Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is a test

This is just a little test clip (about 40 seconds) - I just want to see how this is looking online. I'm currently working w Catherine Winter (aka Sailorgirl) to produce a short video clip on making beads - as a general info for the non-beadmaker - and I'm concerned about the mpeg compression artifacts (the pixelation in the background) - just wanted to see if it looked as bad online.

I had the original files compressed because of the massive amount of space that video files take - but I may have overdone it. Drat!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Effetre/Moretti 067: Rose Quartz

Because we need the confusion of two similar colors from two different manufacturers called their glass by the same name. Hello glass producers - I'm declaring a moratorium on the use of the name "Rose Quartz" - enough already!

This is the Effetre/Moretti Rose Quartz - 067. A very, very pale pink. Think pale like the pale emerald, pale aqua, etc. Small beads might get mistaken for clear unless on a white background. You can encase with it and get a very subtle colour effect. Haven't tried it on silver foil yet - could be interesting.

Seems to be a very nice clear transparent too, not really scummy or bubbly.

If you are looking for a barest hint of pink colour - this could be what you are looking for. It is in the true pink family, btw - not the more orangey-salmony rosaline colour range.

Zooii Press: Wiggle

This was another press shape that intrigued me - what a cool idea, what a cool shape. It wasn't till I got it home that I looked at it and thought - wait a minute - what the heck is the pre-press shape going to have to be for this?

So - making that bead into something else - all right, it wasn't when I got home - it was went I got on the torch that I realized that I had no idea what the pre-press shape should be! - I then went to the website, and found they have an excellent tutorial for the Wiggle press.

In a nutshell - you make a bead the right length, flatten it, turn it on it's side, and mash it, and then clean up the glass that ends up sticking out of the side of the press. The tutorial has excellent instructions and pictures - these are attempts one and two - (the ivory was number one). You can see they turned out well for beginner beads.

Kind of a fun shape - and I can certainly see using it as a component in a necklace. Too large and heavy to be an earring, too long to be comfortable in a bracelet. But fun in a necklace.

The optical illusion of a non-straight hole will mostly be appreciated by other bead makers - complete novices and non-beads don't see a non-straight hole as a technical challenge. ;-)

You could also use it to make arms and legs for an assembled bead doll. Point up one end and add a stacked heel and you could make boots too!


Zoozii Press: Shell

I'm not really much of a press person - I have too short an attention span to use presses, as a general rule. I was intrigued by this one though - and thought I would give it a whirl.

I have to say - this is the most forgiving press-shape I have ever used. The real key to using the presses is the pre-press shape - and for this one - I went with what was essentially a mushroom shape. I was quite happy with the shape I got, and I found that having a little too much glass wasn't a big deal - the resulting ridge can melted in quite easily.

I also experimented with deeping the grooves with a small, sharp blade, and I like that effect too.

Overall - this is fairly satisfying press to use. Now, if I could only figure out what to do with scallop-shell beads!

CIM Purple Faceoff: Grape Ape vs Evil Queen

It was brought to my attention that the new CIM colour Evil Queen should be more different from the Grape Ape than I reviewed it to be - so I decided to take another run at it.

This bead is Grape Ape on the ends, and Evil Queen in the middle.

You can see from this picture that there is a difference - they are a very similar value (shades of light and dark) - but the Grape Ape is a little redder, and the Evil Queen is closer to a balance between red and blue.

I think perhaps the difference is growing on me - or I am getting more tuned to it - when I made it and first took it out of the kiln, they still looked pretty similar to me - but as I look at them more and more - I think I prefer the Evil Queen.

But, as I said before - they are close. Not interchangeable for sure - my apols if I gave that impression!