Thursday, March 22, 2012

Reichenbach Reduction 96 146 Iris Black

Oooops - thought this looked cool - Iris Black - so picked up a couple of rods and as I go to try it, I realized that it is 96 COE.

I thought I would risk it on the ivory and just keep it to a small amount and see if I could get away with it.

So far - it seems ok. I hit it with a light reduction flame and it brought up a nice metallic sheen, and fumed the ivory.

As I don't stock a lot (any!) 96 COE glass - I thought I would use it by itself in this wavy heart, made on the Sirius system mandrel. Again, a light reduction brings up a nice metallic look.

But anyway - it's a 96 - so the take-away is: read the entire label before buying glass. ;-)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lauscha Opaque Pink

Yep, it's opaque. I'm no longer disappointed by these yummy colours that come out commonplace. If Lauscha says "Opaque" - they darn well mean it.

Labelled L SNO 420 Op Pink - from an old stash from - not sure if they are still selling.

It's a angel-skin soft pink. A little darker on the sides where is got less direct heat. Nothing like the unworked rod.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fun with Filigrana

Here's a good way to use filigrana.

Filigrana - if you are new to this, is a commercially made glass rod (from Effetre) that is a coloured core with a clear outer layer. You can, of course, make your own, but having lots of consistent rods open up some creative possibilities - such as, making hollow beads!

This hollow was made with pink filigrana - which is actually a white core, with a layer of transparent pink, and then a clear encasing. Some of the filigrana colours are simply an encased colour, but a few are actually 3 layers. You can see in these photos, the pink over the white. It makes for a more interesting and complex look.

Make it the same as you would any other hollow - building up disks and then either building them up until they touch, or softening them with heat and moving them together until they touch.

Another neat variation is to make one disk in one colour and the other in a different color.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Colours in Glass

Over the years - you pick up some info about the metals used to make the colour in glass. You learn early on that gold makes pinks and purples - and when the price of gold shot up - we saw the price of the purples and pinks shoot up too.

The ivories and yellows are sulfur-based - and they react with the copper-based colours - the greens and turquoise blues.

Tin gives you white, and manganese gives you black, and some of the browns are made with gold too. Chrome was used for the reds - although for health reasons - other elements have been found. Ditto for the colour we know as cobalt blue.

However, while reading Discover1  - I came across a very interesting article on the "Rare Earths" - a category of elements that are neither particularly rare nor earthy. It's a good article - worth reading.

However - the part that really grabbed my attention was this passage:

Glass doped with cerium oxide effectively absorbs ultraviolet light ... . Two other rare-earth metals, neodymium and praseodymium, work their magic at the other end of the spectrum. They impede infrared light and so are incorporated into welders' goggles to protect workers eyes from the heat. These oxides also absorb yellow and green, so glass made with them has a characteristic mauve tinge. 

Geez  - could you describe our didymium lenses any better? Ooo - Di - meaning two - neodymium and praseodymium.

That explains that.

But wait - it gets better.

More broadly, rare earths add colour ... . Glazes on earthenware dishes contain oxides ... tin (white), copper (blue) or iron (amber). But rare-earth oxides ... create more exotic hues, such as pink and lime green. ... erbium oxide ... gives a subtle tone -  more pink lemonade than Pepto-bismol.

 So think about those fabulous new pinks that we have seen, like the Pinks from CiM - Gelly's Sty - a pink like no other in any of the other glass palettes.

Hmmm. Veddy interesting.

I realized that this information may not buy you anything - but I still think it is fabulous to know this stuff!

1Discover Magazine, "Elements of Modern Style," by Hugh Aldersey-Williams. pp 62 - 67

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Reichenbach 104 - 6210: Magic

I've reviewed Magic before, but here it is again anyway.

This is a 104 glass from Reichenbach. It's kind of a nondescript opaque brown rod - but it can do some pretty interesting things.

