After all the setting up in my last post, I LIT MY TORCH! Then I went “Argh, I need some glass” so grabbed a couple of rods. And did some emergency foil wrapping of my fibre blanket. Yes, I should have done those things before, but I was busy nerving myself up to lighting it to see if it worked! At least I’d dipped my mandrels earlier…
Quick recap: I’m using a Hot Head torch with a bulk connection kit so that it can be run off a normal propane bottle. Otherwise you have to use the little canisters of Mapp gas that are very expensive and run out quickly. I didn’t bother even trying to use those.
In my first session, I made three little beads!
1. Light turquoise
2. Light turquoise with dark ivory dots
3. Petroleum green with transparent purple dots (look more transparent in person)
End shapes not wonderful, but I was having shaky hands from nerves/excitement for a while there! I was surprised by the lacy effect round the edge of the ivory, so asked on Frit-Happens if I’d been overheating it. Turns out, my stringer was dark ivory and that’s the effect you get with it (light ivory gives the smooth outlines that I was expecting). It looks a lot better than I think light ivory dots would, because I was still jittering and trying to find the right place in the flame, so the dots were a bit all over the place anyway!
I knew that dark ivory reacted more with silver, for example, but I didn’t know it did this! Rather cool.
I’m pleased I didn’t accidentally reduce my turquoise and get rusty spots all over it, too.
Finally, here’s a quick pic of my workspace from an angle so you can see the space I have better: