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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2007-11-01, 2:35pm
tassiebeads tassiebeads is offline
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Default Best Torch, setup,etc. for boro?

Hi
I just received a bit of a windfall and have decided to add a boro setup to my Nortel minor and soft glass studio. Any suggestions on the best torch (which will take me from beginning to intermediate skills with boro?) Also, I only have a 5l oxycon, and will need to upgrade that as well, so any opinions on the fuel/oxy needs for the new stuff? (mostly for beads and small sculptures at this point, but with the capacity to expand in the future, as I learn more). I'll also be looking at kilns later on, but figure I can deal with the torch and oxycons only at this point.

Finally, any hints about who in the states is a good, patient boro teacher for a beginner (I have years of soft glass experience though)? There's an excellent teacher here in Oz (Peter Minson) who does private lessons which I'm considering, but I'll be in the states in 2008 so I thought I might also tee up a class or two there. Any hints and ideas and suggestions? - I'd be most grateful.

Thanks very much for any help.
Cheers
Mary
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  #2  
Old 2007-11-01, 3:02pm
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Our own Mr. Smiley (Brent Graber) specializes in teaching boro to soft glass beaders. I haven't had a chance to take a class with him, but some of his previous students do great work and speak highly of his teaching abilities.
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  #3  
Old 2007-11-01, 4:02pm
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For beads and small sculptures, I think that you would be fine with the minor. You will need another Oxycon though to get good results. I would put the extra money you would have used on the torch into more boro to practice on.
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  #4  
Old 2007-11-01, 6:07pm
tassiebeads tassiebeads is offline
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Thanks for the tips! I really enjoy Mr. Smiley's posts (and his work!), so I'll look into his classes after that recommendation. And I honestly didn't think my torch would have enough "ooomph" for boro, (somehow I view the whole boro world as "a galaxy far far away!") but I'll definitely give my minor a go now (once I can get more oxycons bought and hooked up, thanks for that advice, too!) Any way I can spend more $$ on glass is very much appreciated!

Cheers and Thanks again!
Mary
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  #5  
Old 2007-11-02, 9:43am
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Will you be in one particular place in the US, or will you be traveling? If your itinerary is set, people might be able to give you recommendations for teachers who are close to where you plan to be.

I've taken beginning boro classes from Doug Remschneider and from Lauri Copeland, both of whom I can recommend. I took a boro marbles class from Chris Rice (Chris has a few great marbles posted on the forum right now). It was a great class. I don't know if Chris teaches a boro beginners class , but I was really, really, really close to being a boro beginner when I took his marbles class.

You can do small boro on a Minor, particularly if you add more oxygen, but if you really think you're going to want to do much boro, I think you'd be happier with a larger torch. I guess it depends on how far your windfall will stretch. Adding more oxygen is definitely the first thing -- no point in a larger torch if you don't have more oxy -- and you definitely need to have enough money left over to buy the glass itself. If your windfall is enough to buy a torch, too, though, I'd go for it. (A Lynx will give you the ability to do both soft glass and some boro -- you can't be a raging borohead, working rod as thick as your wrist, but that's really a galaxy, and a whole lot of oxygen, away.)
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  #6  
Old 2007-11-02, 12:25pm
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I would be more than happy to teach you if you are going to be in my area (Virginia). I teach borosilicate beginner's classes all the time. I come from a soft glass background, so I know what it's like to transition from soft glass to borosilicate. You can see a basic description of the classes I teach at http://www.cosmoglassworks.com/class-description.html

Those are the classes I offer for groups, but I'd be more than happy to tailor a class to suit you. Let me know what you want to learn, and I'll teach it to you.

I had a student from South Africa come here a few weeks ago to take a class from me. I'd be more than happy to give you her contact information if you'd like to ask her how I am as a teacher.

Oh... by the way... ALL of the items in those class description pictures were made on a minor with two oxygen concentrators...
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  #7  
Old 2007-11-03, 12:52am
tassiebeads tassiebeads is offline
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Emily and Cosmo, thank you so much for all of that information and the suggestions (and also the offer to teach me!) I believe I'll be on the east coast, but I'm not 100% sure exactly when or where at this stage - my husband wants to take something called a baseball fantasy camp (???) so my trip to the states will probably be whenever that is happening. At any rate, I intend to take classes and load up on whatever glass I can take back with me in my suitcases, and maybe the new torch too! I wonder if I could get an oxycon back on the plane with me too?

