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

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  #1  
Old 2012-12-09, 7:52am
cjw cjw is offline
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Default make your own coloured boro

im looking to melt different oxides in a tube to make my own coloured rod,the only one i now is colbalt oxide to produce blue,its so expensive living in europe to get a good deal on northstar trautman etc do any of you mix your own colours and if so the amount you would put in a tube and do you mix any clear frit with it.......thanks cj
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  #2  
Old 2012-12-09, 11:24pm
Alaska Alaska is offline
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IMO it is not worth the effort. As an example, what will the resultant COE be? Will it be compatible with other boro colors or clear.

If you are intending to just have fun with color mixing then go for it. But if it is work for sale then using one of the major glass suppliers is the better path.

The issue with lampworking is that it is expensive and not for everyone. If locally available try some of the Chinese boro colors. But again, they have their own issues. But at least you are not working with potentially dangerous chemicals.
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  #3  
Old 2012-12-10, 8:54am
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menty666 menty666 is offline
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The COE's not entirely important if you're only working with just the one color you pulled. Combining colors you mix...that's going to give you headaches. But the old school folks who pre-date the color manufacturers certainly mixed their own.

Some folks like Suellen Fowler will still occasionally make their own mixes.

What I *would* tell you is that the chemicals used to color the glass tend to be highly toxic and if you don't have a chem background and knowledge on safe handling, you're better off avoiding trying to mix your own.
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  #4  
Old 2012-12-10, 8:59am
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samandsha samandsha is offline
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I took a class with Suellen Fowler last year and we did mix Amber Purple. Unless you have Popeye arms and buckets of hundreds laying around...you're in for an expensive and challenging adventure.
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  #5  
Old 2012-12-10, 9:36am
deb tarry deb tarry is offline
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I would love a class with Suellen Fowler, I think she has a dvd out also. I have always been interested in how colours are made, but have been too busy with other things to find the necessary information to get started. good luck in the adventure of color in glass as you go forward. My only advice would be is to get lots of info gathered before you start. I heard a story from the "man" himself, Bob Snodgress. He was telling us that he was playing around in the torch with some chemical trying to get it to fume and POW the air around him lit up and the there was sparkles floating in the air. Some things don't like to be heated in the torch.
So get as much info as you can then go for it.
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  #6  
Old 2012-12-10, 8:37pm
Firebrand Beads Firebrand Beads is offline
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Your research should begin with John Burton, and the Burton Method. He was a Brit, a metalurgist, and he is the one who first mixed oxides into clear boro for real boro color. The same way that Paul Trautman did when he sold his first few hand-mixed rods to Wale back in the '80s. He VERY quickly decided that was not going to work, so he set about to invent the tools and techniques for mixing boro color in -- and pulling rod from -- the furnace.
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  #7  
Old 2012-12-10, 9:10pm
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untamedrose untamedrose is offline
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I have the Susan fuller DVD...it shows her making a red...but wasnt like add this n that recipe to make it Just gibbered about some of the Northstar recipes being hers.

Though it was cool to see her make a dragon
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  #8  
Old 2012-12-10, 10:01pm
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menty666 menty666 is offline
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If I recall, didn't Momka quite literally write a book on mixing color too? I think it wasn't in English though.
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  #9  
Old 2012-12-10, 11:53pm
deb tarry deb tarry is offline
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Oh really I didn't know she did, would be cool to read if it was in english.
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  #10  
Old 2012-12-11, 8:16am
caliglassguy caliglassguy is offline
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I saw Suellen Fowler in Oakland Calif last month and one color she mixed had germanium oxide and I think silver oxide in a 5 to 1 ratio . Not sure if that's the red color or amber purple . Pretty sure germanium oxide is expensive .
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  #11  
Old 2012-12-11, 9:41am
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menty666 menty666 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb tarry View Post
Oh really I didn't know she did, would be cool to read if it was in english.
Bulgarian. I knew it was around there

http://www.momkasglass.com/about_momka.htm
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Old 2012-12-11, 10:21pm
deb tarry deb tarry is offline
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Hmm it would be cool to get a hold of that text and get it translated. I met her a couple of years ago. She opened the shop for me and a couple of girlfriends after hours so we could buy some glass. She strikes me as a very truthful and up front woman.
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  #13  
Old 2012-12-12, 3:18am
Alaska Alaska is offline
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Here is an example of a recipe from Tiffany.

"Mix 12 oz. silver nitrate, 4 oz. uranium, 4 oz. manganese, 4 oz. arsenic, 12 oz. potash nitrate. Add to 100 lb. of molten glass. Combine with artistry, chemistry, and secrecy. The result: “Gold Lustre,” a signature glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany, also called iridescent for its lustrous finish."
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  #14  
Old 2012-12-12, 7:56am
squirrellglider squirrellglider is offline
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Hello C.J.
if you decide to get serious about mixing your own colours you are going to need a kiln capable of melting at least 50 odd kilo of glass, thats about 100 plus pounds in your money. The kiln also has to be capable of a seriously higher temp than for fusing and kiln forming existing glass, remember the melting temp for raw silica is around 1700 C. yes C.
As a matter of fact how I got to know about L.E.was because I was researching glass formulae on google and one of the references turned out to be on L.E. My current project involves some hundreds of kilos of glass, and so because I live about 8Km. or around five miles from a mine that extracts some of the purest and most iron free silica in the world I just naturally was drawn to thoughts of making my own glass. Still and all you would need to think long and hard before you venture down that road. Hope this has been of some help Terry
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  #15  
Old 2012-12-12, 12:27pm
cjw cjw is offline
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Thanks to all for the advice cj
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  #16  
Old 2012-12-16, 1:45pm
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http://www.ilpi.com/glassblowing/oldrecipes.html

$60# for colored glass vs $$$$$ to make your own? Um, yeah!
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  #17  
Old 2013-03-19, 5:31pm
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Pickledkitty Pickledkitty is offline
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Found in an older book at my University, this is a list of colorants that you could add to float glass when melting as a recycled cullet. The percentages are so small that they won't change the COE if they are melted in all the way.
.2% Nickel Oxide = Violet (Lead glass), smokey gray (Soda lime)
.01% - .6% Cobalt Carbonate = Blue, very dark blue
.5% - 1% Manganese Oxide = Violet
.2% - .8% Copper Carbonate = greenish blue
.5% - 1.5% Ferrous Oxide = green to yellow green
.2% -.5% Silver Nitrate = yellow to yellow green

Don't touch or breathe them in, and possibly use a respirator to mix. Most of these should be available at a pottery store, they are also used to color glazes. If you can find a book about glass blowing, they tend to have recipes for glass, as well as more indepth descriptions of how to use oxides for coloring.
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  #18  
Old 2013-04-14, 2:06pm
glassshack glassshack is offline
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http://www.glassnotes.com/

GREAT book
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