Glass Blowers/Bead Makers on the playa?

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Glass Blowers/Bead Makers on the playa?

Postby Smenkare » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:09 pm

Two of my dear friends have had some serious milestone events happen in their lives this last year(new baby, marriage, etc) and as such were unable to come to Burning Man this year :(

I wanted to make a set of rings for them, forged on the playa comemorating our friendship and the journey we've taken together through some tough times.

It would mean all the much more to us if the focal beads used to make these rings were born on the playa.

If any of you have interest in helping me, Please send me a message,
Much love and peace,
Smen <3
That which does not kill you makes you stranger.
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Re: Glass Blowers/Bead Makers on the playa?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:57 pm

I have some experience with glass, and I don't think it's a suitable substitute for a stone as something set into a ring. I don't see rings being made with "beads" either, in fact I'm a little confused by that. Earrings, necklaces, but rings? I suspect that the fingers are too busy and vulnerable to keep the glass from breaking. Eric might have more to say, he's a jeweler.
As for getting glass made on the playa...I know people do do glass on playa. I even have a piece that I got in 03 or 04. It came from some sort of furnace and I didn't get to see it being made; I assume that they had done it the day before and annealed it over night. And even at the glass bead level, I'd go with annealing, unless you're dealing with boro-silicate... You don't want a piece that gets left out in the sun and shatters because getting it hot causes the hidden tension in an annealed piece to shatter. But annealing requires a kiln, with a controller, so that's electricity, always dicey on playa. And it requires supervision, i.e. not running off after something pretty, or go bar hopping or whatever. Not that there aren't glass makers who are that dedicated, but I wouldn't rely on finding one. And even before that, they have a torch, which means propane--no problem--and O2--problem. I'm not sure if it's even legal to transport that without a license. And the torches (unless they are using MAPP gas, which is kind of like using a thirty-year old subaru with three cylanders instead of a v8) are expensive pieces of equipment. As are the kilns--most especially their electronic controllers.
I'm not saying it's impossible. I wouldn't count on it. Maybe there's a plan b that would work. We can bat around ideas.
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Re: Glass Blowers/Bead Makers on the playa?

Postby Smenkare » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:10 am

Thanks for the advice! I like to use beads in wire wrap rings (which don't require any soldering or bezel setting! Yay!) and I'm bringing my tools and some beads along for those REALLY hot hours where my northern blood won't let me move around or sleep, and as nice as it would be to have the focals forged on the playa, it's not the end of the world if they aren't. :)
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Re: Glass Blowers/Bead Makers on the playa?

Postby atomicray » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:12 pm

I know this is coming too late...sorry...but a simple standing firebrick oven can easily anneal the glass...an average fire brick oven reaches 900*+...place the finished glass on supports and not touching as the heat builds slowly...saturate at this thresh hold temp for 30mins and then start removing the upper bricks...count to hundred between bricks being removed (figuring a 16-18 brick oven)...or slowly remove bricks until the temp is close to 600* or less...if a cool night then leave it in place, if during a hot day then remove rack and place in direct sunlight...allow to cool.

I anneal while I am baking so I can test the temp using dough but everybody has their own tricks :D

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