Today is a big day, I hear the first lark singing over the fields…it is really heartwarming and very welcome after such a long, cold winter. I haven’t seen him yet, so no pictures.
I find as I get older I appreciate things like this more and more, small everyday stuff, but still a confirmation that the cycle of nature and life carries on.
Now to some glass:
My first clear glass was Effetre 004, scummy and not very good, but it might as well be me, what did I know. I read about Lauscha and got some of that, much much better – and more expesive.
So I was recommended the Vetrofond clear, and bought a load with my first order at Tuffnell in UK.
That was acting really, really strange, sooty, brownish and stripey – besides very shocky. Still, I had more confident in the glass than my own skills, so spend a while testing, adsjusting flame, and among other things learned how to avoid impurities in the flame by always keeping the gas hose ABOVE the top of the gass bottle, to ensure impurities to run back down in the bottle rather than collect in a coil of the hose.
Got the whole lot cleaned out, hose, burner, nozzles – didn’t help.
Then I read about pickling the glass, and being a goldsmith I always have a sulphuric acid bath for pickling soldered metals, so tried that.
Okay, it was dawning on me that metalwork and glasswork has a lot in common – so tried to use some soldering flux normally used with silver, painted it on the glass rod and warmed up, paint again so the entire surface is covered in white flux.
That worked! It also worked on other colours, that I at the time couldn’t control so they came out in some form of grey…and rubino oro stayed lovely clear ruby coloured as well.
Only drawback of this is that the surface of the melted glass acts differently, so if you want to use another colour for decoration that has to be fluxed too, otherwise you cant get it to stick on your bed.
I dug out some leftovers of Effetre clear and Lauscha, and made some beads in one go for comparison:
These are not fluxed, but they are all pickled.
From left you have Lauscha, Vetrofond and Effetre.
The big bead in front is Vetrofond made by my friend who has a minor oxy-torch setup. On that it wasn’t very clear either, very bubbly (builds big bubbles), and has some faint streaks, hard to catch with my camera.
The big question is, if Vetrofond clear is simply not suitable for a single fuel torch??? I of course contacted Tuffnell, they hadn’t heard of any problems with this particular batch but offered a replacement – what I would like to know is if Vetrofond clear per definition is something I should avoid.
Anybody out there who can tell?