I finally got the torch I bought at the Gathering up and running! I had to install a Y connector so both torches can be hooked up to the propane tank at the same time. This involved drilling a hole in the wall between the garage and my studio to run the new hose through. I also had to cut one end of the hose to fit it on the torch fitting and I had to install a hose clamp. Then I had to leak test the lines. I’m not a very handy person and this project, although not outside my capabilities (obviously) was a bit nerve wracking. I was very grateful to my mother for helping me through it.
I made some beads on the new torch with some Satake glass I had purchased. They aren’t great beads, but they are what I made. I had a little problem getting round beads as you can see from the picture. Also, I made a small simple murrine first and used that on all the beads I made. I really like this glass. The colors are just wonderful!
I did a little bit of experimenting with these beads and found out a couple of important things. One, black bleeds a bit on transparent purple. Two, if the torch isn’t set right (and I still don’t know exactly when it is) black will become metallic. Three, if there isn’t enough air being pumped through the translucent white I used will become sooty. And four, silver will not burn off in the flame when applied to the outside of a bead.
All and all, I think it was a productive day even if I was scared of the new torch and glass at first. I don’t know why I was scared – maybe because it was something new. But, I persevered and tried it out and got some ‘interesting’ beads as one observer said.
Now, I have to go back and review my class notes from the Jeff Barber class that I took so I can make some more interesting beads. And then, once I order some more glass, clear especially, I will try making a flower murrine as I learned in the Akihiro Okama class. I also want to try some other murrine that are in a Japanese bead making book I have. And then, I will do another Wednesday Night Supper program for church. So, I have a lot of work to do.