Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Comparison: CiM Troll, CiM Duck Egg, Effetre Copper Green

Color comparison. Resting in my hand is CiM Troll. Above it to the left is CiM Duck Egg. Above and to the right is Effetre Copper Green - with it's distinctive metallic sheen.

The Troll and the Copper Green are very close in color - the troll is a smidge bluer, I think, but does not have the metallic development. I can't speak to it's other reactive properties.

The three do look good together.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Why, readers of the last few posts might wonder, does she keep whinging about a light. Probably because you didn't see my posts about it on facebook, to whit:

Are compact fluorescents supposed to make a hissing noise and then start smoking?

Literally - smoke started pouring out of the light, and not a puff either, a sustained trail of truly, stunningly, vile-smelling burning electrical fire type smell.

This was not  just any light bulb, but one of the ridiculously expensive color balanced light bulbs, bought from a specialty photography site.

Hmmm. The smell was so awful, I had to put the light out in the garage for a while, even after removing and discarding the bulb. It did clean off, but hoo-boy - it was nasty.

This does demonstrate, however, that "it is all done with smoke and mirrors" - and once you let out the smoke ... it don't work no more. ;-)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Comparison: CiM Troll, Van Dyke, Safari, and Koala

The opaque neutrals/greys from the latest batch from CiM - the rods don't look very inspiring, but the results are far from ordinary.

From the left, 455 Troll, 727 Van Dyke, 726 Safari, and 823 Koala. 

 Again, from the left, 455 Troll, 727 Van Dyke, 726 Safari, and 823 Koala. 
Koala stays true-ist to grey - troll is sageier, and Van Dyke and Safari hove off into uncharted waters with desert colours. Or dessert colours if it is honey and caramel you are after.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

CiM 823 Koala

CiM Koala, in the rod, at my torch, looked like a warm brown, but here at my computer - it is more of a blue grey - pretty close to neutral though.

This light is screwing it up, because here it looks warm again. Maybe it is a color shift. (Wanders around house looking at it under various lights. Nah - I just really need to replace that light bulb.)

It was a bit shocky for me - but I did not have that large a sample, so I can't say if it is typical or not. It did look blueish while I was working it. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Comparison: CiM 727 Van Dyke vs CiM 726 Safari

Honestly - I can't tell them apart. Maybe Van Dyke (rod and 3 pieces on the left) retains a little more grey vs Safari (rod and 3 pieces on the right).

But functionally - I can't tell them apart. Maybe they work differently in beads.

They are beautiful, but they seem interchangeable to me - given their variability.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

CiM 726 Safari

If CiM's Van Dyke brown morphs from blue grey to autumn, well CiM's Safari morphs from a warm brownish grey to ... the same shades of autumn leaves.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

CiM 727 Van Dyke Brown

Van Dyke Brown was historically a warm brown made mostly from soils and earths - and looking that up led me to this rather interesting looking website, Pigments Through the Ages, but before I go down the rabbit hole on that, I had better blog this.

 CiM's Van Dyke looks like a blue grey in the rod, but works up into awesome tawny shades of autumn.

I mean just look at that rich colour shading. Delicious!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

CiM 455 Troll

 CiM Troll is a muted, soft, desaturated greyish green, or possibly a greenish grey.

It's a well behaved opaque that frankly looks like more of a bluer green grey than these pictures look on my monitor, but as always - your mileage may vary.

I've got to replace that light. 

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Comparison: CiM Cornsilk vs CiM Yangtze (and CiM Peridot)

This latest round of new colours from CiM is heavy on the greens and yellowy-greens - which is awesome - because right now I have a thing for yellowy-greens. Who knew?

On the left, two in Cornsilk, and on the right, three in Yangtze. Yangtze is a little greyer, Cornsilk is a little purer in hue.

And here, from the left again, two of Cornsilk, three of Yangtze, and three in CiM Peridot. About the same for saturation, but the colour is moving to the green. 

The Cornsilk and the Yangtze complement each other beautifully, two shades of the same hue.

Friday, April 07, 2017

CiM 824 Pachyderm

CiM Pachyderm is another interesting multi-color glass from CiM. In the vein of Class M Planet and Prussian Blue, this glass gives you two, two colours for the price of one!

The medium grey opaque rod works up into a light grey and an adobe mud colour - like an elephant wallowing in her favourite watering hole. Elephants on parade!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

CiM 457 Yangtze

The Yangtze River may have turned blood red in 2012, but this CiM Yangtze is a pale translucent misty golden yellow like the light of the sun through a fog in the morning. 

