Sunday, December 30, 2007

Vetro Odd Lot 997 - Painted Desert

Painted Desert is exactly what this looks like - a trip to the sandstone cliffs of the desert. Orange, salmon and grey come from a light grey rod (seen behind.) Totally cool, dude. I like this one! Thumbs up!

Vetro Odd Lot - 811 - Moon Rock

Moon Rock - now THIS I would have called Petrified Wood. The rod is a dark grey, (just behind bead) but the beads are a streaky chestnut colour. It's still, argueably in the Tomato Soup family (see below). It is also somewhat shock.

I do like the definite streakiness.

Vetro 806 Smoke Rings

Smoke Rings - good name. I was very excited about this glass - especially after all the darned orange stuff. Check out the pic of the rod (below.) Cool, eh?

This seems slightly pinkish in the rod, which goes away - to a wispy, streaky ivory in clear colour. Very cool - I can see uses for this. Don't know if it encases well yet.

Tres kewel.

Attack of the Killer Tomato Soup Colour

Ack - Attack of the Condensed Tomato Soup colour! Nine - 9! - new colours from Vetro - odd lots - and all look like failed attempts to make coral.

Not that they are bad colours - they are nice and streaky, and nice enough (well - a couple are uber-shocky) - and they have really cool names - but they are so similar - there is not much to distinguish between them.

And let me tell you - keeping them separated for the purposes of this blog was a pain!

This one is 995 - Vetro Odd Lot Jupiter. Good name - streaky orange. Appears to be in the coral family of colour - goes grey when hot. Doesn't reduce or devitrify.

Next up - 996 - Bloody Mary. (bottom mandrel)

Difference? Not much. The light coloured bead on the bottom right is the Bloody Mary encased in clear. (The oranges usually look lighter when encased.)

This is the Bloody Mary with Ivory dots. Nice colour combo.

Next up, we have Vetro Odd lot

803 Candy Corn
804 Tomato Soup
805 Orange Dreamsicle

These colours accurately reflect the colours of the rods - but they are heat and anneal to pretty much the same colour. I think the 805 Orange Dreamsicle is the prettiest, with the brightest colours, with the red orange and yellow orange being the least murky, but it is also shocky and inclined to boil.

And four more! Will the madness never end?

These are:

801 Cosmic Storm
802 Apricot Jam
998 Rhubarb
999 Petrified Wood

801, 802 and 998 are uber-shocky, shocky, and very shocky.

This pic shows the rod and the single bead made from it. All rods started the same length, and the beads are the same size - the shorter rods represent the shockier rods, as you lose more by chunks falling off the end. I do try and pick them up and reuse them, but sometimes they just won't stop flying off. 801 - couldn't even get the end inch glowing. Had to settle for getting the tip soft and having it shock onto the mandrel. Very frustrating. This glass was a room temp when I started.

999 - the last of this four was less shocky, but tended to boil. Admittedly - it's not really as orange as the others, more of a mustard streaked with grey.

The 801 - I wouldn't buy - it's too much work to try and use.

Of the lot - I think the 805 Dreamsicle is the prettiest - bright happy colours. The 803 Candy Corn is close behind. The 999 Petrified Wood is quite similar to the 801 - and I would pass on the 801 entirely.

For those that love orange - and streaky colours - there are is some fun stuff here.

Ivory with Silver Dot Trails

Someone asked me how these are done - I don't believe it's a big secret - but I couldn't find the reference.

Make a bead in a light ivory glass - I used either Moretti or Vetrofond - not sure which. Make and shape your bead.

Take some very thin Fine Silver wire. I use 30 gauge, you could use slightly heavier gauge. Fine silver is 99.9% silver. Sterling silver will not work.

Spot heat one place - I choose a spot at the left side of the bead. Heat that spot to soft, and take it out of the flame and press the wire onto it. Hold the wire well back from the bead, and do not put it in the flame.

Still out of the flame, spin the bead, keeping tension on the wire, and guiding. If you have a bead with very steep sides - you may have trouble getting it to stay and not slide - so I tend to apply this to beads with more gradual slopes. I usually wind down to the right end and then back to the left, where I started.

I use about 10 inches for a bead - I have a spool of the wire and just use it off the spool.

Go back to the flame and flame-cut the wire at the bead.

Now go back into the flame and melt the silver.

The silver will break up into little balls, and it will also react with the ivory, creating the dark, streaky trails.

You may find that the place where you spot heated to attach the wire has distorted, so heat and fix that area.

For these beads, after they came out of the kiln, I cleaned them and then etched them. I use a liquid etching solution, and because mine is fairly fresh, these were etched for about 10 seconds. It is just enough to take the gloss off, without a rough texture.

