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

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  #1  
Old 2008-06-22, 5:44pm
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Default What is the best beginner glass?

ok, about to put glass to flame for the first time ever, and I'd like to know what brand and/or color is least likely to be shocky. I don't need my heart to jump out of my chest
the first time behind the torch. TIA
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  #2  
Old 2008-06-22, 5:53pm
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I have the least trouble with just plain old Effetre white, black & ivory. You know I am just a noob too though. Good luck, you will love it I am sure.
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  #3  
Old 2008-06-22, 6:01pm
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It's easier to list colors/glass to avoid for shockiness:

Anice White
Red Roof Tile
Opal Yellow
EDP
The newest batch of Moretti white is reported to be full of bubbles, making it shocky.
Most 96 COE

I think there are a few more, but I can't think of them right now.

I've never had a transparent shock on me, but I'm pretty careful to heat my glass slowly.

ETA a couple of colors to my list that I forgot
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  #4  
Old 2008-06-22, 6:36pm
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Have to agree, plain old Moretti. Try the transaparents,,,, easy to work with... Have fun...
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  #5  
Old 2008-06-22, 9:16pm
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I just had this conversation at AS yesterday. I think all glass is shocky if you just expect to stick the rod in the flame without slowly introducing it to the heat. I would stick to Moretti - lots of colors and reasonable price if you stick to the basic colors first and play while you learn.

I would melt some white (204) and learn how quickly this glass melts. Then try melting a rod of transparent black and see how much stiffer it is. Then melt some ivory and how it's very similar to the white.

Minimum colors (besides black, white, ivory, and clear) that you can use to make a variety of beads (using what I would consider "inexpensive" colors:
Trans Aqua, Amythyst, topaz, grass green, cobalt
Pastel Turq, sky blue, gray, periwinkle, violet, nile green

Then depending on whether you like red/orange/etc... pick one from specials. Most newbies have issues with opalinos and alabasters bubbling.
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  #6  
Old 2008-06-22, 9:53pm
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Well I have to say that if you get into some of the CIM, the gelly sty is the most shocky I have dealt with. and then of course EDP. I just have to be careful on not burning my clear while playing with encasing. however I love CIM dusk, dirty martini, lapis unique, I have no issues with those popping, but watch now tomarrow I will...
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  #7  
Old 2008-06-23, 12:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven Wylder View Post
Minimum colors (besides black, white, ivory, and clear) that you can use to make a variety of beads (using what I would consider "inexpensive" colors:
Trans Aqua, Amythyst, topaz, grass green, cobalt
Pastel Turq, sky blue, gray, periwinkle, violet, nile green
Newbie here also. I like the color combo you picked. I was going to pick A.S.'s starter assortment pack, but after checking the Moretti color chart today, I realize I really didn't like about a good third of the colors they chose.

I'm just not an amber/brown person. Nor would I have chose the shades of purple & green they did. I know I could immediately use them as cores for my practice beads, but my teacher gave me a 5 lbs. box of shorts she had. I will be using them to practice with first, so now I'm thinking why am I bothering to buy less than enthusiastic colors in an assortment pack?

I'm thinking of buying the CIM Peace white as my white instead of Moretti. I've heard such good things about it, and it's stiffer than Moretti. I had a hard time controlling Moretti white, it's so soft.

And I'm getting the Vetrofond Crystal Clear.

Last edited by Imzadi; 2008-06-23 at 12:51am.
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  #8  
Old 2008-06-23, 6:09am
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I'd recommend starting with moretti opaques as the feeling of them when melting is easier than the transparents. It has to do with viscosity. The transparents "feel" stiffer as they melt. Having said that, if the opaques get too soupy and you feel out of control, switch and try a transparent.

For simple glass handling that LOOKS more complicated, try ivory and turquoise. There is a halo effect between the ivory and turquoise that looks like you have added black.... explained it poorly but it's early and I don't drink coffee.

Have fun and welcome to the madness! (Welcome to the "addiction" would probably be a better way to word it!)

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  #9  
Old 2008-06-23, 6:58am
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I would pick my glass according to what torch I was using rather then by shockiness. That's going to vary from batch to batch anyway. Plus, you'll get over the "shock factor" soon enough.
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  #10  
Old 2008-06-23, 11:13am
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Do what I did. Order a glass sample pack from Arrowsprings.
I got the Morretti sampler pack and it kept me busy forever.
Plus it was a great deal.
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  #11  
Old 2008-06-23, 6:49pm
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I already have about 9lbs of glass, including some shorts. I bought it all used. I am leaning towards using this transparent green that is not my favorite shade of green. But I also have ivory, black, white, and a bunch of other colors all marked with Effetre stock numbers. Almost everything I have is Effetre, then I have a few bullseye, and some Vetrofond clear. I am starting out on an old style HH with a bottle of actual MAPP.
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  #12  
Old 2008-06-24, 2:10pm
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I'd put the Bullseye to the side for a while, since it's not compatible with Effetre and Vetro. You don't want to mix the two accidentally.

