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

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  #1  
Old 2013-10-12, 1:51pm
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Lyssa Lyssa is offline
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Default Three beads exhaust me...

Why does it only take making three 10-minute beads to exhaust me? Is it a carbon monoxide leak my detector isnt picking up? Is it the wrong prescription lenses? Is it that I might be bored practicing the same bead for the last 4 Saturday sessions where I have made about 24 beads of this kind? Is it that I am out of practice and the tiredness in my hands is spreading to the rest of my body and my brain? Or maybe I just need a cup o' joe.

I wish I could sit at the torch for hours on end like I used to, taking quick breaks to look out the window or getting up to stretch my legs. Right now (and since I started lampworking again when the weather cooled down a month ago) it's 2 or 3 beads and I have to stop and sit on the couch for half an hour recovering. Besides the frustration of not being able to get a lot of work done, I am wasting a lot of electricity letting my oxycon run while not using it.

Anyone encounter the same problem and have any solutions?
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  #2  
Old 2013-10-12, 1:58pm
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Do you ever listen to books on tape? I find that doing beads that are too simple or routine can aggravate my sense of ennui, but if I have an interesting book to listen to, my brain is occupied and I get more done because I want to continue the book.
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  #3  
Old 2013-10-12, 2:48pm
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Are you holding your breath when torching if it's detail work? That can wipe you out fast, not breathing...
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  #4  
Old 2013-10-12, 2:58pm
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I used to be able to torch for 10-12 hours. Now I can only manage maybe 3-4 a day.
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  #5  
Old 2013-10-12, 3:31pm
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Once you rule out ventilation issues then this
Quote:
Originally Posted by NLC Beads View Post
Are you holding your breath when torching if it's detail work? That can wipe you out fast, not breathing...
That was going to be my suggestion. I tend to hold my breath or clench my teeth and scrunch my face. Both make me feel exhausted rather quickly.

I get up after every few beads to move and take deep breathes of clean fresh air. I also think about what I will make next while I rest my eyes.
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Old 2013-10-12, 3:42pm
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and just to freak you out,
are other activities tiring you more than they used to?
If so, this may be a larger health issue. Or maybe you're just getting older, like the rest of us.

I sometimes use a timer to keep me from working too long--try setting it for 30 minutes, and when it goes off, finish the bead you're working on, then turn off the torch, and get up and walk around a little in fresh air before going back to the torch.
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  #7  
Old 2013-10-12, 5:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damselfly View Post
Do you ever listen to books on tape? I find that doing beads that are too simple or routine can aggravate my sense of ennui, but if I have an interesting book to listen to, my brain is occupied and I get more done because I want to continue the book.
This is what I do too. My local library has tons of books on tape. They have gotten me through many hours of torching that might have otherwise not happened.

Also, I do get up and stretch and move around a little bit after a bead or two, depending on how long they take to make. It helps.
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  #8  
Old 2013-10-12, 6:52pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upinflames View Post
This is what I do too. My local library has tons of books on tape. They have gotten me through many hours of torching that might have otherwise not happened.

Also, I do get up and stretch and move around a little bit after a bead or two, depending on how long they take to make. It helps.
My solution as well. I do 20 to 40 bead sessions sometimes and I HAVE to have a book to listen to or I would die of boredom.
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  #9  
Old 2013-10-12, 7:54pm
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I will chime in with a couple of agreements.

If you are fatigued in general, it's time for a check up with a dr. Explore thyroid issues, blood pressue, diabetes - just a thorough work up.

Otherwise, I also agree about the tedium of repetitive bead making. I generally have a movie playing in the background to keep me in place and working. Something I've seen many times, know the dialogue and music - just something that keeps me staying in the studio.
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  #10  
Old 2013-10-12, 10:29pm
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Eyestrain can also cause fatigue... Try changing back to your regular glasses between beads, and look up and let your eyes focus on things at different distances for a bit to wake them up. (I've been walking around wearing my furnace glasses all week (broke my regular ones, waiting for the new pair), and the eyestrain from trying to see in the "dark" all the time is exhausting.)

Also, how well-lit is your workspace? Add a lamp, or switch to a brighter bulb, see if that helps...

And then what other people have said: remember to breathe, play music/tv/movies while your work to keep your energy levels up, and if you're bored with what you're making try making something else.

And don't forget to hydrate!
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  #11  
Old 2013-10-12, 10:36pm
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I have an illness that prevents me from sitting at the torch longer than 2 hours. Check out your health if other activities also tire you.
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  #12  
Old 2013-10-13, 2:55am
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I last about two hours max at a time. Usually more like 90 minutes tops per session. I don't think I've ever lasted more than 3 hours.

I have long ago concluded that my attention span lasts a max of 20 minutes for a bead. I'm never going to do the hugely stunning complex beads others make (even if I had the talent) my attention span doesn't last that long.

I find I last longer if listening to a talking book too.

I find if I have NFI what I want to do while sitting down at the torch as well the sessions are over quickly.

