Monday, April 5, 2010

Post #75 Reviews: Phillips Visor & CIM Clear Stringers

Wow, post 75! I'm definitely still not an "expert blogger" but I've definitely learned a thing or two since post #1. In honour of this auspicious occasion I will post a very silly self-portrait that I took first thing this morning without brushing my hair, apparently. :)

Which is also a good segueway into some reviews of Hearts of Glass 2010 purchases. Once again I chose Artistry in Glass as our supplier this year, with equally satisfying results. We have a very annoying process of completely inventorying our supplies and then ordering based on gaps, with a few treats thrown in. This year our treat was a fancy visor. A mundane order that turned out to be a treat was CIM Clear Stringers.

Andrea (my lovely and talented wife) wears glasses and wanted more comfortable layerable eye protection than the oversized economy safety glasses. I wanted something that would do a better job of filtering UV and IR radiation from boro glass as I was noticing the eye strain with my basic shade-3 flip-ups. Also I wanted something that would make me look like a mad scientist. The Phillips Boro Visor is working well for us in all these key areas.

I wear it over my regular economy safety didys. It's very comfortable and easy to move up and down. There's enough airflow that fogging up isn't too much of a problem. And I find that my vision of the work is very crisp and clear even though it's a little darker than I'm used to. Still, I find I'm wearing it flipped down 75-80% of the time, even when I'm working soft glass. It's essentially the same visor body used for magnifying or whatever but with a didy and a shade 3 lens in the visor area. I wonder whether it would be possible to squeeze a magnifying lens in there too? My eyes are feeling much better lately which is great.

I only ordered the CIM clear stringers because the regular effetre stringers were out of stock. At first I was annoyed because they're a fair bit pricier. But what a pleasant surprise when I first melted it! It was significantly stiffer than effetre (I worried for a second that I'd grabbed a boro stringer!) and about a zillion times less scummy that effetre stringers. The size is perfect for the final steps of my stamen florals, which is a very scum-sensitive stage, so I'm very pleased to have a smooth & cooperative clear to work with on small-scale applications. Part of the clarity probably comes from the way it's handled in shipping: neatly paper-wrapped in little packets of a dozen or so to prevent scratching. Not sure if that's AiG or CiM but either way I'm a happy lampworker!

Now I'm off to the torch to make some new work for our final Winnipeg show coming up the weekend of May 7th, just four weeks away!

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