Sunday, January 30, 2011

Effetre 411 Apple Blush

Well - this is one of the most interesting new glasses to come across my bench in a long time. This is Effetre Apple Blush, and if the name "Apple Blush" makes you think of just ripening apples, as they turn from green to red - well - bingo - cuz that's exactly what colour this glass is. Green - with blushes of a warm orangey colour.

You can see here - the ends of the rod show a warm hint of colour.

The warm colour blushes seem more pronounced in places that have received more re-heating. Not necessarily where they have cooled slowly, but where the have cooled and been reheated.

It is quite visible under these large clear dots - showing it is not a reduction effect. If it was - it would not be under the clear, or if I worked the entire bead in a reduction flame, it would have been out side the clear as prominently.

Here is a self-coloured spacer - mostly a yellowy green ...
But, as I rotate it, on spot of colour blush on one side.

This one is with ivory dots. No reaction to the ivory, but definitely more colour.

As the glass heats - it goes a deeper version of the blush colour - so that the hot glass is a dark orange. It was unclear to me if it was going to retain that colour - which I could see developing on the rods - so I was nice to see that it stayed.

It is extremely easy to read the heat in this glass - I would recommend it for sculptural work.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Prince Rupert Drops

This is soooo cool. If you are going to do this, make sure that you don't injure yourself with flying shards of glass, and leave dangerous glass dust where it can be breathed in some time in the next couple of centuries.

This first video is from CMOG (Corning Museum of Glass) and really shows how they are made and how strong the bulb end is.

This video is also from CMOG - but really illustrates just how amazingly it blows up. Breaking the tail results in a shock wave of cracks that propagate towards the head of the drop at the astonishing spead of 5.5 Mach, or about 4,200 mph.

Isn't glass just the coolest stuff ever?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Clio & Fuming

Remember I did Double Helix Clio over Cirrus a few days ago - and it fumed the Cirrus and made it look yellowish.

I tried Clio over the Lauscha Milky Way, and also got a yellowish tint, for the same reason.

And here's the two together, just for comparison. The Cirrus/Clio combo is the top mandrel, and the Milky Way/Clio combo is the bottom mandrel.

I think perhaps I should make sure we're all clear what "fumed" means.

Usually, fuming is achieved by taking either pure silver or pure gold metal, and holding it (usually by sticking it to a glass rod, like boro or quartz rod) - holding it in a reduction flame, below the bead or item that you wish to fume. So the metal is held in the flame closer to the torch, and the item to be fumed is held out at the end of the flame.

The metal heats and boils and evaporates, and is carried away by the rising flame - but some of it is deposited on the bead/item that is at the tip of the flame, as it rises and goes past it. This deposits a very thin layer of the metal on the bead/item. This creates either a shiny layer of the metal, very thin, or a reaction, i.e. when silver reacts with a glass to create a new colour.

Generally - that is what is meant by "fuming."

However, with the new category of silver saturated glasses, such as the Double Helix, TAG, and Precision 104 glasses - the silver content is so high that fundamentally, the same thing happens. The silver in the glass is evaporated off and affects the glass around it, creating the same kind of reactions.

One of the classic silver reactions is silver with clear and white to give a yellowish colour. (This is why it is hard to keep encased silver looking silver - it looks gold in places - because of the silver reacting with the glass.)

So that is why it makes sense that the base beads turn yellowish in the presence of a high silver content glass.

That's what we mean by fuming.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lauscha Milky Way

It has taken me a long time to understand this glass - a long time to get the point of it.

This is Lauscha Milky Way - and in the unworked rod - it is a lovely, lovely misty blue - a translucent colour. And until the CiM moonstone colours came along - one of the few translucent glasses around.

But when you anneal it - it goes opaque. It looses it's translucency and turns to a very pale bluish white. Where's the pretty translucency? And so, disappointed, I put this glass aside.

But now that I am doing more sculptural stuff - now I get it! Because what you now have is a stiff colour - which is easier to keep control of, that is uber-easy to read the heat in while you are working it - that anneals to an opaque! The workability and stiffness of a transparent, but comes out as an opaque. Brilliant!

This off-mandrel, sculptural pony is pre-annealing. Note the more opaque band in the neck where I blew the heat control. He is, in fact, cracked there.

However, I went ahead and annealed him, and while he has stayed in one piece, I can feel the crack in his neck when I run my thumb over him. Working kind of large for my abilities just yet.

But, post annealing, now he is a milky white horse - slightly bluish - sort of a glacier color - but a solid colour. It is not without some areas of translucency, but just enough to be interesting. There are a couple of yellowed areas too - so I may have smoked the glass there.

I'm quite delighted to have this glass now!

This was pony number 2 - better heating, but the poor baby didn't get a mane! No cracks, but he's bald! Which tells me something about why the neck cracked in the other one. Blew it with the mane. If you don't get the parts done in the right order with this sculptural stuff - it just doesn't work.

Here he is, annealed. Still bald, poor baby. But not burned either - so that's an improvement too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Contemporary Lampworking Volume III

If you didn't get this for Christmas - then you want to put it on your wish list for your birthday, Valentine's Day, or what-ever-you-can-think-of day.

If you have, or have looked at, Vols I and II in this series, and found them to be very technical and a little intimidating - this is a very different book. It has matured into a much more accessible book.

Included are essays and interviews with contemporary glass artists, much eye-candy and photos, historical tidbits, and some full-on step-by-step tutorials. There is a section devoted to kinetic glass sculpture, and a section on Lauscha.

Not lightweight tutorials either, but step by step photos of items like the hollow skull (lifesize) in boro by Christopher McElroy, a Dragonfly by Michael Mangiafico in soft glass, or Kimberly Affleck's signature Seahorse bead.

There are a few surprising tutorials too - such as the spun sugar pterodactyl and the glass tube sausage cooking.

Part travelogue, part philosphy, this book is an amazing testament to the glass renaissance that we live in, and the amazing spirit of sharing that has made that renaissance possible.

It is a hard cover, spiral, stay-flat binding - so you can take it to the torch, 320 pages. Richly illustrated.

Here's some pics - this is the tutorial on making eyes - artificial eyes, in the traditional blown glass style from Lauscha, by Walter Hellbach.

Here is a stripey, ribbed style bead, by Norikazu Kogure.
Kimberly Affleck's Seahorse.
These are the stunning insects by Emanuel Toffolo. Yes - those are glass.

Seriously, if you aspire to be a better flame worker, or if you consider yourself to be an artist who works in glass and you want to stretch your abilities - then this book is a must. It's the next best thing to hitting the road and taking classes with the masters.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

CiM Cirrus and DH Clio

Well - didn't these turn out yummy? Base is CiM Cirrus, and trails of Double Helix Clio, struck and lightly reduced. Like caramel on a cloud.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Studio Clean Up Sale

Not MY studio - heaven forfend!

Erin - Airwynn Glass - has moved to a new house, what with one thing and another, has decided to stop lampworking and sell off her stuff.

Erin has been active in the local scene and was a student of mine, many years ago. I'm sorry she has to give it up - but sometimes ya gotta make tough decisions.

Anyway - you can read about her story and see what she has for sale here. AirWynn Glass - Studio Sale

There's some good stuff there, and it's going fast - so don't delay!