Oh boy!!!! Isn’t this absolutely beautiful? I am SO excited about my new torch!!! This is a Midrange Plus meaning it’s a Midrange torch on the bottom with a Mega minor torch piggybacked on the top (made by Nortel Manufacturing). If this is greek to you let me explain.

Nortel makes the workhorse torch that almost all teaching glass studios are equipped with, the Minor. It’s a great starter torch and many glass workers stick with it forever. I however, being a slightly hyper and impatient person found that the Minor was too small and slow for me. Small cool flames are great for intricate detail work but that’s not really my style. And this is more than a hobby for me, when you’re faced with 10 shows in a 3 month summer season the concept of going as fast and quick as possible sounds really good. So when I set up my own studio I opted for a Midrange torch. Big flame. Fast. It’s been great so far. Yet something was not quite perfect…
I burn a lot of glass. I know I go too hot and too fast yet I can’t help it. There’s a couple of techniques I’ve been working on that just have never worked for me. I suspected I knew what was wrong but I ignored my thoughts. And since I work in a room by myself it’s not like there’s anyone looking over my shoulder.
Until last weekend.
Upon walking into Beadfx for my fantastic class with Leah Fairbanks I was shown to my torch, a Mega minor. So small!!! Such a tiny flame!!! ARGH! And yet…. stuff worked. I didn’t burn anything. My stringer (tiny thin rods of glass) didn’t immediately ball up and smudge. I made a hollow bead.
Sometimes you have to slow down and be patient. Damn, that’s not what I wanted to hear yet it’s what I’ve suspected for a while. Going slow gives you more control. In the end going slow can be faster because you only have to make something once instead of 3 times.
I need to learn patience.

And so I’ve changed torches. I still have my beloved Midrange, only now there’s a Mega Minor torch on top (slightly bigger than the Minor).

Yes, it looks like a raygun. Maybe it will zap some patience into me.
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