Flame July 2018
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In this issue … Start at the beginning…page 4
Torchlight On… by Martin Tuffnell…..pages 6-9
Raked big bead tutorial…page 10
Keeping safe…page 11
Choices, choices…page 15-16
Beginner beads…pages 19-21
Upcoming events……Page 25
Letâ€™s start at the very
beginning Patience is a virtue, and it took me ten years to get anywhere close to being patient. I wanted it melted, on the mandrel in the kiln and out NOW! PPP (practice, practice, practice) and donâ€™t give up. Start with your favourite colour and make your first few beads from it. My choice was periwinkle.
Opaque colours melt faster, transparents take a little longer. Avoid tricky colours or expensive ones at the start, you can move onto them when a bit more confident and surer of the results. Itâ€™s a steep learning curve - what glass does what, which are friends and which are mortal enemies; and all this before you try anything too tricky! Add another colour - a few dots, a line round the middle. Leave them raised, melt them in, see what works.
Starting out but need help? When you have a question but have no-one to ask or are having trouble with a technique and don’t know where you are going wrong - then you need a Buddy. GBUKBuddies was set up to team new lampworkers with more experienced ones so all those questions can be answered. Check it out:
Think you will never get there? We’ve all seen the marvellous beads made, and wish we could do that! Ideas come so fast your head spins and you can’t get the glass melted quickly enough! Write them down, draw pictures of what’s popped up in your head. Keep notes, what worked, what didn’t; create your own library of notes. Take your time, don’t be in a rush to achieve perfection too quickly. PPP (practice, practice, practice) is a phrase you will see often.
Tutorials to try when new to beadmaking
Hothead Lampworking Basics, Gather, Stringer, Twisty Cane, Bead
Torchlight On… Martin Tuffnell Leaving school in 1984 I already knew that I wanted to be a glassblower having watched my father, who was chief scientific glassblower at the University of Hull. My father also made glass animals and 1970’s kitsch such as “Lucky Ducks “ and hollow swans, filled with coloured water, for tourist hot spots like Bridlington , Whitby and Scarborough from the family garage as an extra income. Peering through the garage door seeing this huge flame and boro tube blowing, it had me hooked from a young age; I attended local markets and craft fairs all over East Yorkshire with him and spent most Tuesday evenings at WI meetings watching him demo and sell the glass animals . Starting as his “apprentice” (Yorkshire term for dogsbody) I learnt borosilicate glassblowing and soft glass sculpture, mainly glass animals and flowers, and learnt using off-cuts of stained glass as coloured rod was too expensive to let the apprentice use. You would learn to punty flat glass scrap off-cuts and re-melt them to draw into rods to make into animals; also at this point I was running my father’s glass/craft shop. I would sit in the shop all day making simple glass animals to sell and repairing broken animals as well making new necks for crystal swans and gluing them back on , all highly trained stuff you know.
Although we sold lots of beads to the lace makers throughout the UK, we bought these mainly from India and sold them for pennies until we were asked by a lacemaker to make both glass lace bobbins and a special bead for lace makers called a square cut. This is a small coloured glass square bead about 5mm square with a criss /cross pattern on each side, said to be from the farriers who originally made them, where they would square them off with a farriers rasp. Not knowing how lampwork beads were made in other parts of the world (before the web if you can believe that) we researched bead making and found that North American Indians made “pony” beads on an open fire by wrapping the glass around copper wire. When it cooled they would stretch the wire and the bead would fall off. I never found out if this was possible on an open fire but they would trade beads for a pony hence “pony” beads .
We knew that copper was too expensive to use but our scientific background led us to tungsten wire and beewax as a release agent, so our first years making lampwork beads were all made on tungsten. The advantage was that there no bead release to clean and the bead was removed while still hot, so you could make 100’s of beads a day without the dread of removing them all later from the mandrels and cleaning . It wasn’t until meeting lampworkers, such as Di East, that we realised there was another way and gradually drifted over to stainless steel mandrels and bead release as we know it now . Being a guy my first beads were simply , square plain coloured beads for lacemekers , if we were given the green light to experiment it normally involved a dot or 32 in a selected pattern , I have never thought of myself being able to do organic random designs unless I have a tutorial to follow!
