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

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  #1  
Old 2014-01-25, 5:08pm
MusicMakeLove MusicMakeLove is offline
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Default Miscellaneous questions about setting up a small, in-home lampworking studio

Alright so I have been doing some research, and deliberation about how my set up is going to work. I am basically a twenty-two year old novice flameworker with a strong passion for the craft, and an uncanny ability to learn quickly. With these traits, I was able to learn a lot about the fundamentals of lampworking and the muscle memory they must be paired with. I was able to hone many of my skills in such a short period of time that I fear I would be unsatisfied if I did not continue learning the art. As a result, I have chosen to see if it is possible for me to set up a small, and effective studio in my home to begin production of simple pieces while practicing with new techniques and honing my skills further. In order to do this, I must compose a savvy "business model", if you will, in order to illustrate if it is possible to not only recoup the capital investment that it will take to establish such a studio in my home, but also continue to support itself and eventually flourish. This idea started out as something that I wanted to do as a hobby, but is turning into a larger investment worth making into the most it can be. As a result, I am adamantly searching for as much informed knowledge as I am able to find on the most efficient and safe ways to go about setting up a small lampworking studio in my home.

Some information I have already gathered is that my city will allow a small set up in my home, as it will be safe and code compliant. There will be one torch, and I have found a company I may take my oxygen tank to be refilled as needed. Once I obtain a business license with the city/state, I will be all set up to privately produce small pieces and sell them locally or online. I still have more research to do, and phone calls to make in order to ensure I am aware of all laws and ordinances that could effect me. As of now, we are waiting to hear back from our insurance company about a quote on business coverage.

The things I need more information on that I can think of now are:

Most efficient ventilation set up (Hood overhead, or front facing?)

Running gas lines from tanks in garage, to bedroom upstairs (Best professional service to look into for this?)

Best deals on glass and glass supplies?

Any information is much appreciated! I have a lot to learn in order to bring this plan to fruition, but I am extremely determined to do so.
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  #2  
Old 2014-01-25, 6:00pm
losthelm losthelm is offline
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Talk with your insurance person and make sure you have coverage.
High pressure tanks in an attached garage may invalidate your policy or simply effect the payments.
The same with the torch.
Ventilation varies with your budget and studio space.
The safety section has a lot of info on setting up system on your own or questions to ask the contractor to make sure your safe and getting what you pay for.

Best deals on glass & supplies is usually the garage sales area on this site.
There are a ton of shops offering various types of glass and tools so it depends on what your after.
Beware of divardi the glass rods tend to shock and pop super easy and the prices reflect quality and durability of the tools. Most of us have some or have used it then moved on to a different supplier.
Bead release options varie a lot between shops each behave a little differently depending on what you need. There are a few DIY options as well.
There are also a ton of tools or found objects than can manipulate glass so be creative and think outside the box.
For the most part avoid galvanized steel, lead, pewter, paint and plastics.

There are also a number of books on lampworking and complementary jewelry techniques.
Iner library loan can help extend the budget for print materials a lot.

I would advise you to get a fine pen and note book to keep track of design and impromptu ideas. A flash drive or dongle is useful to log digital content, useful links and resources as well as keep business records and documents.
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  #3  
Old 2014-01-25, 6:03pm
MusicMakeLove MusicMakeLove is offline
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Great, thank you! I will look into all of this, and keep you posted as things progress.

All information is sincerely appreciated.
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  #4  
Old 2014-01-25, 6:12pm
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echeveria echeveria is offline
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Research your revenue stream based on low-cost overseas items. That is your competition on basic production pieces. You will need to hit your ROI with that. It takes a lot of time and incessant marketing to command top prices for artisan work, regardless of quality.
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  #5  
Old 2014-01-25, 8:40pm
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Lorraine Chandler Lorraine Chandler is offline
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I just purchased 20 pounds of glass from Frantz. Averaged out to under $5.00 per pound. Lots of vetrofond on sale. 70% off.

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=259301
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  #6  
Old 2014-01-26, 12:12am
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jaci jaci is offline
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There is info about all your safety concerns in the studio and safety sections. It goes over various set ups and safety items. Is probably think about what kind of glass you want to do and plan your set up that way, possibly looking into a concentrator, for smaller work. And glass deals.. Depends on your COE choice, and what options you are looking for in your glass. There are probably about 15-20min brands that vary in coe's and product spec's in the 85-133 COE range and more in speciality glass, and boro. Tools, found objects are great. There is a frugal tips thread somewhere in the tips section and other threads on homemade tools also.

Welcome!
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Old 2014-01-26, 2:29am
Alaska Alaska is offline
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For starters, purchase "Contemporary Lampworking" and "Passing the Flame". Both excellent texts.

Then take a week or two and read over the posts in LE and those in The Melting Pot.
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  #8  
Old 2014-01-28, 8:36am
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MistyCherie MistyCherie is offline
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You haven't indicated if you wish to pursue soft glass vs hard glass. The cost, set-up, and learning would vary depending on the type of glass media you wish to work in. They are completely different COEs. Soft glass has a lot of variance in COEs too, depending on which brand/system. (90/96/104 plus the few that go above/below those)

Just pointing this out, as some of the equipment and set-up need to factor this in. If you're starting out in soft but think you might venture into hard, then you can also look at purchasing a set-up that will allow that growth (torch/oxycons, etc).
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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 2014-01-28, 9:03pm
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SGA SGA is offline
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You really shouldn't run lines from a garage enclosure to a bedroom. It would be much easier to run the lines from outside, into the garage. Not to mention extremely safer.

Hobbies cost money. It is better to think of supplying your artistic muse moreso than building a business plan. You will be happier in the long run by treating it as an enjoyment. Start small and grow. With the exception of people who swapped from years or decades of professional art experience, nobody really jumps off and begins to see profits.

Unless you run a kiln, you shouldn't consider selling projects in my opinion. And if you do, please make sure you disclose that fact. The basics should run less than $2500, including a small paragon kiln.
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  #10  
Old 2014-01-29, 10:50am
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We would love to see some of your work!
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  #11  
Old 2014-01-30, 10:00am
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I don't know what kind of climate you live in, but I think it would be best to run this equipment in a garage rather than an upstairs bedroom. Seems like a propane line to an upstairs room is awfully long, even if run upwards from the outside.
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