Frit-Happens !

Lampwork => COE 104 => Topic started by: weejane on May 13, 2017, 09:48:58 AM

Title: Encasing, silvered glass and raku
Post by: weejane on May 13, 2017, 09:48:58 AM
Sorry, I have several questions to ask (newbie)....

is there a transparent glass that is best for encasing? I have effetre clear 591004 but I find it quite slow to melt and difficulty to encase smoothly with compared to some of my other glass (hothead torch).

I have a couple of glass rods- silver pink and dark silver plum but I'm not sure how to use these. Is there a special effect that can be brought out in these. Also some of the tutorials I have read talk about using a rod of silvered glass. What is this?

Finally what is raku? I keep reading about it but I'm loath to spend money on anything else at the moment.

Finally is there a good resource that summarises the qualities of each type of glass? I keep reading that x is a striking glass, etc but there is no information with the glass when it arrives and I'm finding it difficult to keep it all straight in my head.

Title: Re: Encasing, silvered glass and raku
Post by: mel on May 13, 2017, 12:40:23 PM
Transparent glass, effetre 004 is a bit difficult as it scums really easily. 006 is much better (called crystal clear). It's a smidge more expensive, but def worth the few extra pennies. I tried CiM clear and it was 'orrible. I think Reichenbach clear is softer, and of course there is Zephyr from Double Helix but for a newbie, I would avoid this as its ! There are different ways of encasing, maybe avoid the single gather method where you have to heat a large gather then smoosh it around your bead and go for a method where you heat less glass, I have heard that you can pull stringer in clear and encase with that.
Dark silver plum is a great glass for pulling into fine stringer as it stays dark and behaves itself. You can also reduce it to make it look metallic (sorry don't know how you reduce on a hothead). Silver glass tends to be expensive and result in pinks and purples, irridescence, metallic lustres and other loveliness. Double helix is the main make but there are others too and they have a you tube tutorial which shows how striking and reducing works. I would first become confident with basic techniques such as bead shaping, encasing, stringer work, dots, raking and then venture into the more exotic glasses.
Raku 104 is lovely, starts off like bird poo, and strikes to a beautiful pallet of blues, golds and purples. There is a knack though, you need to heat it really really really hot so its really runny, then cool it out of the flame (or roll on a marver) then put it into the flame briefly and the colours appear. Not sure how easy this would be on a HH, so I would gain some confidence before trying this out. You may be better with Reichenbach magic, very similar but doesn't need such intense heat in the first stage.
I'm not sure there is a single resource on glass, (FH is probably the best-dredge through the old posts, and there are some excellent blogs too which trial colours and report on them), it's also trial and error. Some folk struggle with certain glass colours whilst other folk can work well with them so you need to explore what glass types work for you. It sounds daunting, but trying stuff out is more than half the fun. :)

Title: Re: Encasing, silvered glass and raku
Post by: Moira HFG on May 14, 2017, 08:50:39 AM
Mel is right, there are many useful threads here on FH, on Youtube, also the US site Lampwork etc.

Also some very helpful blogs, where people post tests on different glasses. For silver pink, see this one:

and for dark silver plum this:

You should be able to reduce dark silver plum on a hothead. When you've finished your bead and it's still hot, wave it briefly in a reduction flame.
To get a hothead reduction flame, briefly block off the airholes at the base of the torch, so you are just burning propane (or MAPP). The flame will be yellow and smoky. Some people make a little foil cover to move on and off the airholes, I used to just smother them with a leather gardening glove!

This flame brings the metal in the glass to the surface. Don't heat or work the bead any more after this stage, or you'll lose the shine.

Striking is hard on a hothead because you don't have a lot of heat - but with patience you may be lucky with a tiny bead, or with stringer, or frit. Raku (aka Reichenbach Iris Orange) isn't too expensive, and if you don't get the struck colours, you will at least get reactions if you put it on say a dark ivory or turquoise bead.

Reactions! There's another thing to play with.

You can do a lot on a hothead. Have a look at this lady's Etsy shop. Amazingly, she does all these beads on a hothead! She sells tutorials, too.

Have fun!

Moira x

Title: Re: Encasing, silvered glass and raku
Post by: flame n fuse on May 14, 2017, 09:35:20 AM
 a rod of silvered glass might be SIS silvered ivory stringer. You take a rod of ivory, melt a blob on the end, roll this in silver leaf/foil while hot. melt it in a bit and pull a stringer.

Title: Re: Encasing, silvered glass and raku
Post by: Pauline on May 20, 2017, 06:23:08 AM
at the top of the page under your name, in red it says "visit the WIKI here" click on that as there is loads of info there, which may or may not be useful!

Title: Re: Encasing, silvered glass and raku
Post by: weejane on May 28, 2017, 06:28:22 AM
Thank you so much for all the helpful information, some great links which will save me making some fuglies. Much appreciated,