Oxidising and reducing

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Types of flame for lampworking

There are 3 types of flame that can be used to make glass beads and sculptural pieces. Neutral flame, oxidising flame and a reducing flame. It is important that you learn how to use each of these in order to get the best results from your glass. It takes practice though for you to become familiar with these flames

Neutral flame

This is where you have an even amount of oxygen and propane in your mix. The cones in the flame should have a slightly fuzzy look to them.

Oxidising flame

Increasing the amount of oxygen that you have in your mix will give you an oxidising flame. Alternatively you can decrease the amount of propane that you are using. Metallic leaf likes a slightly oxidising flame. If you are getting brown or black smudges on your work then increase the amount of oxygen. The cones in an oxidisng flame should be sharp and defined.

Reducing flame

This is where there is more propane than oxygen. The flame should have longer yellow tops to it and is often described as being bushy. Not all glass likes a very bushy flame so you will have to experiment to find how much propane glass that can be reduced actually likes. A reduction flame also helps bring metallics to the surface.

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