This was a black base, magic, encased, and mashed. 

 This is the other side of the same bead. Personally - grey and yellow are not a winning combo - so this side is not doing it for me. It looked better when it went into the kiln.
 This one, and the rest of them here, are done with stringer and not encased.  It seems that more is less, and less is more. I'm  using it like Raku - heat it a lot, cool it quickly by mashing or marvering.

 The figure playing the drums is pretty cool - and completely accidental. The blue in the back ground is actually not from the magic - it might be Kronos, I think. I don't appear to have recorded what it was.
 This one has a patch of silver foil on it.
Definitely go for smaller amount for more colour drama. Why that should be - I don't know. Maybe it thins out better? Cools faster? Maybe all the interesting stuff happens at the boundaries.

Maybe it just likes to live on the edge? ;-)

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Studio set up - more pics

As promised, more on the recent studio redesign, with pictures for your reference. You know, just in case you are building an 8-person flameworking studio using natural gas and oxygen. ;-)

Just for reference - this is what the studio looks like overall.  Metal covered tables down the centre, with a table in between for the kilns. We had a power line dropped from the ceiling for the kilns, with two dedicated circuits, one 220 for the "silver" kiln, and one 110 for the "blue" kiln.

In the far corner - you can see two pipes running up the wall and across.

 These are the pipes - the bottom one is gas, and the upper one is oxygen. Since this photo - the oxygen has been labeled with black on green labels to indicate that it is oxygen. (Black on green - it's a by-law. Make your own labels - it's cheaper.)

The pipes run down the wall and under the table. They are on "stand offs" which support them off the floor. The original plan was to run them under the bottom of the table - but the gas fitter suggested this and it is a much better idea, as the tables can be moved now without damaging the piping. 

You can also see the sink we have installed for cleaning beads, etc. I really did want that sink closer to the corner - but I wasn't there when they installed it.

Each torch has it's own connection and shut-off valve for gas and oxygen - so a torch can be removed and swapped out without affecting anyone else working.  (The green hose is the oxygen and the black is the gas.) Each torch has a 6 foot hose running to the connector, and the hoses are velcro'ed up out of the way to the legs at the side of the torches. No more hoses getting in the way!
We added a connection and a gauge at the end of the line to monitor oxygen pressure. I wanted to know if we were losing pressure due to friction at the end of the line. Turns out, we are not (this gauge is reading zero as the line wasn't charged when I took the photo.)

In the back room - away from the students and torchers is the gas booster. This brings the gas up to a pressure that will run all the torches simultaneously. It is noisy - and having it out of the room is won-der-ful! It's not so much loud as "white noise" - but you really notice it when you turn it off. Now it in a back room where no one "lives" - so it's not annoying anyone.

Next to it is the 3-place manifold for the oxygen. We have hooked up three tanks, and we set two to 10 psi, and the third to 8 psi - ensuring that the two primary tanks empty first, and the 3rd is the reserve. 

This has already been very useful, in that we just had one of the oxygen regulators fail. Previously - this would have meant 2 torches were out of commission, and we would have been making an emergency trip to get a replacement. Now, it is not impacting the torching at all, and we can replace it at our leisure.

We've also posted a sign (since this photo) that says "Low Pressure Oxygen system - do not connect high pressure tanks with out a regulator." Another by-law.  The wrench for removing the regulators is also attached to the wall with a length of chain. This is also a by-law - but has been very well received by all - as it prevents the wrench from walking away.

We have a set of little signs - just a folded sheet of paper and some string, that we hang on the tanks. They say "full" on one side, and "empty" on the other. We use these to distinguish between full and empty tanks. Some places use chalk and write on the tank - that works too - but we have had better luck keeping track of signs than chalk. ;-)

Hope that's useful to you! 

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Christening the New Studio

Had to christen it, right? Baptism by fire? Anyway - this shot turned out pretty cool. Love the way you can see the heat coming off the flame.