Getting hooked

Over the last week or so, I've been frantically trying out different colours and types of glass both from bought Moretti rods and Bullseye ones together with all the various bits and bobs of stained glass left over from other projects, including Bullseye fusible glass and Spectrum fusible too. I've also looked at what in the house I could use to create different shapes in the glass before buying any presses or mashers. I've discovered that a good ridged barrel shape can be made from rolling a bead along a fish slice and a stainless steel paint scraper can be used with a marver to flatten a bead from front to back. At first I was disappointed that some of the paler colours such as pink and white streaky opaque or pale blue and white opaque came out smokey coloured as well as the oranges, greens and yellows but after trying to work further out from the flame of the Hothead, the colours stayed true. It does seem to take longer to make the bead though. I had contemplated getting an oxygen supply for the torch to improve the combustion but decided to try working further from the flame first of all. I'm glad I did as I've spent far too much money on glass and tools this month.
I won't bore you with pictures of the many bead examples I've tried, but here are two that seemed to come out a similar size so I quickly decided to make them into a pair of earings to prove to hubby that I could produce two beads that looked the same, (if you don't put them too closely together or measure them with a micrometer)

Yellow/orangey beads with black dots melted in
I made these beads today, trying to get two the same size and pattern. As I didn't have any head pins, just the wires and some silver very thin wire, I improvised and these are the result. When I get in some suitable silver wire etc. I will probably redo these as the twists of the wire are not very symetrical.


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kat's picture

Rods COE

Do both the Moretti and Bullseye rods have comparible coefficients of expansion? I guess what I'm asking is if there is a 'standard' for glass rods which all the suppliers stick to?

Pat from Canvey's picture

Rods COE

Simple answer, no. All types of glasses have different COE's. Moretti rods are I think 104, Bullseye rods, stringer and fusing compatible glasses are 90 while Spectrum fusible is 96. That's why compatibility tested glass is more expensive per sheet than other stained glass, regardless of colour, pattern or texture. You can get away with using up "ordinary i.e. non-compatibility tested glass" in beads provided that you don't mix glasses. You can sometimes find that part of a normal makers range of glass proves compatible such as the Spectrum Waterglasses with Spectrum fusible or some of the opaques provided that you use minute quantities of one type with another that has not been tested as compatible by the manufacturers. Bottle glass is in the high end 80's but even then some bottle glass does not go well with other similar glass. Pyrex, for comparison, and if I remember correctly is about 45 and doesn't melt at the temperatures other glasses do. Moretti rods on the other hand melt very quickly even using a small Hothead torch that I have now with just propane gas for fuel. High end torches use a mixture of propane and oxygen with nozzles I believe that can be adjusted to change the percentage mix of the two gasses.