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

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  #1  
Old 2018-10-26, 12:10pm
mhall mhall is offline
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Default If you were to start today!

Hello!

I am a newbie with a newbie question. And I really couldn't find this answered through searches. So, if you were to start doing this today, with all that you have learned, what would be the things you would buy and where would you buy them from? And let's say you are starting from scratch and you are budget conscious.
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  #2  
Old 2018-10-26, 3:12pm
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Lorraine Chandler Lorraine Chandler is offline
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http://lampworketc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122124

https://www.devardiglass.com/starterkits.htm


Lampwork is expensive. But you can have a test run on the cheap with a Devardi kit. All of their supplies are about the least expensive you can get. A lot of people do not like the glass but you can watch videos and learn how because it does take a different technique than most other soda lime glass.

Pay close attention to where you torch that you adequate intake air and you have a fan to pull the fumes from torching away from you and out of the building. The chemicals released while melting glass are the first thing you should research so you know exactly how detrimental to your health this hobby can be.
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Last edited by Lorraine Chandler; 2018-11-02 at 4:37pm.
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  #3  
Old 2018-10-26, 3:36pm
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Hi, and welcome!

Have you had the opportunity to take a class? There also are plenty of YouTube videos. And the best source of a large amount of info is this website.

I would start with a hothead torch. You can do a LOT with one and they are relatively inexpensive. You need a way to attach it to your bench, and I would get a hose in order to use larger gas canister. Iíve heard that some people use propane. Initially you could use drywall to cover the top of the bench. Or something else that isnít flammable.

You need a decent setup for ventilation. That is not optional! Depending on where you live you might be able to work outside.

You need didymium glasses.

You need a way to slowly cool your beads, unless you already have a kiln. I sometimes use a crock pot filled with ďannealing bubblesĒ (which donít actually anneal). You can also use vermiculite but itís messy and the dust is nasty. Some use a fiber blanket. You could make a bunch, then arrange to have them batch annealed. They would have to be pretty small to survive until they can be annealed.

You need mandrels and bead release. You could stand them up in a jar of sand to let them dry.

I think I would buy an assortment of effetre pastel and transparent rods. They will be labeled individually and you can keep the labeled short ends for future reference. Avoid alabastro and opalino. And I would buy more (maybe 1/4 pound each?) of black, white, clear, and dark ivory.

You donít need a lot of tools. Definitely a graphite marvel, inexpensive needle nose pliers.

Iím probably forgetting some things...

It would pay to do some online research about pricing, and watch for sales or free shipping. Frantzartglass.com and Howacoglass.com are 2 vendors I often use.

Hope this helps a bit. I honestly donít know what it would cost to get set up now.
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  #4  
Old 2018-10-26, 3:38pm
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Great links, Lorraine!
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  #5  
Old 2018-10-26, 5:04pm
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The Idea to take a class first at an established studio is a great suggestion. It gives you a chance to test tools, play with different kinds of glass and see a proper set up before getting started.

I took a class then set up a hot head with a chili pepper kiln, bought a small number of tools and a basic glass assortment.

From there I expanded to a full setup within the first year I started. It can be a large investment up front but once you’re set up all your equipment should last many years.
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Handmade Murrini Chips, Glass Beads, & Lampwork Tutorials
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  #6  
Old 2018-10-27, 7:20am
kansassky kansassky is offline
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I would like to add the following...

From a practical standpoint, you can almost always sell any outgrown equipment.
You can learn more and move up to a new torch or new tools when you are ready.
Sell the old ones to another beginner.
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  #7  
Old 2018-10-27, 4:10pm
tassiebeads tassiebeads is offline
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I'd also check the library for any lampworking books, some of them provide a lot of basic and start-up information for the beginner.
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  #8  
Old 2018-10-28, 6:53am
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Hi, and welcome!

I'll echo everyone else in saying that taking a basic beadmaking class is probably your best initial money outlay. You'll have a chance to see a basic beadmaking setup, and you'll also be able to ask your instructor what kinds of setups they would recommend.

Plus, when it actually comes to making your first bead, having someone there to physically guide you through the steps and closely monitor your actions is invaluable.

Youtube is a wonderful tool - I'm always looking up new stuff - but having an actual human being, literally guiding your hand if needs be, is something Youtube just can't do (yet!).

I started out in my garage with a Hothead and a thick fibre blanket folded over as an 'annealer' - and the only tools I ended up using for the longest time were a brass marver, an old butter knife and a steel pick in a handle.

I only started getting better equipment and a more powerful torch when I became interested in working with borosilicate glass and my old Hothead couldn't do the job. But I still find my most trusty tools are... my old brass marver, an old butter knife and a titanium pick in a handle

There's a temptation at the beginning to buy all sorts of fancy tools - I know I did, and theres still some bead-rollers I've only used a couple of times in my toolkit 0.o. But almost all bead making techniques involve gravity, timing and the application of glass - so unsurprisingly its pretty easy to get away with a simple toolkit like a cutter/scorer, a poker/plunger and a small shaper on a handle.

Anyway good luck! I'd love to pix of your setup once you've done it?
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  #9  
Old 2018-10-28, 8:19pm
mhall mhall is offline
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Great information!! Exactly the kind of responses I was looking for. Quick question. Is a kiln necessary at the start? I see that a chili pepper kiln is in the $700 range. There seems to be a fair amount of opportunity to take classes in the Seattle area. Prices seem to fluctuate a little. Any suggestions on classes? Lorraine, thank you for the links. They are very helpful! Thank you everyone who has responded so far!
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  #10  
Old 2018-10-28, 8:49pm
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Lorraine, thank you for the link to your thread about costs. That was very informative and eye opening. It makes a person think about what may lay ahead, and that is very good information to have. There definitely is a cost associated with any hobby/job and the linked thread did a great job of describing a lot of it. There is also some joy and satisfaction deemed from making something beautiful with your own hands.
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  #11  
Old 2018-10-29, 12:01pm
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You can get away without your own kiln at first, but the beads will have to be small, definitely less than 1 inch. Also, they are not truly done until they are properly annealed in a kiln.

Check for classes at Pratt Fine Arts Center. The instructors are top notch and after you know what youíre doing you can become eligible to rent studio space.
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  #12  
Old 2018-10-30, 6:42am
mhall mhall is offline
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Thank you for the info!
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  #13  
Old 2018-10-30, 9:33am
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Larysa Larysa is offline
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I believe there should be a place for creativity in every home. It costs, but the sense of accomplishment is priceless. Happy lampworking, just take care of yourself !
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  #14  
Old 2018-10-30, 10:02am
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You can likely find a used kiln in your area. Lots of glass going on there.
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  #15  
Old 2018-10-30, 6:44pm
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I'd also suggest you take a beginner class at the Pratt Fine Arts Center. www.Pratt.org

They also have a studio rental program. It requires a membership ($75 a year). After taking a class or two, you can sign up for an orientation and then for an access test. Once you pass the test, you can rent at a far less expensive price than I've seen anywhere else, including use of torch and kiln. It's a great way to get started and see what you like and need. It's also a great way to meet other glass folks and be a part of an awesome community. My closest friends are gals I met through Pratt.
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Last edited by artsyuno; 2018-10-30 at 7:41pm.
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  #16  
Old 2018-10-31, 7:29am
mhall mhall is offline
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Thank you! I have been looking at Pratt for a while now. I just need to bight the bullet!!
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  #17  
Old 2018-11-01, 7:54pm
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You wonít regret it.
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