Saturday, July 30, 2011

CiM 801 Marble Ltd Run

This is CiM 801 Marble Ltd Run.

Marble is a translucent milky white in the rod - that looks pretty much like 806 Cirrus - but goes opaque white in the kiln - much like the Lauscha Milky Way.

It really does look like Cirrus when unworked - the lower bead on the left is Cirrus - but it annealed as white. I think it may be stiffer than an opaque white - so there may be some beads that this works better for - if you find that regular whites are losing their shape - i.e. sculptural beads.

Friday, July 29, 2011

CiM 403: Army Men Ltd Run

Green army guys! Beloved of destructive small boys every where! Well - according to "Toy Story," anyway.

This is CiM 403 Army Men, and I'd say that the colour seems like a good match - although I don't have any around here for reference, and I'm not entirely clear if I actually, personally had any as a kid. I think I might have - but you know - memory can be a slippery thing, sometimes.

It is a sagey grey-green, and - what I really like - seems very streaky!
This bead has light ivory dots on it. I'm liking the nice reaction/separation line around the ivory, for sure.

Not a super exotic or in your face colour - but a really nice one, nevertheless.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CiM 404: Jade Palace Ltd Run

This is CiM 404 Jade Palace. I can't see the number "404" without first thinking of the "404 Page not found" error message - and then, the highway that divides Toronto into two halves. However, Jade Palace is a lovely green and nothing to do with either one.

This is a solid spacer, and came out more opaque, but lighter in shade than the next bead. I have noticed that some translucents tend to opacify if you repeatedly heat and cool them - and, as the first spacer on the mandrel - this got quite a bit of reheating - so I think - *think* - that is what is going on here, but I haven't tested it for sure yet.

This next one is also a solid spacer - and you can see that it is a deeper, richer, colour. It is also a bigger bead.

This is a thin layer encased over clear - you can see that this one cracked, but I think that was my technique - not the fault of the glass. I wanted to see if it would stand up to being thinned out, and it did, just fine.

Really liking this colour - but it's green and a translucent - so my liking it was pretty much a given!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CiM 401: Seafoam Limited Run

Bunch of pretty new colours from CiM to play with!

This is CiM Seafoam Ltd Run. Seafoam is a translucent oceany, beach-glassy green. It's really pretty and I really, really like it! Yum.

These are both self-coloured Seafoam - the one on the right is a little lighter in colour - not sure if that is because it is smaller (so - less density of colour) or because it got more heating and cooling cycles (made first.) It seems a little more opaque - so I'm leaning towards the latter - but more testing should make that more obvious.

I thought it looked like it might be close to Effetre 516 Nile Green Opalino - but in fact - Nile Green Opalino is a yellowier-green.

In this pic - the top bead and rod is Seafoam, and the bottom is Nile Opalino.

Seafoam - love it! This is the sort of colour I would have planned!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vetro 817-P Extremely Pale Light Olive

Geez - calling this green in any form, even "extremely pale light" is stretching the definition. You know when you go to the paint store and they have 9 million shades of white? This is one of those colours.

It's an off-white - and I'll grant you that you might want to argue it's a vaguely greenish white. Polar Green Tea. Artic Lettuce. Early Frost. You could argue it being vaguely bluish too, depending on the light.

It reacts with the turquoise too. I think there is a use for it, surely. A reactive white? A near-white ivory? Has possibilities!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Effetre 731 Cinnamon Chocolotta

Mmm - want some Cinnamon on your Mocha Latte? Effetre Cinnamon Chocolotta is a nice, streaky red-brown with dark brown streaks - giving it something of a wood grain look!

Here is a single colour spacer.

Here, I tried various dot colours. The CiM Fremen has a nice little reactive border. The Cin. Chocolotta on top of the ivory has separated in an interesting way.

The EDP (Effetre 254) looks like someone barfed on the bead.

In case you weren't impressed with the ugliness of that - here's a close up of the other side. Like I said, barfy.

