On December 21st 2010 I finally got my Minor set up! I’d bought the Minor second hand off eBay earlier in the year, and got my oxycon from Tuffnell’s in mid-September. Then I sat and made convoluted plans about how I was going to connect everything up while keeping my hothead usable if I so wished. There were various complications: apparently quick connects for 6mm ID propane hose don’t seem to exist in this country (I think Martin’s are imported – they cost more than 4x UK 8mm ones), and ones for 8mm hose, despite a heroic effort, do not fit. I was sent on a chase round the local gas, tool hire and hardware shops, but it turns out they don’t think that reducers exist to attach 6mm and 8mm hose together, and they don’t know who could crimp a new hose on to my flashback arrestor and regulator either.
I’d waited so long to put everything together to avoid the situation where I’d take my torch setup to bits and then discover that I’d be stuck without a working one. In the end, I’ve left out the quick connects for now and have my Minor attached directly to my 6mm hose. I have the rest of the bits sitting around in case I ever do find someone who can put them together for me, but this isn’t urgent anymore as I have a working torch! Poor hothead, it’s lying there with a chopped-off hose tail attached to it.
I liked my hothead a lot, but there were things that I couldn’t do on it that I wanted to. I went for a Minor because I’m familiar with them (my very first lesson was on one, and I’ve used one a couple of times since), I like how rugged they feel, and unlike many other people, I didn’t like the feel of a Cricket as much. As a bonus, mine came complete with a torch-mounted marver which I’m finding very useful.
The first thing I did was to try out some striking colours I’d only got mud from before. That’s Reichenbach 104 magic and raku (iris orange) then. I had one day playing with my Minor before I was away up North for Christmas to stay with various families. Yes, I was missing it, but I took plenty to keep me occupied! Plus my boyfriend’s mum was teaching me to crochet :)
There are definitely colours in there! The whole bead is magic, and it’s been pressed and raked and twisted. They’re fairly muted colours, but they exist! Before I was only getting a yellow-green beige.
This is a magic + hades twistie on tongue pink. This was interesting because tongue pink is also a striking colour – it goes from white to pinky-brown, and it’s rather easy to unstrike again, so I spent a while trying to get both the twistie and the background to be struck at the same time.
This is the one that left me grinning, though. 104 raku on CiM tuxedo. I got the whole thing white hot, let it gravity swirl a little, then pressed it. Add some additional heating and pressing. I love the colours – they look like a sunset. Or sunrise, if you prefer.
These are also raku on tuxedo, but in the earthier end of the colours. It’s hard to get it hot enough on a round without losing all control over the shape, and also hard to cool it fast enough with no press involved.
This here is Gaffer chalcedony over Gaffer clear, both 96CoE. Jolene very kindly gave me some to play with! It has some nice purples in it.
Finally, this one makes me giggle. It’s a big ruffly lime jelly of a bead. It is transparent grass green and Reichenbach multicolour dark in a bit of an unclear tornado with the side ruffles made up of both colours. Possibly ill-advised!