(The etching solution is poured back into the bottle after use. Please make the effort to read the microscopically-tiny-print instructions on the bottle. You can use the glass etching solution found at craft stores and stained glass stores. Never pour acid in a manner that will make it splash. Use containers that will not but re-used for food. Acid can burn you - use rubber gloves, and remember, an acid burn can feel like an itch at first - not like a heat burn. )

Cim 834-1 Unique Clear

From CiM - Creation is Messy - a clear. This one is designated Unique - which usually means that it is an odd lot. Not sure what is odd about it.

This seems like a perfectly ordinary clear - not stunningly clear, but not bad. A few bubbles, as you can see from this picture. Doesn't seem to be scum-prone, though - but I think that more experimenting is in order.

As to comptibility - I find that when working with silver or other metals or with dichro is when you first start to see compatibility issues. The core of this dragon bead is encased with the CiM clear and seems to be fine. No cracks yet - but I'll post if that changes.

It is always nice to see that there is a clear in any line of glass.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Vetro Odd Lots - Shades of Green

A new crop of odd lots from Vetrofond - and there is some fun stuff here, but I have to say - some of the colours - while different in the unheated rod, are virtually impossible to tell apart afterwards!

Here we have, from left to right, showing first the rod, and then the finished, annealed beads.

807 Frog Pond
808 Swamp Moss
809 Jungle Twilight
810 Lemongrass

The Frog Pond and the Swamp Moss are very similar - with the Frog Pond showing more yellowy green, and the Swamp Moss has more of an ochrey tone.

The Jungle Twilight is a really nice, dark, evergreen colour - make some great trees with this, and it is streaky too - although it doesn't show well in this pic.

The Lemongrass disappointed me a little by not staying as transparent as it is in the rod, but it is still streaky and interesting.

A nice set of earth tone greens, especially nice for florals or perhaps sculptural stuff. The streakiness saves having to pull multicoloured stringer, although, I'm sure, that pulled into string, the streakiness might be quite subtle.

I haven't tried encasing them, so can't comment on that yet. AFter the last round of streaky Vetros - I would definitely test for that before doing a bunch of beads with these.

They were all well-behaved, not shocky, although the Lemongrass did boil very easily.

A good addition for those that like earth tones and yellowy greens.

Remember, these are odd lots - meaning that they are unlikely to be made again, so if you love it, hoard it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Goldstone Ribbons

Goldstone, in flat ribbons, instead of chunks, frit, or stringer, or encased stringer.

Goldstone can look stunning in a bead - it can also be a big fat disappointment, a shocky mess, or a lot of work.

Generally - folks seem to buy large chunk frit, and make their own stringer, buy picking up chunks on the end of a rod and melting them into a blob and pulling into a stringer. You can then use the stringer to decorate your beads. I find the rate of return, dazzle to effort, hardly worth it.

Sooo - when I saw this stuff - you can imagine my reaction. Gotta get me some of that!

It's fairly thin, no, make that quite thin, melts very easily - so treat it like stringer - don't bung it in the flame - find the spot where is starts to soften, right at the edge of the flame, and push it down onto the bead. It wraps around a bead a treat!

Try not to overheat it and melt it in too much - the turq bead on the top left has lost most of the sparkle factor - the one on the right, with the raised encasing in more interesting.

The bottom two are better yet, the one on the left is a nice full wrap, and encased in light pink (for variety) and the one on the right was scraps of the goldstone ribbon. The greenish effect is from all the copper that is in the goldstone.

If you are not familiar with goldstone - it is copper flakes in a very high concentration in the glass, suspended - not melted in. Once the copper combines with the glass, it turns it green - so I suspect that working cool will be best for goldstone.

Clear core, wrapped with goldstone ribbon, encased, mashed, and dots of DaVinci transparent.

Black core, goldstone ribbon and intense black and white twistie, encased.

My opinion - a huge improvement over other methods of using goldstone. While it does give you a very wide stripe of goldstone, for it's ease of use and dramatic effect - I really like this!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Shocky Glass?

Is it my imagination - or does glass seem shockier lately? It seems to me, that when I started, only the occasional batch of glass was really, really shocky - like that batch of white we had a few years back.

Now, it's entirely possible that because of the way I work, (impatiently), or simply, sheer volume, but I'm running into glass that I can't work at all. Recently, I had a production order to fill, and needed 212 Pea Green. I bought a half pound of Vetro 212 and a half pound of Moretti 212 (which I note are slightly different shades of green - not an exact match. ) I started with the Vetro, and went through 3 rods and barely got 8 spacer sized beads - and way more time than I can afford for production work. I switched to the Moretti, and it was creamy and smooth and well behaved.

