ever encase the bead? Does it lose the luster when you do?
I haven't tried yet as you can tell.
Irene
Reenie:

I've not tried encasing it...I've found that as soon as I get the bead "hot" again - at least I would think hot enough or close enough to the flame to encase without it cracking, it reverts to it's original simple black form. I did make a really cute Big Hole Bead with tiny raised Beatles on it - and used the Nebula for just the wings - came out really cute (I'll have to post a pic.) but I'm not sure encasing would work so well - at least not on my torch.

If you are successful, though, let us know!

DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-24, 4:04am
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Great tut DeAnne - I am excited to try it. I haven't been able to get much from Black Nebula on my hothead. Thank you!
Lori
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  #11  
Old 2008-03-24, 12:29pm
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Thanks deAnne! Excellent Tutorial. I have a home depot right next door.........BUT, no black Nebula LOL
Very pretty bead!!
Sue
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Old 2008-03-24, 2:12pm
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Wow Deanne! What a great Tutorial! I've been finding lots of reactions with Nebula and Lauscha Glass lately! I'll post when I am done experimenting! Paula
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Old 2008-03-24, 2:22pm
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I have a queston. Oh never mind. I just reread it slower this time!! ..Paula
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  #14  
Old 2008-03-24, 2:56pm
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Hey Paula~

Couldn't help but wonder what your question was, but if it's answered, that's great! I have a question for you!

How well do the Lau colors/clear "play" together, since I know the Lau Clear has been known to have cracking issues with all the "silver" glasses...

And thank you for your nice compliment on my Tut!

DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-24, 2:59pm
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There's also this link for Black Nebula postings, if you're working on something other than a Hot Head:

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=66595

Not that your stuff isn't welcome here, but I'm hoping to get those who are working on a HH and have a good experience to keep this (and the other!) thread alive!

Thanks again,
DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-24, 3:03pm
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Oh it was just about the holes..
I don't know much about cracking issues because I haven't had any with my batch. At least not with the few test beads that I did. I think you might be reffering to Moretti plus Silver plus Laushca clear?? There's lots of info in the tech forum though several posts from Carol Anne in Lauscha who mixes them all the time without cracking. She did suggest annealing at higher temps and ramping down slowly. That's about all I know. Most of my free time is packing and shipping now a days and not testing!
Paula
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Old 2008-03-24, 3:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theglasszone View Post
There's also this link for Black Nebula postings, if you're working on something other than a Hot Head:

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=66595

Not that your stuff isn't welcome here, but I'm hoping to get those who are working on a HH and have a good experience to keep this (and the other!) thread alive!

Thanks again,
DeAnne in CA
Oh I'm supposed to teach a class on Hotheads and I've actually never really used one so this IS a thread I want to read. If you were referring to me. Thanks.
Paula
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Old 2008-03-24, 3:39pm
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Great tutorial!

I just started using a Hot Head and it's amazing how many different types of reactions and changes that can be done. And I always thought glass is glass is glass!!

The Black Nebula will definitely be something I'll have to look for.
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Old 2008-03-24, 3:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaD View Post
Oh I'm supposed to teach a class on Hotheads and I've actually never really used one so this IS a thread I want to read. If you were referring to me. Thanks.
Paula
Well, Paula - there is one in Garage Sale right now...you might want to go grab it and give it a go BEFORE you teach the class!!!! (Giggle!)

Good luck with that!!!!
DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-24, 4:01pm
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Great tut!

You can cover the holes on your HH with foil, too, if you don't have a glove. Just fit a double or triple thickness of the foil around the holes with the torch off, then slide it down so the holes are clear. Then when you're torching and need to reduce, just slide the foil up over the holes.

The HH works GREAT with this glass.
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Old 2008-03-24, 4:09pm
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Great detailed Tutorial DeAnne. I don't use a HH now but it still helps me to see how the reduction should end up looking, how to get there and what to do once you got it!
Did you miss anything? LOL! Nope.
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Old 2008-03-24, 4:55pm
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Great detailed Tutorial DeAnne. I don't use a HH now but it still helps me to see how the reduction should end up looking, how to get there and what to do once you got it! Did you miss anything? LOL! Nope.
Hi Ziggy! Ya know, I believe you can do this same thing with your "big girl" torch - just skip the "glove" factor, and after making and shaping your bead, turn down the oxy and up the fuel...do the "wavy" thing, and then don't put it back into a neutral flame except way out there to flame anneal before sticking it into the kiln!

