Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moretti 065 Metallic Black

Oh my - I may be in love again. You might call me fickle, after all, I was head-over-heels for the truly parallel mashers only days ago - but this is a glass. It's different!

Metallic Black - looks like a nice fat rod of black. But, just look at what it does! Like the dark silver plum, that is so near and dear to my heart, this glass forms a metallic layer. Not sure what the actual mechanism is - it is much like devitrifying - let the bead cool and then flash in the flame and voila! You don't have to think about doing it really, as normal working processes with have it occur naturally. Unless you wind off a bead and let it cool and never touch it with the flame again, it will probably just happen.

Notice the first bead has a purpley lustre - I made that, flashed it, and went onto the second bead, so it didn't get a lot of re-working. Note, in the second pic, the shiny spot where the effect was incomplete. The bead on the right was made and never reintroduced into the flame, and has stayed a nice, shiny black.

This bead, however, I played with, heating and cooling and reheating and reducing. Not sure which of those steps did it, multiple heating and cooling cycles, or the reduction, but it has taken on a distinctly golden hue. Stunning!

Then - to experiment further this bead is a base of Laucha Thuringen Herb, with threads of Metallic Black, super heated.

And finally, the last bead is a "gravity wave" - a base of ivory, 3 horizontal stripes of Met. Black., heated to very molten and stretching out the black, and then mashed flat. Notice the colours in it. And there is some webbing and break up, on the second side. I can hardly wait to get my hands on a significant quantity of this stuff and really start playing with it. And doing scupltural beads. Oh my!

CIM 653 Larkspur; CIM 957 Desert Pink

Larkspur (left bead) is another colour-shift - Like Count von Count - only by the time I used this one, I was fairly sure that it was. It is a strong blue/pink colour shift. It is a little lighter and a slightly bluer hue than Count. As you can see from these pics, the light makes a huge difference.

The bead on the right is Desert Pink - a delightful pale pink rose colour. There were some significant airbubbles in the rod, that resulted in it blowing bead sized gathers off and into my other rods on the table, but it wasn't extremely shocky - just enough to make it frustrating to get a large gather.

The final photo has been photoshopped to give a somewhat more accurate rendering of the colour of the Larkspur. You can see that it is dramatically different from the first photo, in cool light.

CIM 655 Eggplant; CIM 652 Count von Count; CIM 915 Pink Champage

There's gonna be hair pulled out over these!

First up, on the left, a dark opaque purple called Eggplant. It looks slightly translucent in the rod, but works up to be functionally opaque, although it would probably be worth it to try it as a thin layer over clear. The new purples, Plum, Grape Ape and Eggplant form a harmonious colour range, really being varying shades of the same purple (see previous posts.) Eggplant is the darkest, and I don't really see a lot of translucency in the Grape Ape, which is in the middle of the range.
Count von Count - in the middle of all these pics, and Pink Champagne are lovely, lovely colours - in some lights. Hoo boy - those of you who sell online are going to go crazy trying to shoot these colour change glasses.

The top pic was shot in my professional lighting setup - colour balanced lights. As you can see, Count is blue and Champagne is light brown.

However, toddle over to the el cheapo incandescent bulb at the computer, and with colour correction turned on in the camera (white balance) - They appear purple and dark rose. (2nd pic.)

Setting the camera to auto colour correct for indoor lighting doesn't do much better.

The final photo has been adjusted in photoshop, and shows more of what the colours actually look like in indoor lighting - the Count is a pretty yummy pale transparent lilac, and the Pink Champagne is a dark, dusky pink diluted cranberry juice colour.

Incidentally - the Pink Champagne kiln-struck - it went into the kiln much lighter than that.

The Count is like the Mor. dark Lavendar transparent - and Pink Champagne puts me in mind of CIM Dusk and Sepia, only darker.

Some glass is hard to shoot than others. ;-)

CIM 651 Grape Ape; CIM 703-3 Butter Pecan Unique

Some great grapes coming from CIM - some very nice purples.

First up, we have an opaque purple, very reminiscent of the Mor. Dark Violet - even down to the slight grey discolouration it develops. And the slight streakiness. (Left bead)

On the right, we have an oddlot (Unique) of Butter Pecan. Much richer in colour than the original butter pecan, I would categorize this as a dusty rose. It goes grey when hot, like the coral family of glasses. Nice colour, a little streaky - could be a good tanned skin colour for sculptural work. Would probably look awesome w Turquoise. Might have to try that.

CIM 658: Plum

Plum - Plum Good.

I bet you'll have fun plumbing the depths of this one! This is a totally yummy glass - slightly translucent in the rod - and if you use it thick - it will be more or less opaque - two beads on the left - but if you layer it thin over clear - oh boy - a lovely opaly plum colour. Oh my. This is gorgeous. Gonna get me pounds of this!