I always watch and admire the teachers /front runners in lampworking; Di East , JC Herrell, Claudia Trimbur and Astrid Riedel can spend hundreds of hours discovering new techniques despite so much failure and then teach for a couple of years before moving on to the next “new” technique. Such skill and dedication is way above me as two or three failures tends to push me to give up. I need to force myself to sit at the bench and practice more, despite failures, and look on every bead as a learning curve. Looking back at me sitting in a shop making square beads on a small BOC welding torch, I cant believe how much the marketplace has grown with specific torches , tools , kilns and glass all available at the click of a mouse, no more melting stained glass off-cuts thank goodness!
Being so privileged to have watched hundreds of top artists teach in our studios, and studios around the world, I still believe that practice makes perfect and there is no “silly” questions to ask; every question is a good one and as the guy who sold some of these top artists their first Hot Head torch I should know . With the growth of the internet, Facebook, Youtube and tutorials the learning curve is so much easier now than when I started; a few minutes surfing can give you hundreds of tutorials to watch. With modern studios offering classes in the UK from worldwide teachers there is no excuse for learning. Its all practice , practice , practice.
GBUKmarket www.gbukmarket.org As a member you are entitled to a shop front where you may list your lampworked goods. You will need to register for a shop and wait for an administrator to check your membership is up to date before your shop is activated.
Do make use of it, share it, advertise it, drive customers to look at the only selling site devoted to lampwork from lots of sellers (members).
Promote your shop and sell your beads – it’s there for you as long as you are a member. Have a read through the terms and conditions to see what you can sell. We want to promote lampwork in its many forms and uses and don’t want it to be used for other types of sales so we will be keeping an eye to make sure that’s all that’s being sold. There may still be bugs and issues so please let us know if you come across any.
Raked big bead You need: A rod of black glass Stringers in white, pink and green 5mm mandrel dipped in bead release A pushy-proddy-pokey tool, a dental pick or other tool with a sharp point and a marver
Make a donut-shaped bead in black glass. Marver gently to flatten the surface.
Add dots all the way round, using the coloured stringers, in a wavy line. Heat the tip of your stringer and set the dot on the place you want it. Lift off and flame cut the stringer. Briefly heat the dot to round it before adding the next one. When you have all your dots placed slowly heat to melt them in. When there are barely bumps left, rake the bead.
To rake, take the pick and gently insert the tip at the outside centre edge of a dot. Only insert it to the depth of the very tip â€“ just barely touch the surface. Keep the bead in the flame and draw the hook over the wavy line of dots. When back at the beginning, continue to rake through the centre to make a continuous line. Heat gently to melt smooth.
Keeping safe Setting up Important bits of kitâ€Ś
Flashback arrestor This gas safety device is used to stop the flame or reverse flow of gas back up into the equipment or supply line. It protects the user and equipment from damage or explosions.
Regulator Controls the flow of gas and lowers the pressure from the tank to the torch.
Only needed for propane and oxygen tanks, not oxycons.
Hot head connector Only for use with a hot head torch, it enables you to run a hot head torch on bulk propane cylinders. This connector must be fitted with a propane regulator , hosing and flashback arrestor.
Optional extras Quick release propane coupling
Quick,l safe way to disconnect propane hosing from the cylinder without the hassle of unscrewing the regulator. They can be fitted in the hosing section and are ideal if the propane cylinder is stored outside but the hosing runs through an open window while working. The coupling pushes together until you hear a click and to disconnect pull back on the top ring and the to pieces will pull apart. oxygen
propane Gas splitters Allows two or more torches to run from a single cylinder. Fitted in line between the regulator and torch, it splits the hose to run off to a second torch.
Staying safe Checking for leaks Propane gas is highly flammable, so it is important to know how to detect a propane leak. Listen for a hissing noise near the fittings; hissing sounds indicate a leak. Turn off the gas and apply a solution of 15 parts water and one part liquid dishwashing detergent to the fittings with a small paintbrush and watch for bubbles.; Bubbles indicate a leak. Tighten the connection until the leak has stopped and/or contact a qualified gas technician. Breathing Propane burns to form water and carbon dioxide. With complete combustion, the burner produces a blue flame. CO is the product of incomplete combustion. A yellow flame, the collection of soot and excessive water vapour are three physical signs of incomplete combustion. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, and toxic gas; breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill if you're exposed to high levels. Consider using a carbon monoxide detector to ensure you are working at safe levels. Burns
Pick up the hot end of a rod or tool, a glass rod thermal shocks with glass flying on to all parts of the anatomy, or worse, a hand in the flame, they all happen. What should be done?
Cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it â€“ a clean plastic bag could also be used for burns on your hand
Severe burns (burns, of any size, that cause white or charred skin or blister) should be treated by a medical professional, but less severe ones can be treated at home using a variety of remedies. Stop the burning process as soon as possible. ... Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes, as soon as possible after the injury. ...
use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat any pain If the face or eyes are burnt, sit up as much as possible, rather than lying down - this helps to reduce swelling. Aloe Vera, petroleum jelly, lavender oil or other proprietary overthe-counter medicines can also be used.
Oxygen Oxygen is not flammable. It doesnâ€™t burn, but it is an oxidizer, which means it supports the process of combustion. If you already have fuel (propane) and fire (flame), adding oxygen will feed the flames; the reaction can be dangerous and violent. Oxygen behaves differently to air, compressed air, nitrogen and other inert gases. A leaking valve or hose in a poorly ventilated room or confined space can quickly increase the oxygen concentration to a dangerous level. Handle oxygen cylinders carefully. It is sensible to use a purpose-built trolley to move them; keep cylinders chained or clamped to prevent them from falling over; store oxygen cylinders when not in use in a well-ventilated storage area or compound, away from combustible materials treat empty cylinders with the same caution as you would a full one. Oxygen use in the workplace Turning on and lighting your torch follows a routine - POOP
Propane on, Oxygen on, Oxygen off, Propane off Be comfortable Sit or stand to work? Personal choice, obviously, but you need to think about how long you will be working for. Repetitive actions can cause a stiff neck and sore shoulders if your posture is poor. Ensure you stretch from time to time. Your torch needs to be at a comfortable height and angle for you. Try using elbow or wrist rests, use a creation station or make your own rests. Creative solutions like bags or rice or rolled up foam can be less costly alternatives.
Think about where the other tools will be - kiln, glass, presses, frit. Arrange things so they are easy to reach if you need to.
Hot Head Torch Created as a single fuel torch, the Hot Head has the advantage of being a low entry level torch costing 25% of standard dual fuel torches. It can be run on both propane and Mapp gas although the disadvantage is probably the noise, as it’s a very noisy torch and the inability to set the flame for control and use with reducing /striking glass. Usable with all soft glasses it probably isn’t suitable for use with borosilicate glass; there would not be enough heat. Burning and scumming soft glass colours is a problem with this torch, although with practice and perseverance good results can be achieved. Most lampwork artists will have started on a Hot Head and most will still have one in the studio.
Nortel Minor Burner Designed in the 50’s in Canada by Nortel Manufacturing, this classic design is a dual fuel torch running on either propane/ natural gas and oxygen. The advantages are many compared to the Hot Head with the Minor being a “whisper” silent torch so perfect for teaching studios and long sessions on the torch. Flame control is easily balanced between the gas and oxygen allowing use of all “silver saturated “ glasses and even small borosilicate. The disadvantage is the extra expense and added need for oxygen (either bottled oxygen cylinders or an oxy-con( to run efficiently. The Minor Burner will run perfectly on one standard 5ltr oxy-con. The dual fuel torches will run hotter than a Hot Head and the flame quality will be cleaner giving much better results with all colours. Being a classic simply design nothing ever goes wrong with Minors and they run and run for decades.
Bethlehem Alpha Burner Designed and manufactured by Bethlehem Apparatus in the USA, the Alpha is a dual fuel torch which works with both propane/ natural gas and oxygen . Running on a single 5ltr oxycon or oxygen cylinder the flame is tighter than the Nortel Minor and offers a thinner , tighter cutting type flame . This torch has all the attributes of the Minor and also works with borosilicate glass in small diameters allowing marbles and small scale sculptures to be made. With a thinner flame artists have enjoyed working with the Alpha especially when producing detailed stringer work requiring pin point detail. Bethlehem offers a lifetime guarantee with their torches so it has a great service back up.
Nortel Mid-Range Plus Bench Burner This torch from Nortel is like have two torches in one . With the larger Mid-Range torch being used for larger borosilicate blowing and capable of working 40/50mm diameter tubes and larger, the Minor torch sits as a piggy back torch and gives the option of a smaller pin point flame . Both torches can be used at the same time and this means that there is no need for two torches on the bench and so large sculptures and borosilicate work is easily achievable. You need at least 2 x 5ltr or a 10ltr oxy-con to run the torches or oxygen cylinders but this will cover 90% of all your studio needs in one torch. Most professional teaching studios will have Mid-range Plus torches allowing for soft glass and borosilicate classes to be taught. There are many more burners on the market, purpose and price tending to dictate preferences The STACKS bench burner fills the gap between Bethlehem's Alpha burner and Bravo burner.
