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Northstar Colored Tubing
Glass Alchemy Tailor Made Tubing
Chinese Colored Tubing
Color Certification Class
Dicro Kings Tubing
Chinese Colored Tubing
Chinese Colored Tubing
Chinese Colored Tubing

Reviews — Chinese Colored Tubing
November 2008

Chinese Colored Tubing


The amber tube is consistant in color. It works fairly smooth and doesn't need to be extra hot when manipulated. I personally have not found any desireable use for this tube, I have utilized it in many ways.

The Chinese pink and purple tube is mostly consistant. They some times crack in combination with colors that are heavily saturated with metal or sparkle. The tubing color will not change and is pretty consistant. Over all the pink and purple need a little more heat than clear it doesn't like to to move if it's not extra hot.

The green Chinese tubeing seems to be the most reactive, and least stable of all. I have never had success with this green. I have seen people make items with success, but none of my pieces survive the kiln, and most of them never make it into the kiln. I never truly give up on any material so I try to work with it from time to time, but have had the same results.

The Chinese colbalt blue tubing is absolutely the middle of the spectrum of reactivity. The consistancy is very even, the color stretches good but also likes to be quit hot. Cobalt in general takes longer to get hot and cools faster than most color.

The Chinese ruby red tubing is newly reformulated and is much better than the first formula. Once you begin to shape your piece the tube goes clear and it will need to be either flame struck or kiln struck for the ruby to come back. Flame striking works but is more difficult to accomplish an even strike. Kiln striking seems to be the best option and is fairly simple.

First shape your work, then garage finished pieces at 980 degrees. If your kiln is at a higher temperatures for extended periods there is a greater chance of "livering," or turning a generally undesirable rusty red color.

To strike, heat the kiln to 1200 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. This may vary depending on the number of pieces in the kiln, the kiln its self and the thickness of your pieces. Check a few times to see the development of the color. When you are happy anneal your pieces as usual. I suggest striking these on their own cycle. If you strike them with other pieces in the kiln some of the other colors may not react well to the elevated temperature.

The Chinese black is the second touchiest type of Chinese tube. The black was horrible in 2007, it was pulled off the market and reformulated it has been available again in early 2008. Clean the black tubing before you use it. If your tubes are scratched to badly occasionally it may cause some blemishes. Occasional problems also occur on the surface with small metallic bits that for one reason or another didn't quite get mixed in to the batch. The black does not react well to a lot of propane or a "reducing atmosphere" it can haze and get a gray fog on the surface. A lot of heat is required when blowing, stretching, or otherwise manipulating the Chinese black. If treated well the black will come out nice and glossy.

I hope this helps... Styles, Torch Life!

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