Monday, March 29, 2010

Val Cox Frit: Champagne Rain

Love the sound of this name - Champagne Rain - I want to pronounce it Chaaaaam-paaaaaaain- Raaaaaain - like a motorcycle shifting gears on a loooooong mountain highway. (Anyone old enough and west coast enough to remember the old Rainier Beer commercials will know exactly what I mean!)

The Val Cox website says this about it:

A luxurious blend of opaques and sparklingly gold tones--perfect for when you want to play dress-up.

Melt slowly and avoid getting it too hot.

but the insert from the package says this:

Blend - Opaque/Transparent

Rich, complex and gorgeous neutral tones of highlighted with goldstone. (sic) Work in a neutral flame, with or without silver foil.

And you can see the flakes of goldstone when you look at it.

I did not see the advice about "melting slowly" - so I worked at my usual breakneck speed.

First up, on white, on the right, and on the left, a white base bead with clear, then rolled in the frit. I wondered as I made it if it was going to strike and go a bit darker - I was wondering about the lighter spots. But - it looks like I just missed getting frit on them.

Next - the old dip-the-gather and wind technique. This is a pretty handsome bead.

This cone is a ivory base, rolled in silver foil and melted in, rolled in frit, and a few daubs of Double Helix Psyche, and marvered into shape. I think this one is pretty cool - but where the heck did all those holes come from? They were there when I put it in - and I don't remember seeing it boil. Not sure if that is from not heating the bead release enough or if it is a reaction. Or maybe it was the "should have heated it slowly" thought. Hmmm - that seems most likely.

This bead is the same idea, white base on the left and ivory on the right, foil, melt in, frit, melt in.

I like this one too.

Same again, on Opal Yellow. Foil, melt in. Frit, daubs of Psyche, melt in. Shape, mash. I reduced this one, decided I didn't like it, and unreduced it.

This is a white base, built as a disk, roll in frit, melt slightly, wind on clear, and melt down - distorting the frit. I like this one so much that I have two photos - as it looks quite different on different sides. The goldstone shows very nicely.

This is on Psyche, and reduced. Ick. Don't do this one.

Got some nice effects with this one. Next time I use it - I'll have to remember to be more gentle with it and melt it more slowly.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Val Cox Frit: Mood Swings

I picked up a jar of "Mood Swings" - well - because I couldn't resist the name. I mean, really. My life in a jar. Crushed.

Ah well.

I'm off again for a couple of days, this time, to a Swarovski conference. How cool is that? A busman's holiday to be sure, but still. Others go to soak up the warm light from the sun - I go to soak up the highly reflected light from Austrian Crystal.

Mood Swings. A pretty blend that reminds me a little of a softer version of Gypsy Skirt.

The blurb from the Val Cox Frit site says:

A classic favorite that's full of surprises. There is a ruby kiln-strike color in the blend so the true red/pink aspects don't fully emerge until your beads come out of the kiln.

Use this sparingly because the colors are intense and it can become dark. Wonderful with silver.

Which I guessed as much - but didn't actually read until after I had used it. Use s.p.a.r.i.n.g.l.y. You know what folks, I need a frit that the instructions say "Use LOTS of this. Lots and Lots. More is better. You shouldn't even see the glass underneath." Either that, or make bigger test beads. Or use a less efficient method of getting the frit on the bead.

First up, rolled in clear. That striking in the kiln thing? Yep. These are waaaay darker than they looked when I put them in.

And, over white. Dark. Not hideous, but not glowing little gem-like jewels of dazzling colour.

On the left, on turquoise. Like the separation that happened in the turquoise. On the right, on white and encased smearyly. Which would be encasing without trying to keep the dots clean. But not trying to blend. Lazy encasing, if you like. This one is pretty nice, actually.
This pair is on Copper Green. Figuring the separation was pretty cool on the turquoise, it would be cool on the Copper Green. And it is. The one on the right, just too much frit, however.

And, on Nyx. I figured this frit would react with silver, so I used a silver glass. Interesting, but waaaay too dark.

And finally, on turquoise, encased and distorted. Interesting, but ... .

Now I have an entire jar of this to figure out what to do with. Should probably stick to the sample packs.

Friday, March 12, 2010

More on Clio

I'm back! - I know, I know, "You went somewhere?" Well, nevermind, I was away, and away from the torch too.

However, I'm back, and I warmed up by making a few more beads with Clio.

This time, knowing that Clio develops colour, I actually made a point of striking it. And very rewarding it was too. This time, I got a deep marachino red with a steel metallic lustre.

Strong backlighting shows the colour better.

As an encasing layer, you could probably get this lighter so that you can see more of the colour.

Definitely will be getting more of this!