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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2015-01-05, 8:13pm
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Question Encasing challenged

I am seriously challenged when it comes to encasing beads. I see beads posted in the Gallery that have such a beautiful very thin layer of clear and am in awe of the skill it must take to accomplish this consistently.

I've tried using clear stringers, thinner rods, thicker rods and I just can't seem to get this right.

So now I'm thinking maybe I should use clear frit to accomplish this as it might be an easier way to get there.

Has anyone done this?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 2015-01-05, 10:26pm
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I haven't tried using clear frit to encase but it's not going to work like expected. Frit has edges and when it's melted in it leaves some of the bottom layer exposed.

Here's some beads where I used clear frit on top of a purple base.



Have you tried using the swipe method? Heat a big gather of clear and swipe it down the bead, then repeat until the entire bead is covered with clear. Then melt it in. Areas that have too much clear can be picked off with a tweezer or more clear can be put onto areas that don't have enough. It takes practice. Are you able to do a thick encasing?
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Last edited by mewkittie; 2015-01-05 at 10:29pm.
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  #3  
Old 2015-01-06, 1:38am
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Susan, those are beautiful.

Good heat control and good clear glass are really key to do encasing well IMO. A technique to help with thin encasing is to swipe up and done, from hole to hole. Make sure to push a little with either method. This helps it stay thin.

Some pics of the results you are having would help with more specific advice.
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Last edited by KJohn; 2015-01-06 at 1:41am.
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  #4  
Old 2015-01-06, 6:15am
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Try using Double Helix Aether...it's the softest clear around. I was having a terrible time encasing until I tried Aether...it made all the difference. You can usually find it in the Bargain section. Love it!
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  #5  
Old 2015-01-06, 6:32am
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Oh. I forgot about the edges. Sometimes I get it right, mostly not even at all. It could be that I don't heat the glass enough but mostly it's a combination of not enough clear (so I have to add more) or the base bead melts some and is misshapen when I'm done.

I'll try the swipe method again. For some reason I never considered pulling off excess of it was too thick in some areas!

Those beads are beautiful so I may order clear frit anyway.

Back to PPP!

Thanks!
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  #6  
Old 2015-01-06, 7:52am
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You can give Mary Lockwood's Encasing Boot Camp tutorial a try.

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=161103

It's $10 on etsy:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/2093171...home_active_11


And although this is unrelated, her Jellyfish Tutorial (also on etsy) is in the top two favorite tutorials I ever bought. For $10 it's an absolute bargain. I bought it years ago and still love making jellyfish beads.
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  #7  
Old 2015-01-06, 6:33pm
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100% agree with Mary Lockwood's encasing bootcamp! I bought this tutorial even after having lampworked for 7 years and learned lots from it!
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  #8  
Old 2015-01-06, 10:16pm
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What about using the flat paddle method. You make a big glob of clear, smosh a paddle then encase with that coaxing it around and filling in the gap if necessary. Never rely worked for me, as my beads were too big it seamed, but it helped me move forward. Some people swear by this though for a nice thin encasement.

I learned over time to really remember to keep the head cool enough as you encase. I think I use a winding swipe method of sorts. I gave up one tequnique or another and just go with what's workng currently lol. It actually really depends on the shape I'm making what works best. Sometimes blob or line and a squish/marver works to thin out encasements as well. Ivd done dots, lines, swipes, squishes, wraps... I've been making ring toppers, and the paddle method works great for that now too. Never liked it for rounds though
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  #9  
Old 2015-01-07, 5:42am
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I've tried the paddle method but I struggled with it. It all comes down to guessing how much I'll need based on the bead I am trying to make, which unfortunately is a moving target!

I looked at the tutorial and I think I'll be purchasing that since it looks like it will help a lot just based on the first page I could see. With my little torch (cricket) I may need to get my second Oxycon hooked up to get to 10 lpm in order to have enough heat for continuously melting the clear. I've seen this done right in front of me (literally) but that was in a workshop with high pressure NG and a lot more heat.

I have multiple size clear rods so I'm ready to get this skill mastered. After 4 years at this, I think it's time.

Now to make the time for PPP!

Thanks for the guidance!
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  #10  
Old 2015-01-07, 7:42am
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Once you get your second oxycon set up, you will be in a much better position. Just have to watch then that you don't fry your glass!

It's funny, I did some encasing yesterday and because of this thread and because of Angie's post above, I broke out the Aether. It's like butter. My gracious, that is nice clear glass.
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  #11  
Old 2015-01-09, 12:00pm
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I just purchased the tutorial and can't wait to try these techniques. I also ordered a y connected for my Oxycons

Now if it would only warm up a bit so I can try this out....

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Old 2015-01-14, 10:40am
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Aether is nice, but too expensive for me. I just use Effetre Super Clear. For encasing I prefer large rods, 8-9mm. I'm not working on a Cricket though. My Baraccuda is awesome for encasing.
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  #13  
Old 2015-01-14, 5:13pm
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I plan on trying my super clear before ordering more expensive glass.

My oxycon y connector came today so tomorrow we'll see if it gives me the extra heat I'm hoping for (fingers crossed!)

Mary Lockwood's tutorial may be the thing that gets me away from my bad habits. First most important thing I've gotten from it is to push the glass on to the bead rather than wrapping without applying pressure. Tried it the other day and it made a huge difference in the consistency of the encasing.

Who knew it could be that simple? Always something new to learn!
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Old 2015-01-15, 2:50pm
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Awesome!! Hope you'll show your results!
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Old 2015-01-15, 4:49pm
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The tut and practice will make a huge difference.
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  #16  
Old 2015-01-15, 5:12pm
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I've struggled with encasing from the beginning... until Zephyr. It's magic. I can only imagine what Aether is like if it's any easier!

Seriously, though, my biggest issue was getting over the newbie fear of letting the base bead get too cold and crack. If the base bead is cool enough, encasing is easy. ish.
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Old 2015-01-15, 6:34pm
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I think Aether has about the same consistency as Zephyr. It's a little on the bluish side and the clearest clear I've ever used. I like my clear to be a little stiffer unless I'm using a very thin encasing, then I'll use Aether or Zephyr.
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Old 2015-01-16, 7:07am
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Thank you all for the advice. And I would love to try it all.

Now though, I have to figure out why my oxycons have decided to misbehave. I was fine two days ago using one, when I hooked up both, neither will produce diddly squat.

I am going to see if I can figure this out today. Don't really have the budget for new equipment, but I will go crazy without the ability to get back to the calming influence of using my torch!
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  #19  
Old 2015-03-05, 4:15pm
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Hi. How does Double Helix Zephyr compare to Aether? Are there less expensive but at least as good, if not better clear glass for encasing? I need all the help I can get.

Thanks,
B
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  #20  
Old 2015-03-05, 4:24pm
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Aether is the clearest clear on the market, IMO. It tends to react with some colors though and Zephyr doesn't. I like Lauscha clear, it's a bit cheaper but it's not as compatible with some colors and causes cracking. It's a stiffer glass too. I usually use Zephyr seconds now. Yes, it's more expensive but I'd rather not waste time picking scum off my beads and worrying about cracking.
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Old 2015-03-06, 6:17am
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i think TAG Clarity is a bit better....idk if they even make it any more?
all i know is that i had a couple rods of it a year or two ago, that were gifted to me and it was the best 104 clear i've ever had the pleasure of working with.
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