Sunday, May 24, 2015

Double Helix Iris

There is a lot of variability in the high-silver reduction glasses - and - it takes time to really get the feel for these glasses. But here's a quick look at Double Helix's Iris.
Iris is a reduction glass, and appears to be capable of a whole rainbow of colours and a bright, shiny finish.

Here we have 2 spaces (with a clear core) and a small urn shape, with dots and a lip and tip in Iris. 

I didn't do anything special except reduce them. They are dark, but reduced very easily. You can see that the colours range from green to gold to purple to magenta.

So what are you going to get from them? Try it and find out, because everybody's mileage varies.

Friday, May 22, 2015

CiM 534 Agean

What a pretty colour! What is not to love about this? Agean dances straight down the light between blue and green.

Here you see, on the top, CiM Agean, and for contrast, the lone rod below is Effetre 026 Light Teal.

Agean is a dark aqua with a hint of green - not enough to push it over into the teal family, but enough to distinguish it from the aquas. It is the colour of the ocean on the sunny day after the storm, when the water is bright and sparkling, but still a little roiled up from the storm.

Here we have, on the top a shaded focal, and on the bottom, from the left, two self-coloured spacers and one Agean encased over white.
 look - it matches my nails!

And the focal again. 

This is a pretty, pretty colour. Can't go wrong with this!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CiM 814 Frozen

Let it go, let it go ... actually - I loved the movie and the endless references to it don't bother me at all.

This is CiM's Frozen, and it is a translucent white, denser than Cirrus.

Here, you can see it next to a rod of Cirrus (on the left)

Presented by itself, as a white spacer, it is just a little off white. It is a well-behaved glass, and not shocky, so if you have been attempting to use Effetre's Anice White and the shockiness of it is making you insane, try this. I haven't tested the reactive properties of it, (compared to Anice) - but I can tell you - the latest batch of Anice I have had access to is pretty much unworkable. I know people who are actually throwing it out.


 Here we have a tube bead, black core, left side is encased with Cirrus, and right side is encased with Frozen. The Frozen is substantially denser, and would need to go down in a much thinner layer to get the same effect.

 So, why work with a translucent white at all, you might be saying? Well, the translucent whites are stiffer than the fully opaque whites, which means that if you are doing something sculptural and it needs to hold it's shape instead of softening into a flat, gooey puddle, choose one of the translucent whites - Anice, Frozen, ... and Laucha has a stiff white that strikes in the kiln.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Effetre 238 Navy Blue

When I think of "Navy Blue" - this is not the colour I think of.

I think of a dark, somber blue that is based on the colours of the British navy uniform. Wiki agrees with me, and has more to say on the subject, but, as with most of the Italian glass names, I suspect something got lost in translation.

What it is, however, is the colour of the ocean on a stormy day, and that is good enough for me.

Effetre Navy Blue is a streaky blue grey.

It is quite nice.

You know, the more I look at these pictures, the more I wonder if the grey isn't some form of layer/coating/reduction, much like develops on turquoise. Hmmm. I'll have to go soak them in some CLR and see what happens. 
 Here's a bead with ivory dots.
 Nice little reaction - so this is a copper-based blue.
More to explore here, I think.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Effetre 856 Cave Green

Well - isn't this an interesting colour? Cave Green.

The rod is green with a blue core, and you get streaky blue and green beads.

Except - it isn't that simple. This glass strikes from blue grey to green.

Which I have to admit, I have not seen before.

 Ok - here's a rod end. Note the green rod, but the blue end.

 And a selection of beads.

Note the variety of colours.

This bead, the arrows show where I let the bead cool and then hit it with the flame. The edges of those heated spots are  green.

These bead - with ivory dots, also shows the colour variation. Looking at these dots - it almost looks like the ivory reacts more strongly with the glass when it is green, and less so when it stays blue-grey.

Very, very interesting. This glass is not new - but definitely deserves a second or third look! 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

CiM 429 Tortoise

“The master was an old Turtle--we used to call him Tortoise--'

Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?' Alice asked.

We called him Tortoise because he taught us,' said the Mock Turtle angrily; 'really you are very dull!'

You ought to be ashamed of yourself for asking such a simple question,' added the Gryphon; and then they both sat silent and looked at poor Alice, who felt ready to sink into the earth.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

CiM's new Tortoise is one of the more interesting colours I've gotten to play with in a while. It reminds me strongly of Effetre's Copper Green in it's reactions, but without the tendency to the dull leaden coating.

On the right you can see the end of the cooled, melted rod, showing a soft green,  pale blue, and purple shading to brown.

So right off the bat - you know you are going to have some fun with this one!

 In fact - the first thing I start thinking is how much this colour reminds me of Effetre 219 Copper Green.

So, harkening back to "what do we do with copper green" - why, I tried some dots of EDP, of course! And yep - they do look a lot like EDP on Copper Green. Above, on mandrel, still hot, before kilning, and below, annealed. That's just a base of tortoise, with dots of EDP (Effectre 254 - Evil Devitrifying Purple) on it, melted in. Nothing else.
 And here, we have a poor little self-coloured spacer that got cold and cracked. Note the rainbow of colours inside!
 This is tortoise with clear dots, not melted in. Note the tortoise is lighter, less streaky, and less interesting under clear.
 Tortoise with ivory dots.
 Two self-coloured spacers. Quite a difference, eh?
 Same two, from the other side.
 And finally, with dark turquoise dots.

 As you can see from CiM's page on tortoise, this glass has lots of potential to, er, "taught us" new stuff.

I like the organic colour of it (despite not being a big fan of opaque green), and look forward to playing with this one. It's quite extraordinary to watch when hot - it goes white after being heated to red hot, then cools to blue / grey, and then eventually goes green. It will strike back to green in the kiln, even if you put it in the kiln still white.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

CiM 532 Birthstone

CiM Birthstone - a transparent aqua that is almost, but not quite, identical to Effetre 034 Light Transparent Aqua.

That's the Effetre on the top, and the Birthstone on the bottom.

 Basically - they look very similar, but the Birthstone is just slightly smokier in hue. Read on to see what I mean.

 These are 3 self coloured beads. The middle one has a sooty streak - which is not what I mean by smokier. But I did get that sooty smudge a couple of times which could mean that I did not clean the glass properly (or, truth be told, at all ... ) or that I did not have the oxygen / gas ratio perfectly in the zone (probably also true, as I turned it up several times while working - the oxygen, that  is. ) These are made on natural gas/ tanked oxy.
 And a nice little olive barrel bead - for a longer working time than just a spacer. I tried reducing this to see if made a difference - apparently not.
 This is over a core of white, and the left side is the Birthstone, and the right is the Effetre. Here is what I mean by "smokier" - the colour is ever-so-slightly grayer in hue.
 This - however - is another trail of soot. Only on the Birthstone side. And in this case, I honestly don't remember if I turned up the oxy again before proceeding. Sorry.
 Over white.
 Over Effetre Light Turquoise.
 Over ivory. Of course it reacts - but did you know that aqua over ivory gives you green? Yes it does!
And a family shot. You can see the subtle difference between the ends of the long barrel bead in the back.

Some people report a problem with transparent aquas, in general, "frying" when they work them, and so I should think their question is: "Does this glass fry?"

And I can't say that I saw that, but I don't generally have a problem with that anyway - so I think that must be a personal working style.

Are the streaks of soot a characteristic of this glass? I can't say for sure - I'd have to try more of it to find out.

Would I choose to use it over Eff Lt Aqua? I might, although for most people, I think that the subtle colour difference probably won't be enough to matter to them.