Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trunk Show

Had another trunk show at beadFX yesterday. What with all the dog stuff lately - to say I was prepared would have been a gross misrepresentation. ;-) However - it's fun to visit with everyone and do demos on the torch and eat cookies all day - and there is no booth fee - there really isn't any downside.

Here's a few pics - I did not get a fair representation of everyone there - so if I left you out - please don't be offended!

This is Deb Read - performing for the crowd (seriously - the onlookers aren't in the picture.) She whips off big, funky hollow fishies all day long at these things. Like me - she considers it to be more fun to torch than to babysit her booth. All the beads she made yesterday, she is donating to the beadFX Breast Cancer basket. (BeadFX keeps a basket of beads by the cash register - 100% of the proceeds of the sale go to Breast Cancer charities.)

Some of the artists set up in the main body of the store, surrounded by all the pretty beads.

While others are set up in the class room - with a little more room to maneuver.

That's Erin of AirWynn Glass in the background, with the short hair. She of the formerly long hair. She can tell you a good place to NOT get your long hair cut. A place I will be avoiding, let me tell you. The new do is very pretty and flattering - but speaking as someone who knows what it is like to have ass-length, sorry chair-length hair - I would have killed the stylist.

That's Peter - Peter Norton of Nortel Mfg - (inventor of the Minor torch and other stuff) - mugging for the camera.

After delivering shiny new bead presses!

We spent some time playing with the press - and I cored three beads with 1/2 inch holes. This is more like what I had in mind!

Deb told me about a device that is for holding tubing for cutting that holds it and gives you a straight edge to cut - which I either have to get or invest in a cut-off saw - because I just suck at cutting the tubing straight. Really! It takes me longer to square up the tube than to core the bead.

These are some of Kirsty Naray's drop dead gorgeous flower beads. Damn - that woman makes beautiful beads!

This is Julie Beverstein's rather clever display. Good for showing all sides of the bead.

While this display is more organic,

and this is the "traditional" ;-)
"beads on the table and in bowls" approach.

Jody and Shannon - they got the best natural light in their spot by the door!

I didn't get pics of everyone - but for more details on who was there - that was posted on the beadFX blog.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Twistie from Effetre

Five words.

Commercially-made soft glass twisties.

Wow - just look at that! Is that not gorgeous?

Almost too nice to use! But, I feel that way about some of the twisties I make too. ;-)

My second thought was - right after "Wow" - was "Geez - that's so big and thick - That is going to blow up when I put it back into the flame."

Like the thick rods of clear for encasing - that lose a half an inch every time you start a new gather - I figured this was going shock into frit and leave very little to work with (of course, I only had a little bit to try).

So - imagine my joy that it did NOT shock! You can see from the end shot that there is a significant layer of clear around it. It worked just fine - no issues!

So - what does it look like?

I started by winding off two very attractive spacers on a 1/8 mandrel. Very pretty, but don't really capture the ribbony essence of the twistie.

So - to keep the twistie looking like a twistie - I wound off a single wrap on a big hole mandrel. (10 mm)

While I did not do an amazing job of the join (which I haven't shown here) - I also did not "tighten" the twistie as I laid it down. (Usually, twisties sort of relax and become less defined as you use them, so the usual practice is to roll them in your fingers as you lay them down to keep the twist looking tight. The key is to twist in the direction that makes the pattern tighter, not in the direction that untwists it and turns it into two or more wavy lines.)

This is another on a 6 mm mandrel - a double wrap. Also quite effective!

And finally - this cone was the end of the rod - a scrappy little broken piece, laid down over a core of white. Still pretty cool.

I'm pretty excited about this - it was fun to work with - more fun than I expected because I really thought that it was going to shock like heck - and even when the twistie is just giving you streaky colours - it's still pretty cool.

I can hardly wait to see what colours they are going to make, if they will be making more elaborate twists, etc. I hope they do make some smaller ones, I would like to see twisties that could be used directly on beads without overwhelming them. However - even at this size - it is still quite useable. I'm excite to get my hands on more of it. If nothing else - you can make very nice streaky spacers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's Time to Change

OK - it's official. Time to stop calling it Moretti and start calling it Effetre.