Excuse the quality of the lighting - one of my highly expensive color balanced compact fluorescent light bulbs make a pffftz sound and started pouring out smoke. Rather more drama for a burned out light bulb than I usually expect.

Monday, April 03, 2017

CiM 453 Peridot

CiM Peridot is a very pale, yellowy green. It is a pretty and delicate colour - and when heating it, it almost looks like it is striking, as the heated end changes colour, but as you can see - it goes back to the same colour when cool.

I found I got a lot of fine bubbles in it - which you can also see.

Some of these very pale transparents make lovely encasing colours, but this one might make you crazy if you get the bubbles too. Might be very nice over silver foil, however.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Cleaning Beads

The only thing I hate more than pulling beads is cleaning them. There are so many frustrations. The unreasonable difficulty in finding a straight sided bit for one thing - reaming out a straight-sided hole with a tapered bit is an exercise in frustration. And stabbing yourself with that point, amiright?

Anyway - this is my most recent set up to attempt to ease this chore.

 It starts with our old friend, the portable vise. Sure - a regular vise would work too - but lots of us have to make do with using the kitchen and not a dedicated space.

 I'm clamping the foredom flexshaft into the vise. This saves my having to hold it steady. I used to hold this in my right hand, but realized that meant I was doing the manipulation of the bead in my left - which is less controlled than my right (me being right-handed.)

Putting it on an angle uses gravity to pull the water and debris down and away (I tried it level - keeping it wet wasn't an issue, but it did take longer to clean a bead, due to it not flushing itself.)

The tip of the bit sits in water - for lubrication. The bits don't last worth a damn if you don't keep them wet.

 I had a battery-powered, pistol grip dremel, which I loved. Actually - I've had 3 of them. The most recent one had the bit fuse/rust in place, and there was no getting it out without destroying the dremel.

The best thing about the dremel - two things - one, you can set the speed with a dial, and two - the battery only lasted about an hour, so that you didn't attempt to clean more than an hour's worth of beads at a time.

After the third one died, it occurred to me that I might as well use the perfectly good foredom that I've had for years.

I bought the foredom with the foot pedal control - because that's what we all do, right? And if you are sitting, fine, but when you are standing, the effort of standing on the foot pedal with enough control to not have the bit running so fast it scares the snot out of you, means a balancing act that leaves you tired and aching.

So I put a clamp on the foot pedal - yes - I can buy a controller with a dial - but I have a clamp, thank you - and that solves that.

The sink has a water hose, but it won't stay on by itself, so a wrap of nice thick rubber bands solved that.

And there we have it. It was over two hours to clean these - closer to three I think. In the ball park of 500 beads or so.

If you are not a beadmaker - this is one of those frustrating and unglamorous chores that goes into making those exquisite little gems. Appreciate it. Appreciate the hell out of it.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pulling beads

I hate pulling beads. Hate it.

But this little puppy makes it easier. This is a portable vise - it suctions to a smooth surface - like the kitchen counter - a wipe of water on the suction surface helps enormously, and you can put your mandrel in the jaws and clamp it, and pull the beads without the fear of stabbing someone with the mandrel, the need for a set of vice grips to hold the mandrel - and the aching hands. And shoulders.

Here's a little video. There is a hole in the jaws that a mandrel fits in, but the 3/16s mandrels are a little small - so clamping those in the jaws directly works better - but the video will give you the idea.

Honestly - I have no idea how people are making all these one-handed shot-with-their-phone how-to videos. I find the interface for using the camera on the phone to be hard enough to use with two hands - one is freakin' impossible. As soon as I grab the phone - I inadvertently touch some part of the screen that triggers some action that is not what I want. Argh.

Anyway - you'll get the point.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CiM 123 Hemoglobin

 Another new red from CiM - a lovely Siam Ruby red that - when I got this - still didn't have a name. Since then - it has been named Hemoglobin, and it is closely related to Sangre. Some folks think it could pass for Sangre, and other say no.

Given my last experience with a red that needed a lot of heat - I made a point of using this with a lot of heat and without to see if it made a difference. 

I didn't see a lot of difference in the colour as a result of that, but I did see a lot of difference in the opacity as a result.

 The unworked rod is very dense - looking almost opaque.

It's a bright, intense red - strikes effortlessly (just a little orange/wash out at the edges) and displays no livering (brown overtone). 