The latest creation from Nortel is based on the iconic Minor torch but has the ability to use just the centre fire of the Minor to give the smallest needle flame you could ever get. The base is designed to unclip the torch turning it into a hand torch or for use on your lathe.
The Nortel Mega Minor is the next step up from the Minor burner allowing the artist to progress onto boro glass easily as well as continue to work soft glasses too.
Bethlehem Sharp Flame Hand Torch was designed specifically to mimic the popular centre fire flame of the discontinued PM2D bench burner. It produces an adjustable surface mix gas and oxygen flame.
Annual Competition 2019 Theme: Seasons
Each year Glass Beadmakers UK (GBUK) holds a lampwork competition. The closing date is
30th April 2019.
The categories are: * Newcomers …….. Any form of entry is valid. Newcomers may enter this category OR enter any/all of the main categories. * Bead set ………… multiple beads, on mandrel * Focal bead …… on mandrel, single bead * Sculptural bead …on mandrel * Other …………….. incorporates anything else not included above e.g. cold working, dioramas, off-mandrel * Jewellery…………. also open to non-members with the criteria that the jewellery must contain lampwork beads. Tell your customers all about it!
The competition is judged at Flame Off, the annual extravaganza for all things lampwork. Entries , which must remain secret, are be sent to the competition organiser, and are held as part of the GBUK Collection for one year, after which the pieces are returned to the creator or sold in aid of GBUK, whichever the creator chooses.
Full details can be found on the GBUK website www.gbuk.org
GBUKinsurance The insurance covers GBUKmembers who are UK residents. Unfortunately, we cannot cover overseas GBUKmembers. GBUK will administer the insurance cover under a group policy. The insurance will cover all flamework – teaching, demoing and working. It provides public and product liability for up to £50,000 turnover and export of your products to UK, EU and worldwide. Please note that coverage cannot be provided for members whose exports to the USA and/or Canada exceed 40% of their total annual turnover. There are two insurance options: If you partially export to the US/Canada you need the US insurance (note above condition)
If you only export to the UK/EU/rest of the world *excluding US/Canada* you need the UK insurance.
Your payment comprises your insurance premium and an administration fee. The total cost of GBUKinsurance is £50 per annum for both insurance options. We have a pro-rata arrangement with the insurance company to fit in with our members. All premiums are inclusive of Insurance Premium Tax, chargeable at 12%. GBUK will provide an up to date list of all participating members to the insurance company. A summary and full policy are available from email@example.com or downloadable here: Insurance summary The GBUK insurance policy runs from 1st June to 31st May.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Joy Porteous) if you wish to purchase GBUKinsurance or have any questions.
Ventilation The principle is straightforward - exhaust the toxic gases and replace with clean air. In practice it requires thought - where is the best place to catch those fumes and where does the replacement air come from? The very best ventilation is when the gases are removed as quickly as possible, without being inhaled and sufficient fresh air is available. Ventilation set ups are varied and most forums have several discussions on which is best.
The concept of proper ventilation © Dale Meisenheimer 2004-2015
Window A proportion of ‘make-up’ air can come in through a window
Breathing zone (fresh air)
Option to exhaust straight out of the roof
Minimum 300-600 CFM vent hood Contaminated air zone
Fresh make-up air Make-up air volume must, at least, match volume of contaminated air the exhaust is pulling from the room. Fresh air inlet should be at least 10 feet away from the exhaust vent.