It's unusual for me to prefer the Moretti over the Vetro, but in this case - I have to say - that batch is unusable. Conclusion: There is a batch of Vetro 212 out there that has huge air bubbles in it - which you can't see because it's opaque, but is making the glass shock. I am giving up on that batch. The surface of the Vetro 212 has a rather unpleasant dirty feel, that doesn't wash off - if you have a batch of this - consider yourself warned.

Garzoni Giovanna Glass

Garzoni Giovanna - another of the R4 glasses. This is a COE 104 soft glass - Moretti compatible. A lovely pale peridot green in the rod - it develops "threads" in the glass as you work it - see beads to right.

In a reducing flame, it develops a smoky bluish metallicy haze, which you can remove and re-reduce and fine tune. The bead on the far left is a hollow, with the left side reduced, and the right side unreduced. The spacers are, from the left, one reduced, the rest never reduced.

Here is another shot of the hollow. You can better see the threads and streaks in the glass, and the effect of the reduction.

And, just for fun, here is a large dichro focal, encased in the Garzoni, and streaked and raked, (not sure with what, some other reducing glass, possibly Sasha's silver), and partially unreduced again.

I really like the way this glass works, and will be buying more!

BTW - I really think that it should be Giovanna Garzoni, but to avoid too much confusion, I'm listing it the way it was styled to me. Giovanna Garzoni was a female baroque painter who specialized in some truly delightful still lifes. Google her.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Vetro 989 Topaz Odd Lot - DO NOT ENCASE

DO NOT ENCASE this glass. It just won't take it. I can't speak for the other streaky colours that came out at the same time, but on the left is a bead with only two glasses in it, Vetro 989 and Vetro Clear (the same clear I have successfully encased many other beads with.)

Below are two more beads, made with 989, and not encased.

Very pretty glass, but if all you can do with it is wind off spacer beads, it limits it's usefulness (although, doesn't eliminate it.) You could use it as a great accent bead for a set.

BTW - the streaky centre of this glass is more greyish than creamy.

CIM Lapis, Lapis Unique, and CIM Thai Orchid

These three new colours from CIM (Creation Is Messy) came in at the same time, and when laying around in bad light, can look pretty similar.

On the left you see all three - the 2 beads on a mandrel are Lapis and Lapis Unique, (531 and 531-1)from left to right, and the bead in the front is Thai Orchid. (632)

The "-1" and "Unique" indicate an odd-lot - an Oops, if you will. The Lapis and Thai Orchid join the increasing line up of colours from CIM.

The Lapis and the Lapis Unique are very close in colour, with the Unique being slightly more violet.

Here they are again. In each picture (the white and greybackground) - the Lapis is on the left and the odd lot on the right. The paddles, however, got reversed in moving to a new background. On white, the odd lot is on the top. You can see that in contrasty light, it's hard to tell them apart.

Adding more light, does show more of a difference though.

The Lapis is darker and more purple than the colour that I usually think of when I think of Lapis - which is more like the Moretti Lapis. There is too much red in this colour to evoke the coloured gemstone of antiquity. But it's a nice colour and would add well to a sophisticated earthtone palette.

And this is the Thai Orchid, it is a more violet colour, and reminds me of the Moretti Dark Violet. It has a slightly metallic sheen, which may have developed as a result of my accidently double-annealing it. (I never start my kiln w/o checking to make sure it's empty - honest!)

You can see on the paddle that there is some colour variation. I haven't tried duplicating this in a bead yet - but I suspect that rapid cooling may be part of the answer.

There is a pleasant streakiness to the glass too. I think I'd like to try some sculptural work with this one.

He he he - My pretties. CIM Elphaba and Elphaba Unique

And your little dog too!

These two new greens are a stab at getting that witchy skin colour just perfect. The one on the left, and the paddle below, is the 430 Elphaba, and the slightly bluer green to the right and above is the 430-1 indicating that it is an odd lot. (Elphaba Unique they style it.)

And, in fact - this green glass named for Glinda the Good Witch's evil sister and star of "Wicked" is a delightfully witchy green, with a nice streakiness to it. The Elphaba Unique is more blue, and equally streaky. Also a nice green, if not quite as "be-witching."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mystery Red - Moretti

Here's another mystery from a mystery bundle that showed up while on a cleaning spree. Still trying to track this one down.

You can see from the photo that this red looks like a transparent in the rod - but darkens significantly when worked - going a dark blood red and appearing functionally opaque.