Monday, August 11, 2008

True Parallel Love

Oh my!!! Is love at first sight truly possible? Can you fall truly, madly, deeply in love at the first glimpse?

You better believe it! Especially if the item in question is a tool. Not just any tool, but a beautiful tool. A wonderfully well-crafted, well thought out tool. A beautifully balanced tool. An exquisite expression of humanity's destiny as a tool-making ape. Oh my.

This stunning baby, that looks like it perhaps should be on the space shuttle, next to the Canadarm - is the TP Mashers - and TP stands for truly parallel.

And in the best tradition of the best tools, it is immediately obvious that mash parallelly is exactly what it is designed to do.

Note the scissor action. Note how the head - the mashy part - stays completely parallel. Have I mentioned the sheer parallelity of these?

But wait - there's more. Not only do these mash your bead with complete and utter even action - they have switchable graphite pads - so you can change shapes.

Here are 4 different shapes, and the tiny, tiny Allen key that you need to undo the screw that holds them in place. Which I now live in fear of losing because it's so small.

Changing the graphite shaping "pucks" is simple - undo the screws, turn the masher to point the now loosened puck downward, and have it slide into your hand. (Graphite ain't particularly strong - I wouldn't suggest dropping it.) Good news - due to all the lubricating graphite, I think we can assume that the screw will never get stuck!

In addition, the heads (where the pucks are contained) can be released and unscrewed. I haven't actually found a use for this yet, but I like lots of options, so it's cool.

There is a set screw that you can use to prevent mashing too thin, or to get consistent thicknesses. I personally never use this, but some people like them.

The pucks come in flat, lentil, and large and small cushion, or maybe bar. Note, in these pics, and in real life, the cushion masher appears to have a disfiguring ridge down the centre. This is completely an optical illusion, but you have to use your fingers to reassure yourself there is no ridge there.

The flat is, well, flat. The lentil is a nice curve, w/o being so deep that you need 3 rods to fill it.

The cushion press is possibly the most versatile - as most of the shape control starts with whatever shape you start with. You can see from this handful of mandrels - all done with the large cushion press - that every thing from large rectangular tabs (teal over silver - also see last post), bracelet tabs, slender tubes, and even more drop like shapes all lead to interesting shapes when mashed.

This is the lentil shape. I usually flatten off that little scoopy bit at the end - I really don't like the "wings" on lentils - some people adore 'em though.

But of course, one of the first things I did was swap out one of the flat pucks for a lentil puck, and start making flat-back lentils - or turtle-back shapes. Half the glass for one thing. And I'm not sure, but I think that they may resist flipping over when worn as a pendant (the heavier side - the lentil side - should, in theory, stay at the back - so this would make the flat side the focal side - but I'll be stringing these and testing that theory.)

My only problem with this masher is that I will need more than one, as you just can't swap pucks in the middle of a bead, and I will probably want one set up for flat mashing at all time, and ideally, 3 more or 4 more (lentil, cushion, turtle-back, other cushion), but I might have to build up to that.

If you do spend a lot of time mashing a single bead from very hot, you might find that, when you go to pick it back up - the heat has transmitted to the handles, and they are warmish. Not really warm, but warmer than expected. Or maybe I just put a hot tool down them and didn't notice.

Anyway - I think these are fabulous - I hope they made a lot of them! Woohoo! I also hope that more puck options will become available too. Maybe some to impress designs, like spirals?

Postscript: As I have had requests from multiple sources as to where to get these - I got mine from Jean Robichaud at Nortel Mfg in Toronto - I know she has more coming - so if you are in Canada - that's a good option. Email her at jean [!at]

They are being made and distributed by Wale in the US, so if you are in the States, they are a good choice.

Outside of continental North America, email both and see who's shipping is cheaper. ;-)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lauscha: Tr. Copper Green, Forest Green, Olive over Silver

So, after mentioning that I thought these transparent Lauscha greens would look good over silver foil - I thought I would give it a shot.

On the left, the Tr. Copper Green, or, as I think of it, Teal, over silver with a hint of emerald green (Moretti) to add interest (streaked with Sasha's silver and intense black.) Love it!

Next up - the Forest Green (086) and Olive or Moss Green-Grey (087) over silver. Forest green on the RIGHT, Olive on the left. (Thur. Herb is the base colour, under the foil, with some teal striped on (under the foil) for good measure. As I observed before - they are pretty similar.

