[enamel bits] vermiculite vs. blanket

 In a choice between using the fabric blanket or the
vermiculite, which would you choose and why? 


I’d go with the vermiculite heated in a crockpot. The blanket
may slow the cooling more than air cooling, but not that much.
Esentially, the blanket is just room temperature. Your beads are
still going to cool too fast. The heated vermiculite will slow
the cooling more than the blanket.

You should also do some “flame annealing”. I do this by
removing the bead from the flame for about 5 seconds, then return
it to the flame for 4 seconds, out for 3, in for 2, and so on.
This allows the inside of the bead to cool a bit while keep in
the outside hotter. It can help reduce stress fractures that
occur when the outside of a bead cools faster than the inside.
Then I put them in the vermiculite in the crockpot. I set the
crockpot on the highest setting and make sure it’s up to maximum
temp before I start.

Of course, nothing beats a kiln for annealing, but I’ve had good
success with the system described above, and it’s certainly less
expensive than an annealing kiln!

Pam East <@Pam_East>

Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have
to ram it down thier throats. - Howard Broman