I'm doing a 3 day Tasmanian craft fair at the moment, (it's really good, but I'm exhausted!) so I'll check back in on Tuesday, but I just wanted to thank you (all!) for all of your advice and help thus far.

Cheers and thank you again.
Mary
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  #8  
Old 2007-11-03, 12:35pm
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I would definitely recommend taking a class from either Brent Graber or Chad Trent, I've taken a class with Brent and seen Chad's demo at Hot Time in the Mountains. Both of them are fantastic teachers, calm, clear in their instruction, very patient, and generous with their techniques. You can't go wrong with either one of them!
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  #9  
Old 2007-11-03, 9:44pm
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Get a lynx!
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  #10  
Old 2007-11-04, 10:58am
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When my student from South Africa came not long ago, she took back probably 10 pounds of glass. She had me cut the rods in half to make them easier to pack in her suitcase. She also bought a Mini CC from me and took that back in her suitcase as well. She said at each airport they opened her case and inspected the torch (but didn't give the glass a second look). They called others over to look at it as well, but didn't give her any problem with it and she made it home with her torch safe and sound.
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  #11  
Old 2007-11-05, 1:53am
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If you don't end up going to the states definitely go and do a class with peter minson! Even if you come up here to do it. I live about an hours drive from his house but it is a fab weekend up at binalong doing lessons. The tara motel there has the BEST restaurant! Peter minson is so amazing to watch while he works. He can blow anything out of tubing from scientific glasswork to teapots and goblets!
His wife Lindsey makes a ripper of a lunch for you when you go up for classes too!

I bought my midrange/minor from peter. I highly recommend the oxy concentrator he sells. It's $2600AU but it easily runs 2 minors at once. It might be smarter to buy your torch while you are in the US. I paid the equivalent of about $600US for my midrange/minor!
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  #12  
Old 2007-11-05, 2:04am
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Oh and a minor has more than enough ooomph to make boro pendants and beads but you will need to be on tanked oxy!
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  #13  
Old 2007-11-05, 7:02am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leanne View Post
Oh and a minor has more than enough ooomph to make boro pendants and beads but you will need to be on tanked oxy!
Nope. Not necessarily. True, tanks help, but we teach all our borosilicate classes on concentrators.
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  #14  
Old 2007-11-06, 11:42am
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A baseball fantasy camp on the East Coast would probably be in Florida, which would at least put you somewhere in Mr. Smiley's vicinity (Orlando, pretty much dead center of the peninsula). I can't personally vouch for his teaching (yet) but I have heard good things. Though if you end up towards Virginia, I *can* personally vouch that Cosmo really is a great teacher!
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  #15  
Old 2007-11-06, 12:25pm
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While it hasn't been mentioned here, many 'old school' boro artists still use premix torches, such as the National 3A. With a 5 lpm oxycon, you can use a 3A with up to a OX-2 or 0X-3 tip.

Malcolm
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  #16  
Old 2007-11-06, 1:16pm
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Yeah. I use a CC, which has a pre-mix center fire.
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  #17  
Old 2007-11-06, 2:13pm
tassiebeads tassiebeads is offline
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Hi all

I'm back from the craft fair, tired but alive and otherwise well.

Thanks so much for all the great advice, the thing that jumps out most for me after reading all the posts (and a number of the other boro posts) is how much I have to learn and how little I know about the boro world. My assumption initially was that glass is glass, and it must be much like soft glass which I already know, but I realise now that it's a whole new ballgame. A bit daunting, but quite exciting too.

Orlando isn't far from Ft myers at all (before she died, my mom lived in Naples for many years, so I'm somewhat familiar with that area) - and, my husband's brother lives in Check VA, which is not far from Roanoke, so there are heaps of options - I just may have to take them all.

And amazingly, at the fair, one of the other glass artists said that Peter Minson may be coming to teach again in Tasmania in February. (Peter, is this true??)

Well, thanks again for all the help and advice, this forum is a marvelous place for us newbies and wannabes!

Cheers dears.
Mary
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  #18  
Old 2007-11-07, 6:35am
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Yeah. Check is about 30-45 minutes from Roanoke if I remember correctly...
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