All of them look wonderful over the silver! I thought they might!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Lauscha: Thüringian Herb, Tr. Copper Green, Forest Green, Olive

On the greener side of the Lauscha palette, we have, from the bottom,

  • Thüringian Herb (608)
  • Tr. Copper Green (081)
  • Forest Green (086)
  • Olive or Moss Green-Grey (087)
(see last post for notes re: product numbers.)

And here, from the left, same colours.
Thur. Herb, Tr. Copper Green and the same over white, Forest and Olive.

I've used the Thur. Herb quite a bit - I like it a lot for simulating a pale, carved stone look, like a pale jade. It's translucent in the rod, although this bead doesn't show it, and very stiff - nice for sculptural work.

I just think of this as teal - the transparent copper green name is confusing, as it is so different from the Moretti Copper Green. It is a dark colour, and shines when diluted, i.e. over white or clear.

These two, Forest Green on the left, Olive on the right, I really had to think about whether they were different colours. In real life, under some lighting conditions, they appear identical. Upon close exam, the Olive is a little grayer.

Not a huge difference. I think that over white, you might see the difference more clearly. The rods look very similar - only the diameter is radically different. I suggest you label them or keep them very separate if you want to use them separately - otherwise, you'll just mix the two together on your bench.

Here they are again.

I like the Thur. Herb, and the teal is a great colour. These two are nice, but probably won't get a lot of use from me - except - hmm - I wonder how they would look over silver foil?

Oh, and one more image, the rods and the beads together.

Lauscha: Yellow, Orange, Red

Lauscha is well known for it's beautiful transparent reds - ok, I blather about it a lot - not sure if that qualifies as "well-known."

What about the other firey colours?

Here we have (from the bottom of the stack)
  • Transparent Yellow (145)* (see note on numbers at the bottom of the post.)
  • Tran. Orange (150)
  • Opaque Yellow (341)
  • Light Red Transparent (220L)
And again, as spacers, from left to right.

The Transparent Yellow has developed "clouds" in it's core - not staying completely transparent - exactly like the Moretti Electric Yellow. I find this trait somewhat endearing, but if you don't like it, work slower and cooler.

Likewise, the Transparent Orange has a more solid core.

Both are lovely - and the yellow is a particularly pure and bright yellow.

The Opaque yellow is just sunshine in glass form - how happy a colour is that? I know, how much yellow can you use? Yellow is an accent - it makes candy colours sing. No one loves yellow, but it makes everything else look great.

This is the transparent red. The light transparent red. Looks like an opaque. A very rich colour - you could use it over clear to retain transparency. The slightly transparent nature of it means that it is more luminous than a true opaque red.

The red is a striking colour - but striking it is effortless. Make your bead - you will note if you get the glass very hot, it will lose all it's colour. Take it out of the flame and let it cool to not moving - then bring back into the flame, rotating, and you will see the colour develop. Repeat for darker colours, spot heating specific areas if you want to adjust the colour there. You can reheat to very hot and drive out the colour and start again - pretty much as many times as you like. There is probably a limit, but I've never hit it.

Likewise, the Tr. Yellow and Tr. Orange need the same kind of treatment (striking) to ensure their colour develops fully.

Loooove these colours!
Please note: I get my Lauscha from - so the numbers are hers. Other vendors of Lauscha are and Unlike Moretti, Vetro and CIM colours - there does not seem to be a consistent product code convention (or even a colour name convention - so getting a matching product from another vendor is somewhat hit and miss.)

BTW, I have purchased from Glass Daddy some years ago, and the service and quality was excellent then - but, of course, now that I can buy locally, I do. I have not purchased from Fire Lady - but have no reason not to - other than geography.

Lauscha: Transparent Purple

This is the colour that originally brought me to Lauscha. I love the transparent red - I adore this purple. Unfortunately, I can't tell you if this is the light or dark variant. You can see through the rods, so I have had darker, but you pretty much have to layer it over white or clear to show it's colour (see pic.)

But what a bee-yoo-ti-ful colour. Now THAT'S purple!

A bright idea

I got a request for light bulbs - I was really pleased the way they turned out. This is Mor. Dark Silver Plum for the base, and Cim Cirrus for the bulb. I think they are adorable, and the cloudiness of the Cirrus is perfect for the light bulb, although DH claims that only burned out bulbs look cloudy like that.

Lauscha - Two Layer Red

Surprisingly, this red transparent over a white core yeilds streaks of oranges and reds - like a glorious sunset. I would have thought to see the white at least pop up occasionally - but apparently not, so far. Mostly the red layers over the white in varying degrees. Of course, the more you heat, drip and work it, the more blended it gets.

These leads me to think that someone needs to make a transparent light amethyst over an opaque periwinkle core. Now that would be a seller!

I like the cored glass - it makes an interesting bead with very little effort - great for spacers. This one is definitely for the bright and happy colour palatte.