If I have some fab ideas, I will last much longer, but I still won't have gotten around to what I was thinking about with the fab ideas.
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  #13  
Old 2013-10-13, 11:37am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsglass View Post
Eyestrain can also cause fatigue... Try changing back to your regular glasses between beads, and look up and let your eyes focus on things at different distances for a bit to wake them up. (I've been walking around wearing my furnace glasses all week (broke my regular ones, waiting for the new pair), and the eyestrain from trying to see in the "dark" all the time is exhausting.)

Also, how well-lit is your workspace? Add a lamp, or switch to a brighter bulb, see if that helps...

And then what other people have said: remember to breathe, play music/tv/movies while your work to keep your energy levels up, and if you're bored with what you're making try making something else.

And don't forget to hydrate!
Water, that's HUGE! I remember for the first two or three years I would feel so bad torching after a short time and couldn't figure out why. My daughter was the one that finally clued me into the fact that I was dehydrated (I had actually forgotten all about that until I read this) and now I automatically carry out 3 bottles of water when I go to work and almost always finish them off.
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  #14  
Old 2013-10-13, 12:09pm
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I never make more than 2 mandrels of beads before I get up and move around. Whether it's to go pull a few weeds outside the shop in the garden, a few rounds on the elliptical, into the kitchen for a small handful of nuts and a glass of water or just a few minutes in the sun to recharge my battery. You need to get the blood flowing!
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  #15  
Old 2013-10-13, 12:19pm
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I can't sit still for more than a couple of beads at a time, and I feel tired pretty much all the time and to top it off I don't sleep well at all. I did just find out that my vitamin D levels are too low and have been ordered to supplement... maybe a check up is in order?
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Old 2013-10-13, 2:10pm
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Thanks everyone for the great ideas.

I did a session just now and got five beads done with a short break between beads 2 and 3, and that was because Emma needed me, not 'cause I was tired. I put on some Beatles and concentrated on my breathing and those two things seem to have helped.

Regarding water, your comments remind me that before the summer break from lampworking I always had a glass of water with me while working but have been forgetting. I will have to get back in the habit of doing that.

My overall tiredness levels havent increased recently, so it isnt my health. It only happens when I torch, thank goodness.
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Old 2013-10-13, 2:36pm
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Hmmm....if it happens only when you torch, you're bored! You need some inspiration then. Go on Etsy and ebay and look to see what everybody else is doing. Also the Gallery here.
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Old 2013-10-13, 3:05pm
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Default ennui

perhaps you have reached the stage where you should just quit.
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Old 2013-10-13, 3:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisi View Post
Hmmm....if it happens only when you torch, you're bored! You need some inspiration then. Go on Etsy and ebay and look to see what everybody else is doing. Also the Gallery here.
Good point. It can also be worth finding a inspirational picture or fabric and using that to spark the imagination.

The "You pick" exchanges in the patio are good from that point of view.
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Old 2013-10-15, 3:41am
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I don't torch everyday, but will torch for 6-10 hours when I do. My motto is Rockstar and Rock and Roll. I don't do spacers because there is no way I could keep my focus.
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Old 2013-10-15, 4:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyssa View Post
Thanks everyone for the great ideas.

I did a session just now and got five beads done with a short break between beads 2 and 3, and that was because Emma needed me, not 'cause I was tired. I put on some Beatles and concentrated on my breathing and those two things seem to have helped.

Regarding water, your comments remind me that before the summer break from lampworking I always had a glass of water with me while working but have been forgetting. I will have to get back in the habit of doing that.

My overall tiredness levels havent increased recently, so it isnt my health. It only happens when I torch, thank goodness.
Everyone has given great advice/suggestions! My suggestion would be light stretching before torching AND decent music. My motivating factors these days have been my music and flipping throught the BOC website

Duane
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Old 2013-10-15, 1:33pm
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Yep. I used to do this too. I'm not sure if it was a subconscious thing worrying about inhaling fumes or glass particles, or just extreme concentration on what I was doing.. I also recommend drinking water frequently, and using good eye drops. I found my eyes dried out easily and that made me tired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polgarra View Post
Once you rule out ventilation issues then this


That was going to be my suggestion. I tend to hold my breath or clench my teeth and scrunch my face. Both make me feel exhausted rather quickly.

I get up after every few beads to move and take deep breathes of clean fresh air. I also think about what I will make next while I rest my eyes.
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Currently... torch is cold. Not sure when I'll be making glass again. Hothead and Lynx user.
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Old 2013-10-15, 1:37pm
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nevermind.
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  #24  
Old 2013-10-15, 3:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riosanjuan View Post
perhaps you have reached the stage where you should just quit.
Was that directed at me?? Why would you bother saying something like that? So I get a little bored making spacers and such. So what? I found a way to make it enjoyable and I was sharing it.
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Old 2013-10-16, 1:58am
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Was that directed at me?? Why would you bother saying something like that? So I get a little bored making spacers and such. So what? I found a way to make it enjoyable and I was sharing it.
I read the comment and concluded they must be trolling.

Doesn't matter what you do. Everyone gets bored at times.
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