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

View Poll Results: What were you most afraid of as a lampwork virgin?
Lighting the torch 227 42.91%
Shocky glass flying at you 126 23.82%
Not being as good as you hoped to be 146 27.60%
Not having everything "just right" 55 10.40%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 529. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 2008-06-21, 7:37am
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Mine was lighting the torch. I took a class at New Dynasty in Fairfax Virginia and Cherie (owner) was such a sweetheart showing me how to light it. I was using a minor....didn't help that one of my classmates sitting across from me light hers with the gas full on....huge flame, then whatever she did....a loud POP....I'm okay with lighting it now
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  #32  
Old 2008-06-21, 7:56am
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The first time I lit my torch I made my daughter take the phone and all the furbabies outside.
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  #33  
Old 2008-06-21, 8:24am
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My only fear was going blind. I was afraid I was going to burn out my corneas. It was really bad after my first few torching sessions because my vision was blurry when I got done. Now I've figured out it's just from focusing too hard for too long. Now I have a tv going when I'm torching and make sure to refocus on it every now & then.
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  #34  
Old 2008-06-21, 8:38am
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Hi Cindy, it was actually starting up my kiln and figuring out the programming which I still hate to do to this day. It was because it was such an expensive item and if I ruined it I couldn't afford to replace it and my glass career would be in serious jeopardy.

Yep. The kiln!

The torch was a no brainer because I took a 2 day class at Eugene before I tried anything at home. I did this on purpose because I didn't want to learn bad habits and I wanted to be fairly comfortable in my new studio wen I fired it all up for the first time. I am so glad I did.

They showed us how to check for leaks and made us turn off and on our torches every time we left the bench so that really helped with 'the turning on torch anxieties.'

Lorraine
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  #35  
Old 2008-06-21, 8:50am
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Jumped when I lit my torch for the first time, oh piece of cake. Ducked when the first glass popped,ahh, nothing to it... But had a total panic attack when my son crossed in front of the flame... Screamed! GET BACK!!! Mom, I'm 6 feet away, and he was .. duh Something about kid + flame... but he is a smart kid.. he just stays away from me now when I'm torching.. no more panic attacks and he just grins.. "Mom's torching, better watch out!!"
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  #36  
Old 2008-06-21, 9:32am
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I don't think fear entered into trying an artistic medium for me.
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  #37  
Old 2008-06-21, 11:55am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroglasstic View Post
Nothing,I cant think of anything to be afraid of.

Same here. Nothing scared me when I started this obession.
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  #38  
Old 2008-06-21, 1:16pm
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I'm still terrified that I"m going to blow up the garage. I've told all my friends if there's a fire around here it would be me. yep I blew the garage up. I'm not so afraid anymore, but it's still in the back of my mind. And I do tighten everything up, and do the soap test alot!
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  #39  
Old 2008-06-21, 2:54pm
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I think hearing the same common theme is making me feel better. My DH has offered to light the torch the first time. He has some experience with a torch. It's comforting to know I'm not alone in this.
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  #40  
Old 2008-06-21, 3:01pm
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I was afraid of turning the propane/oxygen knobs the wrong way. lol lois
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  #41  
Old 2008-06-21, 4:06pm
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I was afraid I didn't get the gas regulator and hoses put together correctly.
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  #42  
Old 2008-06-21, 6:19pm
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I wasn't afraid so much of the gas as I used to live near factories and two of them had major fires. They both had propane tank stores and those tanks burnt for several hours (but the fire brigade were monitoring them) and they didn't blow up, so I figured it would take utter carelessness to blow myself up. I am instead in fear of my own beadmaking skills. OK, I'm still a newbie but I'm thinking what if I'm rubbish a year down the line?

In the UK you are allowed to have large propane canisters indoors (my neigbours have heating running from two large shoulder height tanks in their kitchen), and believe it or not in parts of Italy they have cookers which run on an internal propane gas tank situated next to the oven - I know this as I have cooked on one.
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  #43  
Old 2008-06-22, 9:44am
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Lighting the torch and shocky glass for sure. I am still obsessive/compulsive about heating up a new "cold" rod of glass - takes me forever to get it to the melting point. LOL
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  #44  
Old 2008-06-22, 9:55am
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I still jump every time I light my torch; after 4 years I have not gotten over my fear of lighting the torch. My husband and I usually torch together so he lights if for me.
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  #45  
Old 2008-06-22, 6:41pm
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Lighting the torch (Hothead) and the shocky poppy glass. I jumped and squeaked a lot!

For a long time now I don't care about the "pops", I just stick a rod in the flame and squint my eyes a little. LOL

I rarely wave the tip of the rod in and out of the flame to heat slowly unless it's expensive glass that I don't want in the form of frit all over my work space.
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  #46  
Old 2008-06-22, 9:44pm
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My biggest fear was/is gassing myself to death. Which I might add I have almost done - so lets just say ventilation ventilation ventilation and no its not good enough to work near an open window or door. Apart from that burning myself which I did over and over whilst I was using the HH but no so much now since I have been using a CC. Then there is the burning the house down if I go to bed and leave the kiln running all night - over that now. When I started another fear "would I ever be able to make a bead without it breaking in half" - also over that 1 now thanks to a kiln. Oh and dont forget scared I cant afford to buy all the things I "need" to further this obsession.
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  #47  
Old 2008-06-22, 9:48pm
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I think I was just so excited that fear really didn't enter my mind, until I saw my beads and thought everyone was going to laugh at me. However I do have to remind myself "do not touch the glass, it is hot, it will burn your little fingers, and then you won't be able to play..."