brought in from outside up through the bench
The ‘Barley’ Box Created and designed by Michael Barley, this ventilation set up contains both the exhaust and air inlets in the same area to make it a more efficient system. Heather Kelly constructs her own Barley Box from scratch. Perspex containing screen Colette Ladley’s studio
Vent in the roof
Two air inlets
Joy Porteous now
First soft glass
Scarlet Leonard First boro glass
These are some of my really early beads. I seem to have a good reaction out of Reichenbach silver brown on the left, but failed to get a reaction ever since. I was trying for a series of red and yellow stripe and dots. One of the beads just was not holding onto the dots. I think the bead was too cold. (now I know to warm the surface to get the added glass to stick)
Vivianne Ancliff Vivianne Ancliff
Colette Ladley - then Colette Ladley - now
Colette Ladley - then
Colette Ladley - now
Colette Ladley - then
Colette Ladley - now
www.dragonfireglass.co.uk Adding additional elements to your beads with: Mica powder and flakes
Brass foil and mesh Copper foil, leaf and mesh
Glass sculpting tools
GBUKwebsite Did you know: You have your own page in the Gallery? Haven’t got one? Email email@example.com with a short bio and up to 5 photos. Send a link to your own website so visitors to GBUK.org can find you. Photos of winning beads from past winners of our annual competitions can be found here too. There is a members only area with tutorials and techniques - please feel free to send us any tips, tutorials or techniques to share with our members. Do you teach? Let us know so you can be included on our ‘Classes’ page so prospective students can find you. Are you on Facebook? Come and ‘like’ our page. We have lots of non-members that show great interest in the content we post - your beads will be seen by them.
www.gbuk.org GBUKmembership Keep an eye out for reminder emails when your membership is due to expire - or sign up for automatic renewals through Paypal.
Turning dots into hearts by Jeannie Cox (video)
Upcoming events: If you have an event you would like included, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details. July 15th July 28th & 29th August 11th & 12th August 19th September 2nd September 6th-8th September 8th September 8th - 9th
Christmas Comes Early, Colbury Hall, 133 Spicers Hill, Totton, Southampton SO40 7EL Kempton Park Gem 'n' Bead Fair Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, London TW16 5AQ Harrogate Gem 'n' Bead Fair, Pavillions of Harrogate HG2 8NZ Scottish Mr Bead Bead Show, Best Western Queens Hotel, Leonard Street, Perth, PH2 8HB Cornish MrBead Bead Show, The John Betjeman Centre Southern Way, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 7BX Creative Stitches & Hobbycraft Show, Event City, Trafford centre, Manchester M41 7TB New Forest Bead Fair, Brockenhurst Village Hall, Brockenhurst, SO42 7RY Rock n' Gem Show Chepstow Racecourse, St. Lawrence Road, Chepstow NP16 6BE
September 21st -22nd
Crafting Live Coventry Stoneleigh Park CV8 2LG
Highgate London MrBead Bead Show Holly Lodge Community Centre 30 Makepeace Avenue, London N6 6HL Essex MrBead Bead Show Great Bromley Village Hall, Parsons Hill, Great Bromley Colchester CO7 7JA Leeds Bead Fair Holiday Inn, Garforth, Leeds, LS25 1LH
September 23th September 23rd September 27th- 30th
Creative Stitches & Hobbycraft Show Westpoint Exeter, EX5 1DJ
Beads Up North Haydock Racecourse WA12 0HQ Welsh bead Fair The Village Hotel, 29 Pendwyallt Road, Coryton. Cardiff, CF14 7EF
October 7th October 11th – 14th October 14th October 14th October 18th - 20th October 20th October 21st October 25th – 28th
Knitting & Stitching Show Alexandra Palace, London, N22 7AY Midland Bead Fair The Fentham Hall, Marsh Lane, Hampton-in-Arden, Near Solihull B92 0AH Norwich MrBead Bead Show The George Hotel, Arlington Lane, Newmarket Road, Norwich, NR2 2DA Crafts4crafters, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset Big Bead Show Sandown park, KT10 9AJ Beadworks Fair Harrogate Showground, HG2 8PW Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts SECC, Glasgow G3 8YW
October 27th & 28th
Newton Abbot Gem 'n' Bead Fair Newton Abbot Racecourse Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 3AF
October 27th - 28th
The Big Textile Show, Leicester Racecourse, The Kube, Oadby, Leicester LE2 4AL
Do you know of a fair/bead gathering/get-together? Let our members know by emailing email@example.com with details.
GBUK Membership Form
First name Surname Address
Postcode Trading name (if any) Telephone number Mobile number Email address Website Membership fees and methods of payment.
Membership is valid for one calendar year from the month of joining. Overseas members: please use Paypal. PayPal
www.paypal.co.uk to email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheque or postal order
payable to GBUK
Email email@example.com for details
How did you hear about GBUK? (Please tick any that are applicable) Word of mouth
I’m interested in:
At a show
Learning new skills
At a class
On a forum
Helping on the committee
Other (please specify)
Other (please specify)
Next issue: July 2018 Theme: Murrini, shards, stringers & twisties
Do you have a tutorial or article to share with members? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
www.gbuk.org Cover photo by Colette Ladley