Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thoughts on Kandinsky Green Exotic 09

When the silver saturated colours first came out - I tried the Kandinsky Green - and frankly - it baffled the heck out of me.

Recently, I got a chance to sit down with someone who has some experience with some of the high-metal content glasses - and picked their brains on this one.

My issue with the glass has been that it boils when you heat it. Now, I know that you need to go for a cooler flame and/or less oxygenated flame in these cases - it never occurred to me that it needed to be this low.

We introduced this glass into the flame, and it started to bubble and boil. So we turned down the oxygen, and it still boiled. And we turned it down. And it boiled. And we turned it down some more. And it still boiled.

By the time we found a flame that the glass would just melt happily in, we were just a heart-beat away from the yellow flame spouting up in the middle of the flame - we'd turned down the oxygen that much! (This was a tanked oxygen/boosted natural gas on a Mega Minor set up.) The flame was wide and bushy, but at least the glass wasn't boiling!

Further experimenting with cooling, heating, and adjusting the flame, and we discovered we could take it from a variety of greens to metallics - including this bead in the second photo, which shows a very shiny band of the Kad. Green on ivory. So shiny - it's actually reflecting the camera. ;-)

The first photo is my attempts to reproduce this effect - not successfully - but at least I got some interesting colours and not craters, which is what I was getting before. (You can see the bicone has fumed from the silver in the Kad. Grn glass. )

So, the key with this one is to use way less oxygen than you would think. Once we had it on the bead and had worked it awhile - we could turn the oxygen back up to more normal levels.

At least I have some better ideas now of what to try with this glass.

Mor 257 - Sedona

Moretti 257 - Wait a minute! WTF? There's no 257!!?!!

Well - apparently there is. Mor 257, Sedona - a kissing cousin to Mor 256 - Orchid - otherwise know as EDP (Evil Devitrifying Purple) or Evil Purple.

The unworked rods do resemble EDP, not quite as vibrant in colour.

EDP is known for being very reactive and devitrifying (losing it's glossy, glassy look and taking on a matt appearance) when it is lightly heated. It would seem that 257 shares those characteristics.

In the background, a pressed paddle - showing a range of colours.

In front of that, two beads made with Sedona. The bead on the left was "struck" (waved in the flame for a gentle reheating after it cools to not glowing) - the bead on the right received no additional heat. You can see it has stayed a purple colour, while the struck bead has developed some overtones of orange and chestnut.

And, finally - in front, a Sedona bead with dots of Light Turquoise, melted in. The Turquoise has reacted with the Sedona and separated to form 3 distinct rings - a very thin ring of devitrification where the Turquoise and Sedona touch, and a dark aqua transparent in the centre of opaque turquoise. No aqua transparent was used - this is a reaction. I think we can conclude that this is apparently a reactive glass. ;-)

Here are the same three beads, seen from the end - there has been some devitrification at the mandrel - but not as much as one usually sees in the EDP.

Here's another look at the paddle - it was annealled. The rainbow of colours is very nice - very Sedona Sunsety. It's probably at least partially due to the rapid cooling of mashing it flat.

And just for fun, a marble made with Sedona, Crocus, and clear.

Interesting colour - I'm definitely looking forward to experimenting with this some more!

Mor 456 - Rubino Oro

Seems like every batch of Rubino Oro (Literally - Ruby Gold) has it's own personality. The last batch was clear - this is a dark, translucent cranberry colour in the unheated rod.

One thing that is interesting about this batch is that it kiln strikes.

For those you unfamilar with the classic Moretti 456, it is a rich cranberry pink that is uber expensive, a very very dark colour - so usually needs to be "diluted" by working it in a thin layer over clear or white or other colors and makes people crazy with it's promise of a gorgeous pink. It is often used with great effect in cased cane. It also will reduce and develop silvery or smokey or black sooty marks if the oxygen is not turned up enough in your torch.

This pair went into the kiln dramatically different colours - the bead on the left was struck to dark pink, and the bead on the right was a very light pink.

The flame striking was very nice, it struck fast enough that you had positive feedback that you were doing something, but not so fast that you couldn't control it.

So, imagine my surprise when they both came out of the kiln so dark that they are almost black!

Here you see the rods, in the back, next is a bead in white, striped with rubino, encased, and dotted with trans. aqua. The process of encasing this and dotting it, with repeated heating, will naturally strike the Rubino.

These beads are from my second test batch - I wanted to confirm the results of the first.

This is a very thin trail of Rubino over white, melted down, and put into the kiln with NO PINK showing at all.

I like this batch. If you are struggling with striking Rubino - you will like this - just melt it in and throw it in the kiln.

But remember to use it thin! It should be excellent for those cased cane spiral roses!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CIM 660 Crocus

Hocus Pocus - let's focus on Crocus. CIM 660 Crocus is the colour Heffalump should have been. It's a wonderful, translucent purple. Is it a red purple, or a blue purple. Weeeell - that depends on your lighting.

Again. A lovely colour that is a b----- to photograph.

First shot - on my desk, with a flash. Probably the most accurate colour. A distinctly reddish purple. Very lovely.

