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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #61  
Old 2006-01-08, 5:49am
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I just got a PM from somebody that is a bit frustrated... yep, we've all been there. Boro striking colors are not WYSISYG... it can be slightly frustrating when you are stating out, but oh so rewarding when you get it down.

Anyway, she had a day with boro yesterday and she used my kiln schedule. I'll add this before I mess up any more beads with my advise. This schedule is for just about any color other than rubies. Depending on your kiln, this may be too hot and too long of a soak. You may get liver. Yuk. Stick with the amber purple family of striking colors. You can mix it with blues, whites, any of the silver colors... but keep ruby out of your mix for now. That's a whole other beast. Once you figure out where your kiln strikes the amber purple family, we can talk about ruby. If you've just gotta do ruby right now, do it at the end of your soak period. It strikes really fast and goes to poop soon after. If you want to post pics of your bad batches, we'll try to help you figure out what went wrong... and if you want to post pics of your successes, we'll pick out what went right. That way we all learn this striking stuff together.
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  #62  
Old 2006-01-08, 6:26am
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Nice thread!

I just received my first boro last week and I am hooked! I am working on a Minor with one concentrator and the stuff is no harder to melt then a thick rod of lauscha. I do have a Lynx comming in, and two extra concentrators, so I can not wait to hook that baby up! I have not yet gotten the deep rich pinks and purples, but I think ( this might sound stupid but moretti pinks need lots and lots of oxy, I figured boro pinks behave the same) when I get my new torch and concentrators it will do just fine.

I am still playing a lot ( and twisting every single color together to see what happends) but I love the control I have of the glass. I even tried Doug Remschneiders way of making twisties with moretti and I'll be damned!! It works! I have been working with soft glass for a year now and have not been able to make a decent twistie untill last week.

There is still a lot for me to learn and discover with moretti but I am definetly in Love with boro. I even wish I had two kilns because I am having a hard time choosing wich project I will start today
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  #63  
Old 2006-01-08, 6:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley
Amber Purple or Double amber purple... work it til it goes clear... let it cool below glow and then either kiln strike it at about 1075 for a while or flash it in the back of the flame.... the color should POP!

See... My bead does not go clear , the minor and one concentrator just aint hot enough for those deep purples. I did get a fab purple when I made an unencased double amber purple bead, I only flashed it through the flame and it did pop. I guess the clear on top is just a bit too much to handle for my poor minor ( the thing looks like a blowtorch whenever I work boro, I feel really cool and tough when making boro beads)
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  #64  
Old 2006-01-08, 7:08am
CarolinaDreamDesigns CarolinaDreamDesigns is offline
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I've been playing with the unlabeled rods and got some lovely livers. I also got a beautiful ruby red that looked like clear until it came out of the kiln. I was testing colors by trying to make a solid color bead and then making one by swiping the color in clear encased. I don't like most of the solids. The amber purple I did solid ended up with creamy stripes with purple stripes as well but it stayed a beautiful amber with *possible* purple tones in the clear. I gotta get a handle on the heat and flames on this Piranha and take the time to play.

I'm NOT sure anyone did me a favor by introducing me to boro ......



Martha
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  #65  
Old 2006-01-08, 9:31am
flamesofglass flamesofglass is offline
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Mr. S - what are your thoughts on a first attempt at Boro?

Maybe your thoughts on some initial colors that would be good for beginners. Is there something that would be considered easier when it comes to being successful in achieving nice color. It seems as though some have mentioned not being able to get any great colors to begin with.

From some of your comments it seems as though the torch and set-up are a major factor in how you achieve your desired color, so I'm wondering if there is a certain color that is more forgiving regardless of set-up? I Love getting positive feedback right off the bat

Thanks for all the great info.

