Friday, August 21, 2009
Is there an Ekho in here? Double Helix Ekho
New from Double Helix - Ekho. All those beads on the left (except the colour marker beads - which are my way of making sure that I know which is which when I take them out of the kiln) - ALL of them are Ekho. Pretty wild, eh?
Factory working notes say:
Ekho reduces and strikes! Retains a pearlescent luster under encasement and strikes during the beadmaking process. For best results; work hot, cool, reduce and encase
The unworked rod is a sort of opaque caramel - which usually indicates it wants a lot of heat.
From the left:
Bead appears virtually black. I superheated the glass (heated the snot out of it - heat to clear and drippy) - wound the bead and let it cool and kilned it. No striking or reducing - just to see what happens. Booooring.
2nd from left. Superheated and struck - but obviously not enough. In strong light, shows some greens and reds - but is still boring.
(this third pic is a close up of 3 and 4 from above)
3rd from left (or left in this picture) - superheated and reduced. Well - that was interesting and unexpected. Shiny metallic with hints of blue-green. Hmmm.
4th from left. (or right, in this picture) Superheat, strike, reduced - accidentally let it get too cool and it cracked. Healed it back up. Strike. Reduce, encase, strike. Yeah - like you're going to reproduce that series of events. But we have greens, some oilslick iridescence, swirly browns. Hmmm.
Superheated this one, and let cool - but not as much as usual. Usually - with this class - after superheating and letting it cool - I let it cool to the point at which it changes colour - usually goes a dark brown. For this one - I didn't wait that long. I then went ahead and encased it.
Now this one, on the right - is my flat out favourite - and unfortunately - didn't want to photograph well. I make a clear base bead, encased it in Ekho. Superheated it - mashed it, and firepolished it with a reduction flame. It is a dark topaz with a purple metallic lustre and some blue green streaks. It really is quite wonderful - here is another picture that shows the lustre well. A whole necklace of these would be awesome!
This blue green bead on the right started with a black base, superheat, mash, strike, reduce, encase. I just melted a big blob and swirled it on one side. Melt in the encasing, and strike again. It has retained a lot of metallic lustre and depth under the encasing.
Here's a couple more beads with Ekho. I didn't make notes on these but it shows the range of possible colours.
One thing I guarantee - you are not going to get bored working with this colour!