Thursday, December 31, 2009

Surprising Colour Effect: Triton on Dark Silver Plum

Well, this surprised me, but it's not a bad surprise. I was expecting a metallic on metallic effect - but what I got was quite different. This is trails of Double Helix Triton on top of Effetre Dark Silver Plum. Pretty cool eh?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Val Cox Frit: Violet Storm

Hey - I might finally be onto something with the frit. More results I like!

First up, the working notes say:

Violet Storm: Blend/Transparent
Vivid tone-on-tone mix of violet and purple ... deeply saturated red-violet to violet-blue ... fuss free blend. Combining wiht silver foil will produce a slight green tint.

Aha - silver reactive, eh?

First up - let's just enjoy it for it natural colours - which are very pretty. Our first two samples are distortion beads - using the property of the clear - as it melts - to smear the colours underneath. The first bead is a small clear disk, rolled in frit, melt in the frit, and build up the disk with a layer of clear, then melt the whole thing down, keeping it balanced but letting it melt down into a more round shape. As the clear spreads - it takes the frit with it, and makes lovely stripes. I'm on a kick for this, apparently - so all these beads are some variation of this technique.

The second bead is made the same way - but the first disk - the core - is white.

The clear used is Lauscha, in about a 7 mm rod. The fatter rods do make this easier.

On the left here, we have clear, make a gather, dip in the frit, wind a bead, and encase and melt down.

On the right, a white core, Effetre Kelp, gather, dipped in frit, wound on, and encased in clear.

So - remember the line from the working notes about "silver foil." Well - rather than grab some foil, I grabbed a rod of Double Helix Triton - one of the Hi-Silver glasses.

A core of Triton, rolled in frit, melted in, and a fat layer of clear, melted down to stretch and distort the frit. Oh my! These are nice!

These rock, as far as I'm concerned! Yay! Finally - frit effects I like!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More thoughts on Frit

Taking the same technique from last Monday - when I finally had some success with the frit - I thought I'd try it again, but change all the variables. Of course. Because I just can't leave well-enough alone.

This first bead started with Effetre Transparent Straw dipped in two different reduction frits - Dark Silver Blue and Brilliant Gold (from a frit sample pack). I found this worked better when I loaded on more of the Dark Silver Blue and less of the Brilliant Gold. The resulting gather is then pulled out into a stringer.

I made a white core, wound the stringer onto it, melted smooth, and then encased it. I like this one very much!

In this second pic - this was the same technique - but using Effetre 068 Transparent Pink (this is the one that goes more of a salmony colour and reacts with silver to produce a nice gold effect) instead of the Straw. I do not care for this one as much - too moody-broody for my taste.

So - stick to the Effetre Straw or the Kelp for these - pass on the Pink, I think.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Magazine: Vorsicht! Glas!

New magazine! Printed in Germany - this is an English translated version of a German magazine.

It's way cool.

Apparently - according to a column inside - it is content taken from two issues of the German version.

The translation is a little spotty in places. It is all perfectly understandable - but really needs an editor to go over it one more time. ;-)

The pictures are fabulous - and it contains some excellent tutorials. Some are very basic - but there is one really cool intermediate one as well.

Here's an example of what it looks like inside.

This particular issue has articles on:
History of Glassbeads
Jewelry from Africa
and Tutorials:
OpArt Cubes (see pic)
Flowerstones (Very cool small paperweights)
Triangle beads and
Lining a bead.

A bunch of Eye Candy too.

It's a little oversize - 8.25 x 11.75 inches - and 39 pages. It has a cover price of a whopping 16 Euros - which would make it about $32 Canadian. Ouch.

That said - I would probably buy it anyway. ;-) I'm going to try the flower stones. Although I will have to look up what a "larded fly mushroom" is - as, at one point - that's what the end of the rod is supposed to look like. I can hardly wait!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Finally - some frit success!