Second pic - in my hand, colour balance set to correct for any colour cast, under an Ott-lite(tm). More bluish to the purple.

Third pic - shot on my notebook, colour balance set to correct for colour cast, shot under a 60W GE Reveal (Natural Light) Bulb.

Fourth and fifth pics - shot in "studio" set up, white balance set, Using high colour temp fluorescents. (My usual set up.)

You can see the rods behind - the annealled beads are the same colour as the rods.

The final picture shows the translucency nicely.

Truly a yummy, spectacular colour - a very "pretty" colour - that doesn't have to be too girly - but it can be if you want.

A nice strong colour too - didn't wash out the way Heffalump did.

But, pay attention when photographing it. You might have to follow the light around the house to get good pictures.

It's not a dramatic colour change, like Alexandrite. More of a "what the heck?" kind of colour change.

I like it. Let's say it's prettier in person. Not photogenic, so to speak.

CIM 859 Marshmallow (Marahmallow)

CIM 859 Marshmallow - the factory label said "Marahmallow." You know what, I'm going to leap to the conclusion that most people are going to read this as Marshmallow and call it that. Marahmallow isn't totally without precedent, it's just really obscure. (At this point, I'm not sure if it's a typo, or what - but the CIM home site isn't listing it yet - so hard to say.)

Anyhoo - it's a really nice white - a little translucent, and seems to me to be a very nice white - white. It's also a little stiffer than the opaque whites - i.e. the Moretti/Effetre White.

Here is the Marshmallow with a wrap of Cranberry-1 (CIM 926-1 Cranberry Unique). Notice the pinkish cast to the white -that is a reflection of the Cranberry in the Marshmallow. (OK, take that phrase out of context to confuse your friends.)

And finally, one of my painted beads, wrapped around a core of Marshmallow. I'm liking this white a lot!

CIM 661 Evil Queen

Pictured here, from the left,
The focus here is on the Evil Queen (and she wouldn't have it any other way.)

However - do you see a difference between the Grape Ape and the Evil Queen? (Sounds like the plot of a movie!). Not much of one - that's for sure, and you're thinking it might be all in your head.

The Plum looks pretty similar in this setting too, but the Plum is, as we've already learned, translucent. Here's some more of the Plum as small spacers.

And, as a small, sculptural piece.

And, finally, here is a shot of all of them again (Plus CIM 859 Marshmallow - more on that in a bit). The rods are, from the top, Grape Ape, Evil Queen, Cranberry 1. The beads are in the same order, from the top.

Evil Queen? Looks pretty much the same as Grape Ape. Some kinda profound statement there.

Moretti 276 Dark Ivory - New batch - Curdled Ivory

New batch of Dark Ivory. Moretti 276 - Dark Ivory is one of my favourite colours, and has been from the day I first sat down at a torch. I love it's reactiveness - it's variability, and it's character.

So I am just delighted to see this batch. The rods are oddly textured, bumpy - like many of the Vetro rods - but I am assured that this is actually Moretti.

Sometimes with the Dark Ivory, you will see wonderful colour striations in the glass, but when it comes out of the kiln, it is much less pronounced. This batch seems to retain it's multi-coloured character.

In fact - it resembled what your tea looks like when you absently-mindedly add cream to tea that you have already laced with lemon - curdled, tea-coloured milk. I know, that sounds nasty, but who amongst us hasn't suddenly thought, it the middle of some other train of thought - "That would make a great bead!"

This will be great for goddess and amphorae - great ancient look. I'm gonna stock up on this! I can hardly wait to use it with silver and turquoise and all the other reactive "tricks."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Moretti 644 - Marine Wave - New Batch

Here it is again - a second wave of Marine Wave - but this batch seems greener to me - I'll have to dig out the old sample to check.

Here is a spacer on the left, and in fact - it looks more aqua in the picture - so I really will have to compare. It does appear to be as bubbly as the first.

The second bead is a layer of that highly textured dichro, encased with Marine Wave and grooved. (Hold the sharp end of a stump shaper in place and "lathe" the molten glass into ridges. It appears to be a spiral but is actually 4 separate lines.)

This picture has been altered to show what appears to me to be more accurate colour on my monitor. Yep - that and a $1.50 will get you a cuppa coffee, I realize. Monitors, lightening conditions, etc., vary.

I would say what this most reminds me of is the "natural" colour of glass - you know that faintly bottle green that hasn't had anything added to it to make it truly clear. Which is a pretty cool colour. If you were making an homage to sea glass - this would be a good colour choice.

I still really like it - bubbles and all!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Black Pearl

Black Pearl - arrr Meti - this is the Black Pearl you've been wanting.

Looks pretty much like Nyx to me. Reduces to a metallic teal - and reduces easily.

Didn't kiln-strike for me the way Nyx does, however. An un-reduced bead (the black one with the blue marker) went on black and stayed black.

The saucer bead was reduced, encased and shaped - unfortunately, I "un-reduced" it in the encasing process and it has some colour, but is mostly just very, very dark.

However, the big spiral disk reduced up a treat and has some wonderfully rich blues, more blues than teals. Not sure if this is because the flame slides over the sides instead of hitting it straight on. Anyway - it bears further investigation and experimentation.