A friend of mine just got back from Murano, and after visiting the factory there - would like everyone to know that the three brothers - which is what Effetre means - would really like to be called by their chosen name. ;-)

And as for the pronunciation - it's "eff - eh' - tray'." For those of us who have been pronouncing it as if it were French (eff - et' - tra) - Ahem! - it's Italian.

Effetre, Effetre, Effetre. We can do this. ;-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

More on the New CiM colours

Well - I found the "preview" page on the CiM site - and their pic of Olive is much more of a yellowy green - so I thought I would just try the Olive/Commando comparison again.

Sorry - but I still can't see that much of a difference. This poor little froggy is Olive with Commando spots - and I still can't see a dramatic difference. Maybe I got mis-labled rods.

Apols to the froggy too - I let him get too cold and he has been shedding limbs since I took him out of the kiln.

I also said I thought a peach would be fun from the Phoenix - here it is. A mashed tablet, with Commando leaves.

And finally - as I suspected - the Adamantium makes a great horse - black is too hard to see the details after - this color works out much better.

The bottom pony has a Metallic Black or Dark Silver Plum mane - the other two have intense black manes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

TAG 104 - Green Dalai again

Still digging the Green Dalai from TAG.

In this case, I was going for smaller beads (these are about 20 mm across). I super-heated the Dalai (but it never actually went clear). I wound the core bead, and let the glass cool to not-glowing. At that point - the glass looked black.

I built a gather of clear - about twice the size of the original bead, and got it very hot, and wound it onto the core bead. I made sure that the clear went down over the edges. Then it was just a matter of heating the whole thing smooth.

You can see they have struck to some interesting blues and greens. Very "planetary." I wonder how I can float some continents on there!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CiM Olive and CiM Commando

Two new greens from Creation is Messy - and while the unworked rods look different - I have to admit - the resulting beads look very similar. The olive does seem a little lighter, and somewhat streakier.

The second pic shows the heated ends of the rod - same order as the first pic - the darker one is the Commando.

The top mandrel (with the small green marker) is the Commando. The bottom mandrel (with the red marker bead) is the Olive.

The bead on the center mandrel is half and half. The left side is Olive, and the right side (with the ivory dot) is Commando. Here's a close up of it on the right.

However, it does look like the Commando is more reactive with Ivory.

This dot on dot bead on the left is Command and Ivory.

This triple row of dots is the same ivory on the Olive - and there appears to be much less of a reactive line.

Interesting, no?

It's a nice shade of green. This recent batch of new colours is a nice addition to the color palette.

BTW - I also love the silky texture of these rods - they feel so nice in the hand when working them!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CiM - Tamarind

The Tamarind is a tropical tree with a fruit that is used in foods from spicy to sweet. You might have encountered it in a dish of Pad Thai.

This CiM Tamarind is a warm brown, a real, soft mocha colour. It's streaky, and doesn't appear to react with ivory.

This looks like another great, organic color, good for natural stuff, trees, horses, dogs, etc.

A nice warm, toasty color.

Happy Hour Conflict

I have a conflict for Happy Hour torching at the beadFX studio. (Thursday evening.)

If anyone is going - you are still welcome to - but there is ALSO a Lampworker's get together that evening at the Mill Street Pub, starting at 6 ish, down in the Distillery district. You are more than welcome to come to that instead!

Let me know if you need directions!

Monday, May 18, 2009

CiM - Phoenix

First, CiM brings us Adamantium, now we have CiM Phoenix. Could it be there is a big X-Men fan at CiM? ;-)

Methinks there is!

Boy, was I surprised by this glass. This is a striking, opaque orange, with as wide a range as Jean Grey, a.k.a. Phoenix, and later, Dark Phoenix, herself.

Phoenix, is, of course, also the mythical bird that arises anew from the ashes of it's own funeral pyre.

The unworked rods themselves vary in intensity of color - but all seem to work up the same.