The larger bead is encased, and, while the photo does not show it, the colour lightened and shifted slightly to the purple, very slightly, where encased. (Can't say I actually like the effect. Understand - it didn't go purple, it's just a shade of red that is slightly more purple than the very red colour of the glass.

When I find out for sure what this one is, I will post it here.

Moretti 961 Red Carrot Sparkle

Red Carrot Sparkle - amazing what you find bundles of when you start cleaning. Here's a bundle labeled Rosa Carrota. Red Carrot! This does sparkle when you are working it, but I can't get it to stay very sparkly once cool. The smaller bead shows it a little, but you need a lot of light and to be looking close to see it. It's very subtle.

The slightly larger bead, showing on the left in these images, is encased. It is slightly lighter in colour, but not hugely so.

The colour of a red carrot - not any carrot I ever met, but you could call it carroty. It's an earthy kind of orange, slightly streaky, and reminiscent of fall and leaves and squash and other end of summer sentiments.

Vetro 949 - Lemon Meringue

Another new yellow - folks making fried eggs and rubber duckies must be in heaven!

Yellow is never really a favourite of mine, but this is a nice soft colour - not a bright yellow like the "Sunshine" - but clearly a yellow. Quite like a Lemon Meringue, actually.

It goes light to white when encased - not uncommon for the hot colours.

I note that this images look greenish on one of my monitors, and fine on the other. This is a very pure yellow, no hint of green or orange in it.

A nice happy colour, and will be good for flowers and other things that need yellow!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Transparent Da Vinci

I mentioned the Da Vinci 2 a few posts ago, causing some confusion, as I neglected to mention that it was the Opaque Da Vinci. There is a transparent Da Vinci as well. It comes in varying degrees of transparency.

You can see that the completely clear rod to the left develops to a light yellow with streaks, (the bead on the left was reduced - and went darker.)

Whereas, this rod, barely visible behind, is already streaky yellow, and the colour in the glass develops to be much darker. There is a lot of color variation - from smokey blues to dark amber. Because it's so dark, I suggest that this would look best in thin layers over clear.

Stop the Presses - Vetro Odd Lot Streakies

Remember those batches of Vetro Odd Lot Streakies. A coloured core with a transparent topaz outer layer, like a coloured filigrana.

I'm changing my recommendation to a cautious buy. I just tried encasing one of these (unfortunately - I don't have a label on it, so I have yet to figure out which one) - but both encased beads cracked. These two were made on separate occasions - and none of the other beads made at the same time cracked. The flatter one went into the kiln glowing, so I know it wasn't too cool.

They were both a layer of the streaky glass, with dichro on top, and encased with Moretti clear. Both came out of the kiln fine, and developed the crack when being cleaned. (Nothing else cracked, so I wasn't forcing too large a reamer into them.)

I would suggest not encasing this glass, or at least, not doing large numbers of these w/o testing first.

When I figure out which one it was - I'll post it here.

UPDATE: This appears to be Vetro 989 - Topaz Odd Lot. It does not appear that it will tolerate encasing at ALL.

The original beads that I made with just this glass seemed fine, but I will try some more, without encasing.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Seeing Red - CIM Sangre vs Lauscha Red

Oh, the never ending quest for the perfect transparent red!

I love the Lauscha red, but I realize and appreciate that some folks have had problems mixing it with Moretti or Vetro. I haven't had problems, but I also tend, in retrospect, to use this delicious colour almost completely by itself. I love the way you can strike it selectively and get flame-like reds and oranges, or just a magnificent, juicy, marachino, deep red.

Still, I was as excited as anyone to see the new CIM red - Sangre. While this colour is a transparent, it also is in the category of glass that is so densely coloured that it appears opaque unless used as a thin layer over clear.

The smaller bead on the left is the Sangre, and, for contrast, the larger bead on the right is the Lauscha transparent red. There is a slight colour difference, I would say not quite even as big a difference as the photo's show. It definitely appears more opaque - the Lauscha does retain more of luminousity because it is slightly more transparent.

Still - it's a great colour of red, and I prefer it to the Moretti striking transparent red.

Also, so far, all the rods of the Sangre I've seen so far have been actually red - which makes it easier to find when hunting in the glass stash!

Grasshopper Green

A new colour from Moretti - "Grasshopper" is billed as somewhere between Pea Green and Nile Green.

I think it looks like the colour of green tea ice cream. It is a little lighter and softer than pea green. It is slightly streaky. As you can see from the set below, it reacts with turquoise to produce a dark line.

Verdict - a nice new addition to the Moretti line up. Nice to work with and a nice, soothing, pleasant hue.