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

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  #1  
Old 2014-03-27, 9:20am
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MagpieGlass MagpieGlass is offline
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Default Question on Opals, Marcel?

So this is for anyone but thought Marcel might have a quick answer for me.

I'm in love with the crushed opal look of your spirit bear you showed n the show and tell. How heat senstive is opal?? Is it like dichro and burn out if you don't keep it protected??

I want to play and have some other application ideas swirling in my head.
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Old 2014-03-27, 9:37am
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Opals are fun Marcel can probably give you the best way to work them. You must use opals made for Boro not real Opal.
We just had some made in music notes, stars and lightning bolts to sell.
Rob Fort makes a rod with clear opals floating all thru it.. From his crucible pull. I have just one of his rods left to sell in the store.
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Old 2014-03-27, 11:01am
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Sue in Maine Sue in Maine is offline
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I believe they're called "Gilson Opals." (I don't think it's Gibson... I think it's Gilson...)

I'll see if I can find a link. ..... Found one:

http://lampworketc.com/forums/showth...t=gilson+opals

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Old 2014-03-27, 11:49am
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Thanks for the responses. I pm'd you Phyllis.

Yes, Sue they are Gilson opals and in the Boro Room March Show and Tell Marcel has a gorgeous Spirit Bear that has crushed opal swirled through.

This is the link to the image:
http://www.imagestime.com/show.php/9...T1112.jpg.html
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  #5  
Old 2014-03-27, 3:28pm
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Some of the new opals out there are not Gilson Opals. There is another company making them now. The Gilson Opals were all made years back and the final stock has been bought out. The final amount of them were just sold to ABR. It was only Profound, Trevs and ABR that carried the Gilson's. We do have some left in our store.
Both companies opals work good in Boro.
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Old 2014-03-27, 3:45pm
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think of opals like dichro, as in don't get it directly in the flame.

For opal frit, try spreading the frit on a marver, making a maria, heat end of maria, touch down on frit, gently heat to sort of implode the frit, then work however.

for opal shapes, encase opal in glass first. I learned a technique at glass stock, where we put the opal in the closed end of a tube and gently heated until the glass encased it, then you can pull it off and use however.
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Old 2014-03-28, 2:09am
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i make a maria heat it up real hot pick up the micro opals shards from my graphite marver, than take a 4 mm rod and encase the opals keeping them as much out of the flame as possible!! the will fry and loose there shine!
make sure you really get the rod hot and press it so not to get airbubbles it is tricky but the result is amazing the bear got a spiral shape pressed in the bears body so it looks almost like a kaleidoskope!
i hope this is enough information to get you started.
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Old 2014-03-28, 5:05am
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Otter's Flame Otter's Flame is offline
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Marcel, I love the work you do with opals. Here is another technique in case people are burning out their opals. Marcel's technique is probably faster. I just don't have the patience to work opals so gently and have burned out a few. I do the following technique and usually prep several at a time for later use.

When I incorporate opals into my work, I start with a tubing encasement first. I use small tubing, about 10mm. I cut a piece of tubing about 8 inches long, I heat one side closed, making sure to pull off any glass that may have scummed due to the cutting process. Then I basically have a small test tube shape. I drop the opal, or pour some crushed opal into it and make sure it goeas all the way to the bottom. Then I slowly heat the bottom of the test tube until it melts around the opal or crushed opal. If you want, after you get some of the bottom tubing melted, you can apply negative pressure to the inside of the test tube by sucking out some air etc, and the melted glass will collapse around the opal.

This method ensures the flame never accidently touches the opal or crushed opal frit. Once you get it encased, you can remove your gather from the end of the tubing. If you want, you can pull some of the glass off if you feel your encasement is too thick. You can add this encased opal to pendants, marbles, sculptural work etc and not have to work it so timid.

A couple points I want to add: When you are melting the glass around the opal, go slow so as not to trap any air on or near the opal. If you do the technique where you suck some of the air out, I would suggest you try it a few times with a piece of medium or large non opal frit so you know how much glass you have to melt first, how much heat you need etc. especially if you are not real familiar with working tubing.


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Last edited by Otter's Flame; 2014-03-28 at 5:09am.
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  #9  
Old 2014-03-28, 7:39am
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Thanks Marcel and everyone else for the tips.

I snagged the rod of of hand pulled opal encased from Rob Fort that Sunray mentioned above, as well as have some small chips and powder coming.

I hope to work with a bit in fusing as well and can't wait to see how the results turn out.
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  #10  
Old 2014-04-02, 9:54pm
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I like the look too Marcel
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