Interesting glass - has potential. Don't put EDP on it. ;-)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Task Lighting and Studio Set up thoughts

When setting up your torch and work bench, you need to pay particular attention to lighting. I do know people with their studio set up in brilliantly-lit rooms in strong sunlight, and for the life of me, I have no idea how they can read the heat in the glass. I wound up torching somewhere once with full sunlight shining right on the torch - and I couldn't even see the flame, much less figure out if the glass was going to melt. It was a fairly hellish experience. To each, their own, I guess.

I prefer the torch itself to be fairly dark, so that I can easily read the heat base in the glass as I work, and a bright light nearby so I can tell what colour rod I'm using, and to wash out the effect of the heat in the glass, so I can check and see what the bead will (more or less), look like when it's cool.

Here - you see a 3-light standard lamp - one light shining down on the table to illuminate the glass, and handy to hold beads in progress up to, to check the colours. The second light bounces off the wall, and the third is aimed straight up, to bounce off the ceiling, for diffuse, indirect, ambient light.

Nothing to do with lighting, but my "assistant" - the glass rod rack - stands behind the torch, lined up, so that the protruding rods receive heat from the flame. I can adjust the heat they get by sliding the rods to the right, out of the flame, or left, into the flame. The first (lowest) three positions get the most heat (slot 2 and 3 will line up right in the flame, and slot one gets a little less heat, it clears the flame. The other 4 hold glass and keep it handy - also good for drying big mandrels. Or regular ones. The assistant is great for big rods, shocky glass, and for seriously speeding up production work! I adore it and consider it to be seriously useful.

And here's another idea. My dipped mandrels (they are stuck in a piece of floral foam - Oasis - by the way) - they sit on a lazy susan (from Ikea) - so that I can rotate it to get at the big, thin, long, fat, or dry ones, as the case demands.

There you go - some food for thought. The task lighting is really important, though, I think. You will do better work if you can "see" the heat in the glass easily, but some patterns and colour combos, you just don't know what you are getting if you don't look at it under a strong, direct light.

Gives you more control over the end result!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Effetre 416 Bright Yellow

As promised - the picture of Effetre 416 Bright Yellow. The reason I couldn't find it was ... I hadn't taken it yet.

It's a bright, happy highlighter-yellow that stays yellow. It also reacts with Turquoise (2nd from the right) - and so would reaction with greens too, I would say - like the ivory does.

The batch I'm using has that slightly rough texture to the rods that you see (feel?) occasionally - but that's not making any difference to how the glass works.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Yellows - Comparison

Most of you will have figured out by now that the "hot" colours, especially the opaques, tend to shift a bit in colour when worked - leaving you wondering how you got a kiln full of tangerine beads and wondering where all the lemon went?

A recent order called for beads in "Lemon and Butter." Better test the colours to make sure before making a whack of them.

These first three are, from left to right
Vetro 910 Translucent Yellow Odd Lot, Effetre 640 Mimosa Yellow, and Effetre 508 Yellow Opalino.

The V910 is a streaky caramel, and the opalino is also streaky and orange - but the 640 is spot on - a lovely translucent bright yellow.

Next up, from left to right, Vetro 412 Dark Yellow, Effetre 408 Medium Lemon Yellow, Vetro 404 Light Lemon Yellow, and Effetre 404 Light Lemon Yellow.

The V412 Dark Yellow has too much orange for my purposes, and while the E408 Medium Lemon is really gorgeous - streaky tangerine and apricot and butter, again - not what I need for this particular order. The V404 Light Lemon is distinctly different, again, too streaky, from the E404 - which is spot-on for what I need. Yum.

Further test also confirmed that the E416 Bright Yellow was a keeper too - I'll add it as soon as I figure out which directory I stuck the photo in.

