lampworking

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Hey all, I am fairly new to beading, right now I make polymer clay
beads, and also do some bead weaving, and wire wrapping. I Really want
to learn lampworking, and have found a few starter kits online. I
noticed they use some type of blanket to cool the beads, but I have
seen many lampworkers use kilns. Do you have to use them? Also if so,
what kind? A friend has a kiln he doesn't use any more, he made
ceramics though. Is that kind of kiln ok? If not what do I look for? I
am sorry to be asking all these questions! I am housebound due to a
disability, and don't have any friends with my interests in jewelry
design. Is there some website I can go to that would explain all
aspects of lampworking? Thanks for reading this LOOOONG post!


Re: lampworking
Websites for info:

www.isgb.org
http://www.lampworketc.com
http://www.wetcanvas.com (go to glass art)

You don't HAVE to use a kiln when starting out....make small (less than  
1/2") beads and you can use a ceramic fiber blanket that will generally  
keep your beads intact. However, they are NOT annealed, as they would be  
in a kiln. But when you're just starting out, learning about the basics,  
I don't believe a kiln is absolutely essential.

You can use a ceramic kiln, but you will need a controller and pyrometer  
(a kiln thermometer) that will give you readings that make sense for hot  
glass. Soft glass is annealed in the 950 F range. A lot of ceramic kilns  
just give you a "cone temp". I know there's somewhere out there on the  
Web that can give you correlations but don't know them off the top of my  
head.

The best kilns (IMO) are made from kiln brick, although ceramic  
blanket-lined kilns are available. They heat faster but also cool  
faster. Spend your beginner time learning to make beads and worry about  
the kiln later (again my own opinion <G>). It's NOT an easy hobby...to  
quote my favorite T-shirt, you will get cut, you will get burned. But  
glass (and fire) is so seductive, it's all worth it! I started with  
polyclay beads, too, but glass won out pretty quickly. I made my first  
glass bead in December 1996, and haven't gone back.

Come on over to the forums and start reading and asking questions!

KarenS
Desert Dreamer Designs
(new auctions) http://snipurl.com/d4xp

Re: lampworking
Thanks SO much! Im going to the links you gave me right now!
Karen Sherwood wrote:
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