This came about directly because of my whining about not being able to get effects I like from the frits. Funnily enough - it came at me in two directions at once - one was someone mentioning to me in person about a "faux boro" technique and the other was from a comment left on this blog - again - pointing me to this "faux boro" technique. (Thanks to Candy at for the comment, and to Elly Peters, at the Toronto Lampworkers' Potluck dinner. She was wearing this piece on Saturday - and it is truly lovely.)

Anyway - the idea is to use a transparent glass that will react with silver and a high silver/reactive frit.

Candy's site suggests Straw or Light Brown, Elly suggested Straw - but what I had to hand was Effetre Kelp - so I used that. I suspect that Effetre 068 Pale Rose would work as well.

Elly suggested a blend of frits, but I just used the Ocelot Spots - as it was still on my bench.

Anyway - take a light transparent that reacts with silver, melt a gather, dip it in the frit - pull out a stringer. Then wind a core with the stringer, and encase. I tried it without pulling it into a stringer, and I like it better if you stringer-ify it first. Better patterns. I tried them over a white core and with no base core, and I like the cored one's better - seems to reflect a bit more light where the stringer is thin.

I did find that for this combo, I had to make sure that the flame was not reducing at all - as that made the whole thing muddy.

I'm particularly pleased with the beads in pics 2 and 3. Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' 'bout! Those are some great colours.

But please - let's not call it faux boro!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Val Cox Frit: Ocelot Spots

See - here is more of why I suck at frit. I wanted to love this one. I really did. Others do such amazing stuff with it. Me - not so much.

Here we see it on clear, on a spacer. Quite nice. I shouldn't whine so much.

and here, over white. Again, very nice.

On blue - light opaque blue - CiM Zachary actually. Where did the blue go?

On ivory. Quite a lot of reation going on - too much, I think. Very dark bead, anyhow.

On black. Boo hiss - those dots were a brilliant blue when they went into the kiln. Not so excited about it now.

On EDP - actually - I really like the corona around the dots on this. Now how to make that work for me ... .

Reduced. OK - no illusions. I knew I wasn't going to like this one.

And finally - I actually halfway like this one - but not because of the frit.

Maybe that's the point - I expect too much from the frit.

This is ivory, silver foil, melt in (you know - maybe the ivory was a poor choice - the silver just reacted so much with it.) Frit, encase. Mash. Add the black. Rake. Add the ridges. It does look like a rock underwater with a ghost on it. The ghost is more obvious when you look at it from the other angle.

A ghost with a balloon, don't you think? ;-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Val Cox Frit: Prince of Tides

Man - I just suck at frit. I don't know what it is - but - it just doesn't speak to me.

Not the fault of the frit - mind you. Just me.

Anyhoo - this is a Val Cox frit - Prince of Tides.

The working notes say:

... vivid display of richly saturated ruby, violet and aqua gem-tones - a luminous, no-fuss blend.
So I tried it ove white - first pic, bead on the right and second pic - (same bead). Bead on the left (first pic) is white, clear, frit, and clear encase. You can see what a mess I made of that one!

But the frit just over white is quite pretty. I think that violet and the aqua are just too far apart in saturation for my taste.

Trying again - over clear, and mashed. Now this bead actually looks better in the photo than it does in real life - because I got a lot more light into it. In real life - it's pretty dark. But I do like the patterns of the frit better. And it has some nice depth. Maybe if I'd done some raking or twisting?

I think this is probably very nice for some people. It is easy to use.

Not doing it for me, however. Too bad.

Friday, December 11, 2009

CiM Great Bluedini and Zachary - numbers.

Ha - now I find it on the CiM site - it is 590. And Zachary is 589.

CiM Great Bluedini

New colour from CiM - and much speculating I did about the name - based on the hand-written label! The Great Bluedini is what it is!

My first impression was Effetre Transparent 027 Dark Teal. And here they are together - the CiM is the fat rod on the top, and the Effetre is the skinny rod on the bottom. Pretty darn close.

On the left - over white. The two on the right - self-coloured. Fairly dark that way. Pretty on the white.

Holds up well - this is very thin trails, over clear, and melted in.

And these a white core, a thin layer of colour, and deep encasing. These are really pretty.