In the transparents, from the left, in so far as the yellow transparents go milky anyway, we have Effetre 069 Electric Yellow (a striking colour), Vetro 008 Yellow (Transparent), and Effetre 008 Very Pale Amber (Transparent.) The Vetro 008 Yellow is the colour of Amber or perhaps lager, as is the aptly named Effetre Very Pale Amber. The Electric Yellow is a winner, however.

So the winners are, in the "Yellows that Stay Yellow" Sweepstakes:

  • Effetre 640 Mimosa Yellow (Surprise Winner)
  • Effetre 069 Electric Yellow (not a surprise)
  • Effetre 404 Light Lemon Yellow
  • Effetre 416 Bright Yellow
In addition - I have also used the Lauscha Yellow Opaque in the past and it has stayed true in color.

The E408 Medium Lemon is truly yummy, but not for this project.

Friday, July 01, 2011

TAG Fire Lotus - a work in progress

I had another go at TAG Fire Lotus this week. I actually spent some time on the phone with Jenny at TAG - because I was struggling with it so much.

She told me to get it clear-hot in the gather before applying to the bead - and bring it down close to the torch face - down into the candles - and look for the white rectangle that forms on the bead. After that - apply the glass to the bead, shape and cool. Really cool. Once you've gotten the glass that hot - it's going to take a while. So let it cool until you're sure the bead will crack when you bring it back to the flame.

The glass will go amber once it has cooled - a pale, possibly wispy amber. But wait.Wait some more - it will go darker. Then reheat to red hot, cool again. Repeat the cooling and heating cycle for more colours.

And, she said, if it gets stuck in the "poo zone" (sh1tty brown colour) - re-heat to clear and start again. Love that. The "poo zone." Yep - know what that means!

My other question was - what should it look like when it goes into the kiln? and the answer is - it's going to come out looking like it went in. (Use a strong, local light, like a desk lamp, so that you can really see the colours, and override the effect of the heat on the colours.)

I thought I had been getting it really hot - with the mid-range - you tend to get things hot - but I was loosing control of the glass before it went clear. I was getting translucent amber with an opaque, wispy core. So - for this round - I used a mega minor and tanked oxygen for a tighter, more intense flame (that wasn't going to burn through the mandrel!)

And this time - I really did get it to clear hot. And I brought it down in the flame, and whoosh - white, opaque rectangles bloomed where the flame hit the glass at it's most intense. And I slapped it on the base bead (clear) - and then I heated it some more, and it truly did go clear. Then I let it cool. It cooled enough to crack the bead, but as it hadn't fallen off the mandrel - I kept going. It really did go amber, and then a darker shade.

Not sure how many time I cycled through the cooling and heating, but this is the bead I got. This is a clear base, Fire Lotus in the center, and black ends added.

Well, that was fairly dramatic - let's try that again. Let's have something to do while the bead cools - let's make another beside it. Hmmm - that went all wonky. Fill in the middle, mash it. Aw, heck. This is clear, with Fire Lotus, and black in the middle, and a funky shape.

Again, Fire Lotus over clear. Honestly - no idea what happened here - this looks like some sort of copper reaction. Kind of interesting.
Can we work it small? Three small spacers, made at the same time, base of clear.
Well - this is all well and good, but what can you DO with it. Let's try making a dragon eye. This is a dragon eye, the lids are Fire Lotus, with Clio dots.

Here's another, a plain one. The iris is Fire Lotus and clear - I was going to make a cabochon, but I just couldn't resist turning it into an eye, so I stuck a pupil into it (Eff. Black - bad idea. It bled. Oh well.) The lids are Fire Lotus.
This bead got away from me - I had to reheat it back to clear and the whole bead turned liquid and the Fire Lotus got mixed in with the clear in the process of rebalancing and getting the shape back. It's pretty cool - although in real life - it's quite dark.

So - better success this time. In a nutshell:
  1. Really, really heat it. Clear.
  2. White Bloom.
  3. Cool to amber,
  4. dark amber.
  5. Reheat.
  6. Cool and reheat for more colours.