Monday, September 25, 2006

Why can't I make it work....

Are there simple things that just don't work for you?
There are seemingly simple things that I just can't get the hang of.
Like rubino glass.

For some reason I can't work with rubino with getting little black reduction specs in my glass. At first I thought it was because I worked on a hot head. Then I got a minor burner and oxygen concentrator. I was sure that using a torch with real oxygen would solve that problem. Ha! I was wrong. Then I was fortunate enough to aquire a second concentrator. Now, surely, that would solve all my problems. Ha, Ha! Wrong again. What is it about me and rubino?? Only it's not just rubino. I have the same problem with many of the furnace glass frits.

I make a bead, and apply stringer, dots of rubino or chunks of furnace glass frit. I twirl the beads in the flame and *poof* the glass gets that bright/gray spot, which I know is reduction. Quickly, I move the mandrel away from the torch head and try hard to oxygenate the bead and reverse the reduction. I see that bright spot change, but often not enough; I get a little black spec that just won't go away. It makes me crazy. I turn the gas down before I start. I try to keep the bead away from the torch head, but how far is far enough? Is 3 inches away enough, but 2 3/4 inches too close?? I'll swear that raised dots give me the worst time. If I can get them melted in before they reduce, I don't seem to have (much of!) a reduction problem. It's as thought that 1/8th or 1/6 inch the the top of the dot is closer to the flame must matter. Do millimeters matter when you work with rubino? They must because everything will seem to be going OK, and the second I change my hand position ever so slightly *poof* there's a black dot and it never goes away.

Other people can make beautiful rubino pink beads. Or use furnace glass frits. Do they work with a tiny, tiny flame? Or are they all using tanked oxygen? Or a different kind of torch? Or just better at holding the mandrel far out from the torch face? What is the secret?

(Can you tell what I worked on (unsuccessfuly!) this weekend?)

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