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.

Friday, October 19, 2007

More Thoughts on the Mega Minor - Unboosted Natural Gas

Several folks have asked about the Mega and it's performance on unboosted natural gas. As I use propane or boosted natural gas, (depending on where I am) I hadn't had an opportunity to explore this yet - so today I stopped by Nortel Mfg (the manufacturer of the torch) to talk to Peter, the torch's inventor.

Household natural gas pressure in these here parts (Ontario, Canada) is about 1/4 psi. Ideally, the torch, in theory would like a 1/2 psi, or even 1 or 2 psi. That said, we hooked up a mega to unboosted NG, and a single concentrator.

We could get a nice balanced flame and I could certainly melt soft glass with it. I would say that you would be limited in size, both from the point of view of how large you wanted to work and how long it took you to melt the glass. But - the limitations are certainly reasonable for a casual lampworker who is making beads for jewelry. The slower speed would actually help many beginners - as a common issue that beginners struggle with is working too hot and having the glass get away from them.

For someone doing production work - it would be hard to make a profit working at that speed.

So we then hooked it up to tanked oxygen (didn't happen to have a 2nd concentrator lying within arm's reach) - to see how unboosted NG and higher pressure of oxygen performed.

This gave us a much larger, hotter flame, and was much faster at melting glass - not lightening fast - but certainly much faster and more gratifying for the terminally impatient. (Like me!)

Verdict? I would say that the Mega on unboosted NG and a single concentrator is fine for a beginner or hobbyist, making beads for their own pleasure, and tending to make beads under an inch.

The Mega on unboosted NG and tanked oxygen or two concentrators is much more gratifying and will make it possible to work larger and work faster.