If you're buying glass, for the time being, stay away from the hand-pulled colors (i.e., the expensive ones). They often have bubbles in the rod that will cause them to shock. Also stay away from opalino at first and alabastro possibly forever. I don't consider opalino particularly shocky, but it's not always compatible with regular Effetre, it can get dark sooty streaks if you overheat it, and some of the colors require striking before they'll turn the color they're supposed to be. Alabastro is notorious for being shocky.

Thinner rods are less likely to shock than thicker ones. If your shorts included any thick rods (which can be useful for encasing), put those aside until later.

Learn to warm your rods gradually by dipping or flicking them in and out of the flame, or by starting to warm them as far out in the torch flame you can reach, and then slowly bringing them closer as they warm up.

Wear your eye protection and natural fibers. You'll learn that a little shocking glass isn't the end of the world.

If you didn't have the box of shorts, I'd recommend buying an assortment even if you hate some of the colors. You'll find that you need colors for contrast. I've found myself buying yellow, brown, and orange even though I dislike those colors, because sometimes you need them to make your design pop.

And about purple -- sorry, but those ugly shades of purple are a fact of life. We have yet to get a truly great purple in COE 104. Once in a while there's a batch of some purple that almost gets there, but then that batch will sell out and we're back to the drab stuff.

The Effetre transparent amethysts, ambers, and greens tend to be pretty well-behaved. Regular white is usually fine, as are the Effetre light and dark ivories. Anice white, which is a more translucent white, tends to be shocky. There have been shocky batches of black from time to time (although the last one I heard about was Vetro, not Effetre). You can't live without black, though, and most of the time black is OK. Most of the Effetre opaques (pastels and special colors) in the regular line (not hand-pulled) are usually OK.

If you've got a pretty purplish-orchid opaque, beware! It might be purple #254, also known as Evil Devitrifying Purple. It has some nasty tricks, including turning white and rough (devitrifying) and turning gray and icky when reduced. I'm not saying don't use it -- just want you to be aware that if funky things start happening, it may be the glass, not you. There are ways of dealing with it that have been discussed at great length.
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  #13  
Old 2008-06-24, 4:24pm
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Wow, thanks Emily! That's alot of helpful info there.
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  #14  
Old 2008-06-24, 5:52pm
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Yes, Emily, thanks for all the great insights. Very helpful.
I have used EDP, so I now know what you mean. My teacher purposely gave me a rod and said, "Just try it. . .you'll see what happens."

Cindy, great thread. It's really helped me a lot, too.
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  #15  
Old 2008-06-24, 5:59pm
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I appreciate everyone who has given some input on this thread. I'm going to make myself some notes based on everyone's suggestions. Sounds like that transparent Moretti green I was going to use may be a good option? It is like the color of a greenish-yellowish pond...just yucky IMHO.
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  #16  
Old 2008-06-24, 6:06pm
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Depends on what you're going to use the green for.... I like making vine cane/stringer with a core of white, random bits of any type of green trans and even pastels, and thin lines of black. For most of the trans colors, you can use it as a great base to encase with a more expensive color.

ETA: Thanks Imzadi. Only reason I didn't put CIM in the list is that it's slightly pricier for some of the colors and while it's nice to play with, when you're first learning, it's not necessary.

But then again, take it with a grain of salt, since I'm now a silver glass hog (thanks to some friends). lol!
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Last edited by Raven Wylder; 2008-06-24 at 6:10pm.
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  #17  
Old 2008-06-24, 6:13pm
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And yet...some of us LOVE EDP from the very start...and really don't see the big deal that other people have with it (yes, even on hotheads...even when making lumpy weird shaped beads...the EDP never gave me any real issues...I actually like 98% of what it does...the pinks, the purples, all of the odd behavior, it's all good in my world--those are the first shorts I pick out of every batch I get ahold of!)
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  #18  
Old 2008-06-24, 6:16pm
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Sheryll, at first I'm using the colors I don't care for because it will probably be wasted glass anyway. Anything I make will probably become stakes for my garden.
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  #19  
Old 2008-06-24, 8:32pm
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If you want to know if the glass is hot try a yellow they turn red when hot and you can tell what is happening by the color change. I might have missed someone already suggesting this.
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  #20  
Old 2008-06-24, 10:09pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EaglesLegacy View Post
Sheryll, at first I'm using the colors I don't care for because it will probably be wasted glass anyway. Anything I make will probably become stakes for my garden.
Ahhhh, I get it now. Lol, but they won't be garden stakes unless they get stuck on the mandrel - and trust me I have a lot of those, too.
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  #21  
Old 2008-06-25, 2:41am
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I would start with a Moretti assortment, and try not to worry too much about shocky glass. I've been doing this 5 years now, and 99% of the time the shocky glass shatters downward or off to the side a little. I've only had it come back in the direction of my face once and it got me on the neck. A little burn, but that was an isolated incident.