Robert
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  #66  
Old 2006-01-08, 9:44am
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Robert... Cobalt and some frit encased in clear... super duper easy. Blue moon, caramel, amber purple are some good frits to start with. Not a whole lot of striking involved. You basically get a reaction from the metals kind of fuming itself. No matter when or where you start to strike colors, you're gonna have a learning process. It just takes a little time. Lori Robbins has a great book for frit beads as mentioned earlier. It involves striking and a lot of color reactions. It's a good place to start for semi instant results.
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  #67  
Old 2006-01-08, 11:41am
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Brent, are you going to be teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area any time soon?
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  #68  
Old 2006-01-08, 4:36pm
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Alex... I don't have any plans as of now. If you have any teaching studios in mind, PM me the info and I'll see what I can do to get the ball rolling. I'd love to come out there. I have a fear of California... well, any where west of the San Andreas really. I've been on the fault line, but never past it. I know, I'm weird. I've heard it all before, but in my opinion, land should almost be free out there.
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  #69  
Old 2006-01-08, 6:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley
Alex... I don't have any plans as of now. If you have any teaching studios in mind, PM me the info and I'll see what I can do to get the ball rolling. I'd love to come out there. I have a fear of California... well, any where west of the San Andreas really. I've been on the fault line, but never past it. I know, I'm weird. I've heard it all before, but in my opinion, land should almost be free out there.

Arrow Springs have great classes and they're way inland, east of Sacramento.
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  #70  
Old 2006-01-09, 1:09am
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First of all, thanks for the kind words. It is VERY much appreciated.

Boro....sigh....I love it, occasionally hate it, but I am always captivated by its' magical qualities. Most of my beads begin with a small clear base I add color over this and finish with a clear encasement. Encasing will magnify many of the colors while helping keep your cost down. Also, keep in mind what we are now paying for many of the hand pulled colors and odd lots in the soft glass palette.

I have an Airstep generator that will run the Lynx part of my Phantom. It's acceptable for melting boro, but doesn't give me the oooomph I prefer. I keep tanks on hand for boro and use the generator for soft glass. I'm anxious to hear more about the new systems that are in the works.

The popularity of boro has had a gimongis growth over the last five years. (gimongis is lots, in case you weren't sure.) In addition, the range of colors we have available are truly special. I continue to use soft glass about half of the time. When melting boro, I find that I am more relaxed as the glass is easier to control and more forgiving. When starting out, I think the sample packs are a great option to find which colors work with your setup. There are so many variables that will affect the color: type of torch, fuel pressures, flame environment, cooling and re-heating cycles in the flame, kiln settings, etc. Do keep in mind that if you plan to work with boro on a regular basis, you need to check into eye protection that is specifically rated for boro use. At the very least, add a shade 5, clip on lense over your current pair of glasses. (If you go this route, the welding shop plastic clip-ons will need to be replaced every six months.) After writing this, I think I need a torch fix.


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  #71  
Old 2006-01-09, 2:15am
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Oh Lauri .... YUM!!! Those colors are divine!!

(BTW I sent you an email ... )

Kari
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  #72  
Old 2006-01-09, 5:31am
CarolinaDreamDesigns CarolinaDreamDesigns is offline
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yummmmmmmmmm is right - in fact, I think you posted that picture before and I told you I lusted after them!

I'm trying to learn some off-mandrel work - maybe 4-5 pendants tries. Sad, really REALLY sad. So then I think - well, I'll just stick to beads. And THEN the mandrels get all glowing and the bead release starts to corrode (HD Foster Fire) and then I think *(^$#$&*_&%^#$&^, back to soft!

Piranha with Devilbiss 505 concentrator. Any suggestions to avoid disaster?

Martha <<--trying
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  #73  
Old 2006-01-09, 5:36am
lilypond bead designs lilypond bead designs is offline
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Very timely, Mr. Smiley! I got a new torch for Christmas and I have a Northstar sample pack and a pound of clear. I have made a few boro poop beads. The thing I noticed most is that it doesn't melt into itself it kind of sinks. Is that what it is suppose to do? I would LOVE to see more tutorials on boro. I didn't realize that there were none til I got this glass and went looking.

I will try the cobalt, frit, clear combo and see what that makes.
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  #74  
Old 2006-01-09, 6:29am
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I'd love to give it a go... but what does one do when in Australia? You might be able to ship one of those new concentrators over here...but what about the power difference? (we run on 240v). Also, no suppliers here (I don't think anyway) and shipping glass from o/s get reeealll expensive. Not sure there is any real solution there.... lol..
btw.. Mr Smiley, I gave in and bought one of your hearts the other day, can't wait for it to get here...