 For this piece, I started with a blob melted clear hot - that's the bulb at the base, at the wire. You can see that this is quite nicely transparent, with a trail of cloudy opacity - where, as a wound off the glass, I transitioned from the clear hot to the not quite so hot that was on the rod.

You can see, above and even more dramatically in this one below, an opaque shadow in each subsequent "layer" - that's not just a shadow or the lighting - it really does look like that. The hotter the glass got - the more transparent it came out of the kiln.

A lovely vibrant red  - if you want it clear - heat the snot out of it, and if you want clouds - be cooler.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Comparison: CiM Greens

Pantone declared "Greenery" to be the colour of the year, and CiM has answered that call with a palette of greens from accessible to sophisticated, from happy to complex, from juicy to brooding.

Here you go - side by side, the 2017 spring CiM greens.

From left to right:

CiM 454 Refresh; CiM 456 Eel Grass; CiM 451 Inchworm; CiM 450 Chartreuse; CiM 452 Peat Moss.

Like I said before about Peat Moss - next to the greens - it looks brown, but by itself, you would call it a green. Or, I would. ;-)

Friday, March 24, 2017

CiM 454 Refresh

Another pretty, transparent green. I'm thinking that this one will make it's way into the colour palettes of those who make all those lovely little matched sets of flowered and dotted beads that are so popular - that I can't make if you put a gun to my head.

This one is easy to like - would probably look great over silver foil!It's light enough that you could use it for encasing or a different take on the aquarium bead.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CiM 549 Sea Mist

CiM Sea Mist - a translucent grey that evokes fog and rain and mist.

It starts as a translucent blue, but comes out of the kiln rather more neutral

 In fact, it seems to be doing a bit of a colour shift in the camera - it is more of a foggy grey than what I am seeing on the monitor - which looks a bit yellowed.
In fact - this is closer to what I am seeing - but gok what your monitor/screen/cell phone will render it as.

I do have to say that the limited amount that I have tried had some significant shocking going on. Not the kind of continuous blowing off the tip and turning into frit shocking that makes me just toss a rod as being unworkable, but when it shocked - it shocked big time - blowing a big shard off the side or cracking off a couple of inches. Might have just been what I had, might be the nature of the beast - but just so you know.

I am really quite taken with this colour - regardless of that. But I have a soft squishy spot for the translucent colours.

Monday, March 20, 2017

CiM 452 Peat Moss

I am weirdly excited by this colour - it is a yellowy-browny-green. Maybe it is the hard-to-classify colours that appeal to me - they are more complex, harder to categorized and stretch the perception a little bit.

Like the CiM Eel Grass, CiM Peat Moss was also inclined to form lots of small bubbles.

When you put this next to the bright greens, it looks brown, but on it's own, you would just classify it as a green in the olive family.

I like this one - I can definitely see using this!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

CiM 514 Cornsilk

CiM Cornsilk is a translucent yellow that is, well - the colour of corn silk.

It has an ethereal quality, and is light enough to need some contrast to show well.

Compare the white background to the black background below. 

It goes deep yellow when heated, giving you the initial impression that it might strike, but cools right back to the original rod colour.

Better on black. JMHO.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

CiM 451 Inchworm

If you though CiM's new Chartreuse was juicy (and it is) - then Inchworm is a close second.

Less yellow, but a very bright, green - translucent - not quite a totally transparent colour.

Another wonderfully springy green.

Comparison: Inchworm on the left, Chartreuse on the right.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

CiM 456 Eel Grass

CiM Eel Grass - a pretty, transparent, muted green. I really like the colour. I do have to say though - that it really wanted to form tiny little bubbles. I found that working it in a softer, slightly bushy flame helped, but if you are looking for a flawless encasing colour - this one will make you a little crazy.

See the bubbles in the edges? It got better with subsequent pieces as I softened up the flame, but just something to be aware of.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

CiM 551 Prussian Blue

CiM Prussian Blue is an opaque, dark steel blue. When it is hot - it goes blue and green, and looks very much like Class M Planet.

Once out of the kiln though - the colours are more of a blue and a steel grey, darker than Class M Planet. Interestingly, the final brush with the flame across the glass brings up a colour that is more like a periwinkle, before it goes in the kiln - but there is no sign of that after it comes out. That actually seems to be where the bulk of the steel grey is after - so some experimenting with heating would be in order, I think.

Interesting. Not sure what to do with it yet.