Sometimes it pops and I might get a little "sting" from a tiny piece landing on my forearm. But I'm one of those impatient people that just sticks the tip of the rod in the flame without the warm-up, so I get what I ask for sometimes! LOL

Seriously, you would get used to shock and shatter after a while when you realize that most of the time it's not going to "get you".

Heating in the flame slowly by waving the tip of the rod in and out until you can leave it in will keep the shocky shattery levels down. Relax! Get your glass and start having fun!
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Last edited by Lisi; 2008-06-25 at 2:46am.
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  #22  
Old 2008-06-25, 7:42am
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I would pick a few colors about 4 opaques - the cheap ones - to learn basic techniques. THen I would pick a transparent or two - cheap ones - to add - practice encasing or whatever. If you are self taught - I would go with the less expensive glass because I learned a lot through trial and error - and went through a lot of glass!

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Old 2008-06-27, 5:44am
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Cindy, I'd advise you to keep good notes on what you use (colour combinations, brand of glass) and try to keep it all in the same coe to start with to make your life a little easier!

Here's what I've been doing since I started; I take a photo of the beads that I made in each session and then notes. I do this in Photoshop, but if you don't use that program, you can just take a pic and then make notes in your sketchbook!

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  #24  
Old 2008-06-27, 6:26am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cghipp View Post
I would pick my glass according to what torch I was using rather then by shockiness. .
I agree with this. I am new also but have consulted a pro about losing color and she says that certain torches such as hot head and fireworks are best with moretti. Bullseye needs a cooler flame, or to work higher in the flame. So right now I am just sticking to moretti.
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Old 2008-06-29, 4:48pm
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Quote:
And about purple -- sorry, but those ugly shades of purple are a fact of life. We have yet to get a truly great purple in COE 104. Once in a while there's a batch of some purple that almost gets there, but then that batch will sell out and we're back to the drab stuff.
Why is this? Just curious. Has anyone tried pulling their own purples, or is it just that good purples don't happen?
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  #26  
Old 2008-07-01, 3:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryFool View Post
Cindy, I'd advise you to keep good notes on what you use (colour combinations, brand of glass) and try to keep it all in the same coe to start with to make your life a little easier!

Here's what I've been doing since I started; I take a photo of the beads that I made in each session and then notes. I do this in Photoshop, but if you don't use that program, you can just take a pic and then make notes in your sketchbook!
Wow Mary! Your session notes are great. If you ever want to sell a few pages of them, let me know. Your color combining is great.
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  #27  
Old 2008-07-02, 2:39pm
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I didn't see this here, but if it was mentioned, sorry! I heat my shockier rods on a hot-plate. Some folks use a mug warmer, too. I find my thermal shock reduced about 90%.
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Old 2008-07-06, 8:51pm
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It is a good idea to heat the rod slowly way far out in the flame.. also

point the tip of the away from you - at a sl downward angle - then if it does pop - the bits will fly away from you.
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  #29  
Old 2008-07-06, 9:29pm
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All great tips. Thanks so much!
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Old 2008-07-06, 10:01pm
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Cindy, I've tried mixing my own purples, with almost no success. The compounds needed for purple just don't play nice, so Moretti has not come out with a good one. If you are after a good purple, I recommend medium or dark amethyst transparent over pastel purple, pink, white or light grey.

I started with an assortment, it was not a waste. I learned how the different glasses melt and move, I learned some of the tricks a few of the glasses do when combined, and I realized that even a color I didn't like worked really nicely as a base for a transparent or as an encasing color.

My advice is to not be afraid to try anything. You'll be surprised and have fun as you go. Just pay attention to basic safety rules - don't put your hand or anything you are going to need in front of the flame, remember things stay hot longer than you think they will, make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby. (I've never used mine, but it makes my hubby feel better.) Use your common sense and you'll be fine.

Enjoy yourself and welcome to the addiction!
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