Thursday, 15 September 2011

When Ejector seats fail & other technological problems

I am sure in the early days of Channel 5 there was a program called 'When Ejector Seats Fail' which always struck me as a very odd thing to fill an hour with! Well here I've had various technological breakdowns and let downs this week, although not quite as dramatic!
Firstly blogger; I can't post comments on any ones blogs, not even my own! Apologies, I'm not being stand-offish, it just keeps telling me I need to log in, logs me in, then tells me to log in. After five times around the mulberry bush I give up and forget what I was going to post! On my last post 'Traveller' asked about Murano visits, sorry for the delay, I really did try to reply! Do check this out for the ultimate 'where to visit list'
I hope you enjoy the trip!
More desperate than blogger is my oxycon dying. For non-glassy people an Oxycon is an oxygen concentrator which takes air, and filters out the oxygen which I use to run my torch to melt the glass. I have two of these, as boro needs alot of power to melt and to keep the colours bright as lack of oxygen in the flame 'steals' oxygen from the glass making the colours change. Like many lampworkers I use refurbished ex-medical ones which are still working, but aren't quite good enough anymore for hospital use. They are cheaper and safer than having bottles of oxygen.
The oldest one of these has been playing up, and has been a bit wheezy for a while, it's over three years old, and lately has struggled to keep pressure. Last night the 'red light of death' came on while I was working, and it conked out. I let it cool down and tried again, but after a few minutes it stopped again.
I moved it today to a more open position, so it can get more air to cool it, but once again after five minutes it stopped dead. I half expected to hit the credit card and order a new one, but first I opened it up, hoping it was just the cooling fan that was broken (apparently one of the more common faults. I found one loose pipe, tightened it up, and turned it on. The fan was fine, and that seemed the last hope was gone for it - then a few minutes later I felt a breeze from inside the unit. Investigating I found the real fault was a short piece of tubing that had aged and split! A quick rummage in the shed for a new bit, and it was back working again, even better than it has been for months! Maybe it's not quite an ejector seat, but it's a real relief to have it working again!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

New Work Space

Excuse the lack of blog update for the past few weeks, but
I've been moving! No, not house, but workshop.

I hadn't realised how little space I've been working in,
until I wanted to find somewhere for the new kiln, and find somewhere to spread
out the parts for some Steampunk sculptures. Until now the only spare space has
been the top of the kiln, not really an ideal workspace! It was actually on
suggestion from "the other 'alf" who felt that as I was working in
there 24/7 it only made sense I took over the spare bedroom/study which was
being used more for storage than any work! She also rather fancied this smaller
room as her office too. A quick advert in the local paper and the sofa bed was
gone, and then the grand move around could begin.

It's still work in progress, I've spread out a bit but I
still realise there isn't quite as much room as I thought, but I have managed
to put in a massive 6x3ft table to work on, in addition to the lampworking
bench! My old room is finally getting a makeover and decorate, and is already
filling up with books that until now have been spread around the house.

I've been able to drag out some old bits of treasured
electronic 'tat' too, including my Denko 1946/7 shortwave valve radio. It's an
amazing radio, I snapped it up years ago for £5.10 when I was still at college;
it really should have cost a lot more, however I got it in an auction and the
guy I was bidding against seemed to have got distracted and didn't realise he'd
been outbid by 10p! I remember listening to radio Australia
in the mornings between 8 and 9.30am
before the signal faded as the sun interference increased and the signal faded

One thing I haven't set up yet is a photographic corner, so
still no new listings yet, but I've been working like mad so it shouldn't be
too long before I can start refilling my Etsy shop. I have been playing with
the new kiln, and have managed to try out a few kiln casts.

Its quite exciting
and nerve racking to do, I feel like I've got lots to learn, but have managed
to make a few nice casts already. I will hopefully add a new dimension and
styles of glass to add to what I already make, there will be much more about
this to come!