Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Perfect Clear

As a creator of clear-encased glass floral beads, I am vulnerable to the whims of clear glass cane. A nice, unscratched clear cane allows me to produce tiny glass blossoms frozen in time on complex backgrounds, like the one here that is up on Etsy. (Though I did catch a few little bubbles in the final wrap - I musn't have been holding my tongue right! ;) )

Sadly, I am all out of good clear right now! I went through about 6 pounds of clear last year and picked out all my best rods. What remains all have serious scratches and surface flaws - and in the flame, that means scum. Nothing ruins a nice encased floral like a big smear of scummy white froth over a lovely blossom. It only seems to happen on the final wrap, an hour or two into the process, and right over your favorite flower! :)

So all this means that I'm ordering a huge amount of clear right now, and hoping that it turns out to be nice clean smooth rods.

I've tried Vetrofond in the past and found it to be no better than regular Effetre. My other options were Rocio's Diamond clear, but it's about 5 times the price of regular Effetre. Since I use almost a full rod of clear in my florals, that would force my floral prices way up. The most expensive option is TAG Clarity Clear, which is about 9 times the price of regular Effetre. I'm sure it's amazing, but at the rate I use clear it just doesn't make sense. I've chosen Effetre Ultra-Clear, which is about 30% more expensive than regular Effetre clear. It has gotten a good reputation as clean rod, but it can boil if mistreated in the flame, just like regular Effetre clear. I've had good luck with Effetre clear in the past, though, working far back in a cool, slightly oxidizing flame. So I'm not worried about the formulation, just crossing my fingers that I get a nice, clean, unscratchy batch of cane! :) I'm unable to make my beloved florals until it arrives, so wish me luck... *twitch, twitch*


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