Thanks - everyone - for your nice compliments! I'm so glad I finally did this!!! It took all of about 5 minutes to actually snap off the pics.; the long part was writing the darn thing up to make sense! Glad it actually does!!!

DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-24, 4:59pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusticstudio View Post
Great tut!

You can cover the holes on your HH with foil, too, if you don't have a glove. Just fit a double or triple thickness of the foil around the holes with the torch off, then slide it down so the holes are clear. Then when you're torching and need to reduce, just slide the foil up over the holes.

The HH works GREAT with this glass.
Hi Patty!

Thanks for your input...I've done the "foil" thing, too - but I find that with the glove, there is so little fiddling and since the glove covers the holes so superbly, theres absolutely NO oxy and no variables! Maybe I just didn't have my foil collar quite right, but it seemed that it worked pretty well MOST of the time - the glove works every time, consistently, without doubt!

They aren't very expensive - if you decide you want to try it, I'd love to hear your assessment/comparative of the two!

DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-26, 5:39pm
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Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to post a quick picture of how the demonstrated Black Nebula bead turned out after annealing and cleaning:



Also, here's a photo of what the Green Envy does, treated the same way as described in my Tutorial - one with heavy Reduction (about 25 seconds in the "bushy" flame) and one with very quick, light Reduction (about 10 seconds):



The one on the LEFT is the light Reduction treatment!

Thanks again to everyone for their nice comments!

DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-29, 6:29pm
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Ugh, so I have to invest in kevlar gloves to do this. More stuff to buy! And it's not dangerous to cut off the oxygen to the torch? I'd hate for there to be some kind of back flow that makes the bbq tank explode!

Cheryl

ETA: but your tutorial is awesome, thanks so much for posting it!
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Old 2008-03-29, 7:45pm
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Hi Cheryl!

Well, I'm using the MAPP cannisters - not pure Prop from a BBQ tank, and no hose...don't know what cautions or repercussions might occur from deviation from my application here - but for heaven's sake, be careful! Since my tutorial and the "effect" you can get with the reduction flame (using a glove) only takes a few seconds, I would think that there shouldn't be any problems for anyone else using the "prescribed" method here. I would think that if you held the Hot Head long enough to cause any kind of flashback, you'd probably really be feeling the heat through the glove by then - not recommended! This method is used to create potent, short "burst" of reduction flame. In addition, these gloves I use are not PURE kevlar, they are leather gloves that have kevlar stitching and are heat "resistant" only. No sticking your hands in the flame - OK? If you have a Home Depot near you, these particular gloves aren't terribly expensive at all.

Hope that helps answer your concerns

DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-29, 10:21pm
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Ok, so I don't have to use the glove over the holes for very long. I do have a Home Depot near me. I'll check it out.

Thanks again!

Cheryl
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Old 2008-03-30, 9:12am
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Vangy Vangy is offline
I need torch time!
 
Join Date: Jan 09, 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 192
Default Thank you DeAnne!

I ordered Black Nebula last week and am impatiently waiting for it to arrive so I can try this!
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  #29  
Old 2008-03-30, 10:28am
Chau Nguyen T Chau Nguyen T is offline
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Join Date: Jan 13, 2007
Posts: 178
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Thank you very much for the tuts DeAnne.
When i tried to reduce on HH i kept the beads at the farther end of the flame and the results were not very satisfied.
I guess with your glove i can reduce any kind of silver, correct?
Since my DH closed up my workplace i have to put most my glass away. He promises after the remodelling done i'll have my own place to play with torch again.
I'm going to dig them out and try one more time. Thanks.
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  #30  
Old 2008-03-30, 10:29am
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theglasszone theglasszone is offline
I speak Murrini!
 
Join Date: Oct 12, 2006
Location: In a Glass House, CA
Posts: 9,173
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Thank you, Vangy! I hope it arrives soon...I would love to see what you do with it to!!!!

PLEASE POST PICTURES, EVERYONE!!!

DeAnne in CA
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