A very nice deep transparent blue-green. I'm thinking it will look nice with CiM Mermaid.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

CiM Oz and Sangre - the Perfect Christmas Green and Red?

"So," - someone says to me - "I think that CiM Sangre and CiM Oz are the perfect Christmas Red and Green. What do you think?"

Well - I think that who ever came up with the idea of "classic holiday colour combinations" should be taken out back and quietly clubbed to death. For one thing - it forms such strong associations that you can't use those colours anywhere else, and for another - the colour combinations are generally ghastly. To whit - Red and Green. Gack. Purple and Yellow. Double Gack. And I like black and orange - but try using them w/o someone getting all Halloweeny on you. And don't get me started on "Red, White, and Blue" - a colour trio with potential for huge abuse.

But - I do like the visual of red berries on a green background - so - what the heck. Oz plus Sangre. Let's try a holly leaf and berries.

Oh - right. Sangre is a transparent. Well - transparent red on green - soooo not going to work.

Helps if you wait for the red to strike too.

So let's try that again.

This time - white under the Sangre - to make it pop. Much better.

The whole effect is very "cheery." Festive. Happy.

That red certainly does pop. And it's a nice bright green. But in my mind - holly leaves are darker, and berries darker and bluer. Hmmm.

Are they the perfect holiday red and green? Well - if you like red and green as a colour combo - maybe they are. If you love festive holiday colour combos - perhaps they are.

I like 'em individually.

Together? Bah, humbug.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Effetre 712: Whisper

The unworked rods are a pale, pale blushy pink - best viewed at an angle. The pink has a faint golden hue to it. Viewed side on - in strong light - the colour washes out and the rods appear almost clear. It has a quality to it that reminds me of the Veiled Rubino. This is behind a thicker veil, tho'. ;-)

This colour is ridiculously sensitive to flame chemistry - and it pays to work it cool. I actually had to step down to the mega and turn the flame way down. With the mid-range - I was burning the heck out of it.

I did notice a lovely flash of gold forming on the unworked rod where it had receive transmitted heat through the rod - not direct heat - so I was then on a mission to get that gold coating.

If you find yourself a completely neutral flame - you get a streaky pink with a hint of gold. I spent quite some time waiting to see if this would strike darker - and this seemed to be as dark as it was going to get.

The barest hint of reduction - and you get more streakiness and more pronounced gold. But - too much reduction and your gold starts to turn leaden and a dull grey.

Varying degrees of reduction. You can't reduce it and unreduce it like some reduction glasses - and once the reduction starts to go to the leadish/blackish - it's really hard to bring it back.

I thought it might do some interesting things over black - the raised pattern is reduced, and we just got a silvery effect (the black is CiM Hades).

The smooth bead, on the bottom rod - did go get some interesting colours that were not readily apparent going into the kiln.

This is a tricky glass to work - you really have to watch your flame chemistry and heat. I think it has some potential for some interesting effects. You really will have to fiddle with your flame on this one.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

CiM: Zachary

Hot out of the furnace - new colour from Creation is Messy. (Not even on their site yet!). This is a Baby Blue or Powder Blue called Zachary. My first thought was "Effetre 220 Periwinkle" - but it is actually a little lighter than Periwinkle.

It actually works up to be slightly paler than the rod colour after heating.

Zachary is slightly streaky - around the bead holes. The first rod was a little shocky to start with, and shot the end off a couple of times, and then settled down and was fine - after that and onto the next rod - no issues - so I think that might have been an anomaly.

It's lovely with this dark blue. Couldn't tell you what the dark blue is - it might be Cornflower - but it was just a dark blue that was on my bench - so no guarantees.

And this is Zachary on the left and Effetre Periwinkle on the right. You can see that the Periwinkle is darker and streakier.

When molten - they are quite different - more so than you would think from the end result. The periwinkle has a distinctly different sort of glow when hot - hard to define. Go heat up a big gather of it and you'll see what I mean.

CiM Zachary - a soft, pretty, baby blue.