When hot - the glass looks white to grey, and cools to a light colour. If you put it in the kiln at that point, it will come out of the kiln a light peach colour.

However, re-introducing it into the flame (striking) will produce a blush of colour that gets darker the more times you reheat it.

See the bottom mandrel in the photo on the right - the right hand bead was struck, while the left hand bead went into the kiln without re-heating.

These two beads were partially struck, you can see the color has bloomed on one side - like a partially ripened fruit!

The strike is very easy to control - it might be fun to make some peach beads with one side riper! Or sunset beads - with the sunset deepening from pale to dark orange. Or maybe a phoenix bird - shading from dark to light?

And finally - we have CiM Adamantium in combination with CiM Phoenix. You can see that the Adamantium looks more brown than grey here. In fact, you could argue for some time as to whether it is grey or brown. Notice that the Phoenix has ranged from a pale flesh color to a deep orange, depending on how long it is struck.

Wolverine and Phoenix, Logan and Jean, together at last. ;-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

CiM - Adamantium

Way back when - oh, about a million years ago, in a former life - my then-boyfriend headed out of town, looking for greener pastures. (He went to Toronto to look for work, actually.) He left me with one of his most precious possessions - 3 cartons of individually bagged comic books - all lovingly collected and preserved. Mostly Marvel comics - including a near-complete collection of the Uncanny X-Men. (And a list of things I couldn't do while reading them. Don't break the spines, don't eat, no liquids. But I was allowed to read them!)

So that was how I discovered Wolverine. AKA Logan - the Canadian lone-wolf beserker mutant with a super-healing ability, an implanted, unbreakable Adamantium skeleton, a mysterious past, and attitude to burn. The coolest hero ever to walk the pages of a comic book. I was a Wolverine fan looooong before the movies.

So - imagine my delight that CiM has a new color "Adamantium."

The unworked rods are a silky matte grey that actually doesn't look like glass to the casual glance. In fact, my husband was momentarily puzzled be the rod I handed him - "Is this glass?"

Adamantium is a dark, warm, slightly streaky grey. (A warm grey is a slightly brownish grey, as opposed to a cool grey - which is slightly blueish.)

It seems to get darker, the longer it is worked.

Notice, in this picture - the single bead (right, top) was reduced - and looks darker. (And in life too.) The two pairs of beads (lower two mandrels) - the beads on the right also seem a little darker (not much), and they were made first on the mandrels and so were heated, cooled and reheated more times than the beads on the left of the mandrel.

These two are Adamantium and Ivory (Moretti Light Ivory.) There is a little bleeding of colors - but no apparent reaction.

These two beads, indicated with magenta arrows, have melted-in clear dots.

In short - this is a silky, organic color that I can see being a very useful addition to the colour palette. I like the warm grey, and I can see using this for, say, my horse beads.

Hard to imagine as it is that I would get excited about a grey, this is a really nice accent colour and a good colour to use with other colors.

Unlike Wolvie's skeleton, however, I can't imagine that this Adamantium is unbreakable. ;-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pics of Shampoo Glass

Pics of the shampoo glass beads.

I found a little about this glass online. Apparently - it has a lead content, and that is why it is so sparkly.

Even if you over heat it and it goes transparent - it's a pretty nice transparent. Which is probably because of the lead.

What the implications are for working it, I don't know.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Slowing Down

I've had precious little time at the torch lately (but the good news is, Abby is recovering quite nicely - in physiotherapy now and I see improvement every day!).

So, for a change at Happy Hour torching - I thought I'd drag out the shampoo glass that I bought some years ago. If you aren't familiar with it - it has that pearly shimmer that shampoo has. As I remember - I need to work it cool - so I plonk myself down at a Minor torch for the first time in quite some time - fire it up, and the first impression I had was - "awww - what a cute widdle fwame. Isn't that adorable!"

Do NOT pet the flame. I can remember when a Minor Burner's flame was big and scary! And now it's cute. My, my, how things change.

And yes - I'll post pics of the beads when I get them back - but they are at the studio so I won't see them till I'm in next.