The other day I did have an issue with burning all the hair off of my arm. I could not get my striker to spark for me and didn't think how much the propane was building up... well thankfully I still have my eyebrows and hair in my head, but man the back lash of that poof of flame leaves me with little to no hair on the left arm, the one that was not near the flame really... ha ha...
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  #48  
Old 2008-06-23, 9:05am
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I was afraid of somebody watching me so it was hard to learn by taking a class - just ask Schermo - I was her worst student.
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  #49  
Old 2008-06-23, 9:54am
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Linda! lol. Maybe because I know Shermo and can picture it, but you crack me up. Imagine telling her "Hey don't look at me." Like she could possibly resist? lol.
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  #50  
Old 2008-06-23, 10:07am
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Quote:
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Linda! lol. Maybe because I know Shermo and can picture it, but you crack me up. Imagine telling her "Hey don't look at me." Like she could possibly resist? lol.

Yeah, I learned more by watching her and then going home to try it. We talked alot and she made a lot of beads while we sat and talked.
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  #51  
Old 2008-06-23, 10:30am
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Flying Glass! It is so unpredictable. Sometimes I catch myself pulling back as I introduce the rod to the flame. Especially a new rod. I have even filed the freshly cut ends, that helps.

I have never been hit with flying glass. I am sure it's going to BURN!!! So maybe it's not the flying glass but being burnt by the flying glass.
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  #52  
Old 2008-06-23, 11:15am
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Since I'm still a beading virgin I can tell you just the thought of starting that torch is scaring the bejeezus out of me. I'm very impatiently waiting for a space to be cleared out before I begin my beading, so in the meantime I'm enjoying reading everything I can in these forums. You can be sure once I'm set up I'm making the husband start the torch for me the first few times. It's comforting to know I'm not the only wimp when it comes to this.
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  #53  
Old 2008-06-23, 11:24am
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Shocky, popping glass is the only thing that still bothers me a bit. I loved the flame right from the get-go but burning myself with flying glass was always a bit of a "turn-off". LOL.
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  #54  
Old 2008-06-23, 1:57pm
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Tell me I'm the only person who read the title of this thread and thought, "oooh, the big hard rods."

(Yes, I'm a bad bad person, and need to skulk back to the disreputable sections of the forum.)
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  #55  
Old 2008-06-23, 3:27pm
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I guess lighting the torch. I'd never used a torch of any kind before i got my cc. So for the first few days i was a little jumpy lighting it.
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  #56  
Old 2008-06-23, 9:45pm
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Aleina, I am afraid I'll forget the glass is hot, too. I work with polymer clay, and if I don't like how something shaped, I can use my fingers to manipulate it. I really hope I don't try to do that with the glass.
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  #57  
Old 2008-06-23, 10:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
having the tanks explode and take out a block on either side of me leaving lots of smoking cellar holes and graves behind. yup that was the biggest fear. The tanks after all are quite a bit bigger than those for my jewelers torch. I still think of all my torches as great big bombs just waiting for the chance to go off. wasn't too thrilled with the idea of burning the house down either. I suppose both would be leaky hoses, flashback etc.

I chuckled when I read this because this is still me! I check my hoses, connections, torch knobs for leaks with glass cleaner and a brush for bubbles pretty often. I read too many horror stories in the safety section. I won't read any more for the rest of my life!

Next is shocky glass.

Funny, I was just thinking the other day, I should be over these fears by now. But the reality is that I'm not. Oh well. I still love watching glass melt.
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  #58  
Old 2008-06-23, 10:20pm
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I have to mention that I was terrified of my kiln too. I was so afraid it would catch the floor or walls on fire. I even had my glass friend on the phone when I turned it on the first time.
Turned out to be about as scary as waiting for water to boil. Now I think my toaster oven is a much bigger fire hazard.
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  #59  
Old 2008-06-23, 10:52pm
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Angela, I think fear to an extent is a good guide. Most accidents of any industry happen to people who lose their respect of the dangers involved. They begin to take things for granted and get careless. But fear to the extreme can be paralyzing to the point where someone doesn't enjoy life. I am incredibly, ridiculously, afraid of fire, but I've chosen to face that fear with lampworking because this is something I want to do so bad.
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  #60  
Old 2008-06-24, 6:08am
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I agree, face fear and learn to enjoy life!!! Sometimes I think that my fear of fire isn't the fire but the lack of control I may have over it. I enjoy fire in the fireplace and bbq pits but connect it to a tank of gas and who knows what might happen.

Hooking that flame to hoses and tanks takes away some of my CONTROL. It has more power/contol - I have less!!

Safety checks help eliminate some of the unknown. Eliminating the unknown gives us a sense of control. So do the checks and have fun playing in the flame.

cheryl
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