busy day. Started with a trip to the hardware store for a jigsaw (the time has come to invest). after idoly wandering the isles - how GOOD is that place? who cares if it's a multi conglomerate chain?!? they bloody have cool stuff! - i came across one of these mexican chimey thingos. its smaller though. and 'relatively' cheap. I brought it home and introduced it to some coal i had prepared earlier:
I stood the chimney in some sand on a terracotts pot base. in the effort to not scorch the bricks overly (the house IS a rental!). filled the thing with coal, got it lit, and then forced air into it (through the metal tube). You aren't seeign the bellows I use as they are modern, horrid camping bellows, that would ruin the ambience. bellows are coming.
The plan was to (hopefully) have beaded at the top.
This proved to not work in the least. the glas rod got jammed into the fire directly:
this only partialy worked, as the moment you removed the rod it from the heat, it cooled. strangly enough it heated the entire rod, and I was using gloves very quickly. the fire wasn't hot enough.
abandoning this idea i sat back then turned the whole thing on its side. i jammed the air hose down the side hole filled it up wit charcoal (which was behaving FABULOUSLY - if i do say so myself) and got my faithful (and pretty) assistant to pump the bellows (heh heh heh).
Below is a picture looking dow in to the filled up fire-thingo
The above pic is a little air being applied. the red streaks are embers and sparks that can out reasonably vigorously. when the charcoal was 'fully lit' it burnt much nicer, without sparking.
The next four fotos show the fire at different stages, with a bead being made. cool.
As you see gloves became an imparitive. This was a HOT fire.
I was ambitious enough to attempt to put stringer on also (below). I discovered how hot the glass was on the mandril, as the yellow glass (although hot) pushed the glass on the bead around a lot.
Finally I had a go with some black glass. i repeated the steps above and got a not bad bead. As i was just about to finish it however, a spark landed on my leg and i swatted it out (it hurt!). this caused me to joggle the bead and nock the side of the fire-thingo ( do i get to call it a forge yet ? if not WHAT!?). With a sly grin my brain jumped into overdrive and i rolled it against the exterior thus giving myself a nice flat bead. I made the mental leap of A number of bead examples I have fotos of, and now 'have a theory' about the flat shape we so often see in burial digs.
hurrah for applied knowedge.
I am pleased.