Friday, September 30, 2011

Student Rocked the Eyes

I had a private student today - Tanja - who wanted to do Dragon Eyes.

As you can see from the photo - she totally rocked it! Is that not awesome!

I was so impressed!

Just wanted to share that.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Best Stealable Phrase

On day 3 of 4 days of classes with Leah Fairbanks. My head is stuffed too full of ideas and I am too tired to think - but just wanted to share this.

Best Steal-able Phrase to describe a really shocky rod of glass:

Frit on a Stick.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Small Razor Tool

 Not sure what this nifty little tool is actually called. It's a really narrow razor tool.

Or a really narrow exacto knife.

The blade is narrow, sharp(ish) and thin, and it's good for getting into tight places, tucking glass back where it is supposed to be, and helping with sculptural shaping.

It's hard to show you what it does, because it's the sort of thing that you use to tidy up and clean up and shape, not really to make textures.

Well - actually - I can. I used it on this eye to make the texture. I think of it as the "Cactus Dragon Eye."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mixing Colours

A recent post about hand-mixed colours got me inspired to try a combination of CiM Cirrus and Eff Cobalt.

Of course - I chose Cobalt blue - a colour which simply will not reproduce on the screen. Sigh.

However, I was really pleased with the result. The Cirrus lightened up the cobalt enough that it really is a wonderful blue in real life - a real "Noxema jar" blue.

It is encouraging enough that I'm going to try more of it.

If you want to mix your own colours - you can mix just enough for a single bead by starting as if you are making a twisty - layering one colour on another - without having to be particularly neat about it. Use the second colour rod as a handle - and heat the mass of glass - just like a twisty - but not quite as hot and soupy. Hot enough to move the glass though. Then start twisting, but NOT pulling, just twist it in the flame. If it gets saggy and drippy - take it out of the flame, double it back onto itself, and keep twisting and folding it. If you blend this a lot, you get a very homogenous colour - if you don't blend as long, you get a more streaky colour. You can see from the bead above - this was very close to being completely blended. You can then pull it out into a fat stringer for later use, or, my preferred method, disconnect one rod, grab a mandrel and wind the mass of molten, variegated, glass onto the mandrel - and shape from there.

This is especially good for those uber-dark colours, Rubino Oro, Leaky Pen, Black Currant, that don't display well on their own.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reichenbach 6221 Lilac

Reichenbach Lilac - a dense, opaque purple that immediately had me thinking of how it would compare to Effetre EDP.

From the left, Lilac, with EDP dots, Lilac with Ivory Dots, and self-coloured Lilac.

You can see the Ivory has reacted very strongly with the Lilac.

Here a closer look at the EDP dots - the colour of the Lilac is not quite the same, but it showed absolutely no inclination to devit, like the EDP does. The EDP did do an interesting little separation thing though - sorry about the reflections - makes it a bit hard to see.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Reichenbach104 9203: Deep Black on Ivory

Silly me - I totally forgot to test RB Deep Black on Ivory to see if it webbed or not!

Here you go, on Eff. Ivory (Light and Dark, I was using up ends). Got it hot enough to swirl a little - so a little bleeding into the ivory - but that is a function of the heat, I think. No webbing, crawling, or effects. (Bear in mind, I really like those effects - but it's so nice to have options!)

So, like the Belladonna Black Diamond - here we have another black that can be used as a black without thinking about odd reactions.

I think that the Reichenbach might be a little blacker when used very thin - but both are completely excellent!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Reichenbach104 Iris Orange

RB 104 - Iris Orange. Iris Orange as a 104 COE glass - in a rod. Woohoo! I am not one of those people that seems to be able to pull blues and purples out of Iris Orange, so I can't comment on that - but I have to say - I was quite pleased with the whole desert sunset look of the bead.

From the left, we have Iris Orange dots on Ivory (very strong reaction with the ivory), on Black (nice colours) and a self coloured spacer on the right. Caramel, brown, some sagey green and some blue grey and navy blue.

That single colour spacer is quite nice - and I can see that certainly develop a very earthy, organic colour line of beads with this.

I like it. Cuz, after all - we know what a big fan of Frit I am. Freedom from frit!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Reichenbach104 9203: Deep Black

I picked up a sample pack of the Reichenbach 104 COE line of glasses. Reichenbach, apart from the Falls which was the location of Sherlock Holmes's death scene - is a company known for it's furnace glass and has been in use as intensely coloured frit by lampworkers for some time. Most of their offerings have been 96 COE - and so I was really interested to see that they were bringing some 104 COE rods to market. Woohoo.

Coincidentally - a reader (yes - this blog has readers. Well, two anyway - you and someone else) - said that he had tried a bead with the RB104 Black and has gotten some unusual results - devitrification on the surrounding bead.

So I decided to start with the black. The black I used was Deep Black - and it is a wonderful, inky black.

Here it is, hair fine stringer on Tag Clarity (Clear).

That little yellow chip in the top right corner is from sticking to another bead.

Horizontal stripes on a white bead, superheated and swirled, resulted in a lovely bullseye candy bead - black, white, grey, ...

but with an odd blue-green streak - which, when cooled - stayed blue. Weird - almost like there was some sort of contaminant on the glass. I suppose I could have accidentally picked something up on the rod - although I don't remember doing so. It might have been in the rod too. We'll have to wait and see if it happens some more.

I did not have any devitrification, but it appears that Reichenbach has more than one black, and one of them reduces to silver - like Effetre Metallic Black and CiM Gunmetal.

And to compare head to head - here is the fine stringer Belladonna Black Diamond on Effetre clear bead from the other day, (top bead) with the Reichenbach Deep Black on TAG Clarity clear (bottom bead.) The RB Deep Black is, in fact, an inkier, blacker black. And, fwiw - the Clarity is a heck of a lot clearer too.

Friday, September 02, 2011

More on Belladonna Black Diamond

I did say that I wanted to test the new Belladonna Black Diamond when pulled out into very fine strands - as it is supposed to stay a true black.

The thicker black lines, above, you can see them on the side of the bead closest to you, were from stringer about 1.5 - 2 mm thick.

These thinner lines were from stringer that is literally thinner than a hair - whippy, bendy thin. To pull these, melt your gather of glass, not a very big one, and then pull very fast. Careful where you put them down. If you put them down directly on the bench, you may not be able to see them, or even to pick them up again.

To use stringer this thin - don't put it in the flame. Heat the bead to a light glow, and lay the stringer down on the bead, out of the flame, letting the heat of the bead attach the stringer to the bead.

Anyhow, you can see - the stringer has remained black, although a little less saturated in a couple of them - but no hint of purple.