Shelley
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  #75  
Old 2006-01-09, 6:40am
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Just to add to what Brent said earlier...

Blue Moon is one of my favorite boro glass colors. It's easy to get very consistent results with it, and you can get a totally different look by encasing it or leaving it exposed. I'll have to dig up some photos of some pieces I did with Blue Moon.

Another favorite is Triple Passion (very similar to Amber Purple, just made by Glass Alchemy instead of Northstar). You have to watch your flame chemistry or it reduces, but other than that it's another one that is easy to get nice colors out of.

I also recommend any of the Chameleon colors by GA. I have a lot more experience with GA colors than I do with NS, which is why I recommend them.

One of my newest favorites is Elvis. I'm not sure who makes it. It's a self-striking red that comes out really nice and red. I only had a few samples. I'm waiting on my rods to come in.

Another thing to add... when you are working with boro, clear is your new best friend. I buy 5 times as much clear as I do color, and I use clear in most everything I make, even if you can't see it. A lot of my larger marbles are about 80% clear. If you are making a cane, I make the cane on clear, so you hardly use any color. Some of my larger beads are a base of clear with color over top of it.
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  #76  
Old 2006-01-09, 7:03am
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Chad, I unfortunately discovered that this past week. I have a ton of colors, and am out of clear!
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  #77  
Old 2006-01-09, 7:09am
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Shelley... there is a supplier over there working on this problem. You will have access to the equipment and supplies very soon. I should also be coming over in about a year to teach. I have to wait until the equipment is available to you guys, but it's coming. People are working on it.

Chad, Great point about clear. Clear is super cheap in boro and we use a LOT of it. The colors are expensive, but we use less than most soft glass folks. I'll bet it is closer to evening out than I thought. Blue moon rocks! It's one of my favorites too. I've got to get you some NS to play with...
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  #78  
Old 2006-01-09, 8:12am
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OK, don't laugh toooo much. Let's see, the top of this is double amber green with clear on top, the top half of the vessel is some kind of pinkish bubbly stuff, that was getting really hot so the rest is mystery adventurine with a couple stripes of clear and clear on the end. Well, it WAS a sample pack.



Anyway, I had to do this on the mini-cc with 2 oxycons and ng. It seemed to work pretty well! Like working with bread dough instead of pancake batter if that makes sense at all.

Still didn't get the Wildcat functional, long dramatic story. Wanna hear it? OK, it might serve as a what-NOT-to do lesson for somebody else.
My propane regulator is a one gauge jobbie. I've never worked with this before and won't be working with it again, it's goin' down. I wasn't sure how to gauge the psi from it, so called my son who has taken some welding classes. So, dummy me has this torch set directly across from my mini-cc that I'm working on at the moment. Now, I had tried to get the torch working previously and left the propane knob on the torch open to bleed the lines, shut off the tank and regulator and forgot about it. So, son comes here, goes over to the propane tank and turns it on without checking everything else, (my fault I guess, but he could have freaking said something), while I've got the mini on directly across from the Wildcat. All of a sudden a 3 foot flame shoots over my head. Well, not quite all the way over as soon enough I smell burning hair. It could have been much worse, like crispy critter time, but I just lost some fuzz on top. He felt really bad and vowed to never 'help' me again.

Eeeeeenyway, the boro was very nice to work texture-wise, but it'll take a long while I think to get good colors.
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  #79  
Old 2006-01-09, 9:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley
Chad, Great point about clear. Clear is super cheap in boro and we use a LOT of it. The colors are expensive, but we use less than most soft glass folks. I'll bet it is closer to evening out than I thought. Blue moon rocks! It's one of my favorites too. I've got to get you some NS to play with...
I've got those rods I bought from you a while back, but they aren't labeled, so I don't know which is which. There is a nice teal blue/green that I got from you that I'm using a lot of. It's the teal color on this marble:



It works really nice. Doesn't seem to mind differing flame atmospheres or anything. I just don't know what it is. Any idea?
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Old 2006-01-09, 9:29am
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Rebecca, that is a great start! Much better than most. Sorry about the hair. Great reminder for people to check and recheck when working with combustibles. I'm glad you weren't hurt. Let us know when you get into it more and we'll get the color thing worked out for ya.
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  #81  
Old 2006-01-09, 9:31am
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Chad,,, that's a good question. Can you snap a picture of it in rod form with the end melted a bit. That would help narrow it down. It looks nice and I can see why you would want more.
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  #82  
Old 2006-01-09, 10:16am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley
Chad,,, that's a good question. Can you snap a picture of it in rod form with the end melted a bit. That would help narrow it down. It looks nice and I can see why you would want more.
I think so. I'm not sure I have any left. I'll check tonight. I do know that the melted end looks exactly the same as the rest of the rod.
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  #83  
Old 2006-01-09, 10:59am
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Well, then just a pic of the rod will do. I looked similar to peacock chamelian to me in the pics, but that has metal in it and will fume. There was also some experimental NS called tidal wave, but that didn't always play nice without being encased. When you bought it from me, did you buy shorts, mixed 2 pound bundle or did I hand pick you a selection. My memory is crap, so the more info I have, the easier it will be to kick it in gear.
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  #84  
Old 2006-01-09, 11:14am
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I bought the full rods. I'll see if I can find some tonight to take pics of. I do know these rods weren't really round. They were more oval shaped, if that helps.

It actually does look very similar to the Peacock Chameleon rods I have, but like you said, it doesn't work the same in the flame.
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  #85  
Old 2006-01-10, 11:24am
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Ok I got some COOL COLORS, for me that is!, from the Double Amber Purple.
I know I know, where is the pic? I am working on it.
I am excited now, yippee!
I did order some frit yesterday, so I will try that when it comes in. I bought what was suggested earlier in this thread.
Ok another question or two:
What other colors do you have tips for? I have a sample pak of both NS and GA.
Any others to avoid beside the Ruby?
More tips please

Thank you!
Carrie
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  #86  
Old 2006-01-10, 11:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butterflykj
Ok I got some COOL COLORS, for me that is!, from the Double Amber Purple.
I know I know, where is the pic? I am working on it.
I am excited now, yippee!
I did order some frit yesterday, so I will try that when it comes in. I bought what was suggested earlier in this thread.
Ok another question or two:
What other colors do you have tips for? I have a sample pak of both NS and GA.
Any others to avoid beside the Ruby?
More tips please

Thank you!
Carrie
I wouldn't say avoid the Ruby. It just needs to be put in the kiln at a lower temperature. I have best results heating Ruby in the flame until it goes clear, letting it cool, and then putting it into the kiln at 1000 degrees for about 1/2 hour. It will develop the red color on its own.

When you start working with GA Crayon colors, work them cooler than normal, or encase them, or both. Otherwise they will boil. Once they boil, I have never had any luck heating them back up smoothly.

I would visit www.northstarglassworks.com and www.glassalchemyarts.com. Both companies have good tips for working their color on their sites. One thing you need to learn right off the bat is what is a "neutral" flame on your torch. If you got a rod of GA Amazon Night you can use that to test. Turn your torch on and heat the rod until it goes round on the tip. Then take it out and let it cool. If the rod is the same color after heating as it is when it was cool, your flame is neutral.

What other colors did you get in the sample packs? I have some experience with most all the GA colors (although I would by no means consider myself an expert) so let me know what you have and I'll let you know what I know about them. I'm sure Brent would do the same for the NS colors.
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Old 2006-01-10, 11:33am
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Oh, and Brent, here is that rod I was talking about. It's a little bit darker than this in person. You can see it's not really round, if that helps.
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Old 2006-01-10, 11:45am
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Cosmo,
Neutral flame, is this where I want to work most/all of the time?

Thank you so much for responding.

Carrie
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Old 2006-01-10, 11:56am
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Not necessarily. Some colors you want an oxidizing flame, some you want a reducing. But, it's necessary to know so that you can go from there. A lot of times I'll construct a piece with a neutral flame, and switch to oxidizing or reducing to get certain colors. Some colors I use an oxidizing flame for the entire piece.
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Old 2006-01-10, 12:02pm
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OK thanks, I believe I know when I have a neutral flame, will double check w/ your suggestion when I go back down to the shop.
I'll do a quick scan of the colors that came in my sample paks!
Carrie
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