Sunday, December 16, 2012

CiM 205: Tandoori Ltd Run

Ok, I'm totally losing track of all these transparent striking reds. This is a slow-to-strike transparent red. 
This bead went into the kiln without being struck, and, as you can see, it didn't strike in the kiln.
From left to right, self coloured, over clear, and over white.  This colour strikes very slowly, but it doesn't go overly dark. It's a nice bright, happy colour!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Dirty Little Secret

Hey - we've all seen these nifty tools with their fabulous, oh so perfect handles.

Sure, it's a cool tool, but the flames really make it, right?
But last week, when I went to pick mine up - the handle fell off the graphite block. Just slid right out. Not glued in securely enough, I guess. And that's when I found out their dirty little secret.

It's a screwdriver. The fancy flame-decorated handle is just a screwdriver. Stuck into the graphite block.
I'm not sure if I'm impressed with the creativity and thinking outside the box, or if I feel slightly cheated.

Anyway - now you know.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Comparison Effetre Lapis and CiM Blue Suede Shoes

I know I have talked about CiM Blue Suede Shoes before - comparing it to Effetre Lapis.

It is such a drop dead gorgeous colour - how can I not re-visit it?

Here we have the rod ends - on top - Effetre Med Lapis, next is Effetre Light Lapis, and on the bottom, Blue Suede Shoes. In the rod - the Blue Suede Shoes and the Light Lapis are a near perfect match.
Here is the full mandrel. On the far left is Eff. Med Lapis, then 4 self coloured Blue Suede Shoes, and the far right is Eff Light Lapis.
Here is a close up of 3 of the Blue Suede Shoes.
And this is BSS on the left, and Lt Lapis on the right. Once cooled, it is a near perfect match. Oddly though, when hot, it is significantly lighter than the BSS, but when they came out of the kiln - they all matched.
Because the Light Lapis was so much lighter when hot - I grabbed the Med. Lapis (left) to compare as well. When hot, it looks exactly like the BSS, but when back to room temp, the Med. Lapis is a little darker.

It is just such a stunning colour - I can just sit and make spacers in this all day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CiM 607: Vineyard Ltd Run

Vineyard - a dark, translucent purple. A dark reddish, plummy purple. CiM says it is an opal, but mostly it reads as an opaque.

From the left, two self-coloured beads, Vineyard over clear, and over white. 

 On the left, Vineyard + silvered ivory stringer. On the right, with Rubino encased goldstone stringer.
Nice, rich colour. One of the rods I had was super-shocky - but it seemed to just be that rod.

Friday, November 23, 2012

CiM 510: Ink Blot

 Ink Blot from CiM - as noted by other reviewers on CiM's site - the rod appears to be a very dark purple, like Effetre's Ink Blue. The rod reads as black, and only when held up to a light can you see the colour.

So right away - I was thinking of diluting it, core-cane, etc.

However - it comes out of the kiln as a slatey, blue grey and not purple at all.

Below, we have from left to right, a self-coloured bead, over clear, over white, and self with a white-cored cane.

 Here are the same beads, with the white-cored cane on the side. The cane, on the bead, is certainly not as intense as I expected.

I suspect I will like it fine once I get over the disappointment of it not being purple.

Friday, November 16, 2012

CiM 511: Thunder Egg Ltd Run

When I test colours - I borrow a trick from the studio in order to keep track of the colours. In the studio - because we have multiple students using a common kiln, we ask everyone to "mark" their mandrels by putting a wrap of colour on the end of the mandrel. Student 1 will pick blue, Student 2 will use green, 3 will use red, etc. This eliminates the "whose bead is this?" "Did I make that?" and "I don't remember this one!"

I mark the mandrels and make notes in a book I keep by the torch.

It's especially good for those tricky silver glasses.

Sometimes, however it's good in other cases too ... .

This is CiM Thunder Egg. Ooooh - pretty colour - like paler version of Poseidon.  Thunder Egg below, Poseidon on top.

 Let's just whip off a couple of beads. Pull 'em out of the kiln the next day. Hmmm - wait a minute. Recheck notes. Two self spacers, 3rd, white core, encased Thunder Egg, with raked pattern of silvered ivory. Thunder Egg. Blue.

Hmmmm. Not blue.


Ahhhh - maybe check CiM's website. Thunder Egg - an Opal Light Sky Blue - click for more. Ok, clicking on more and wondering wtf ...

" ... strikes to a grey to mink colour"

Well - whaddya know? There is, in fact, almost no trace of the opal sky blue, and it is pretty thoroughly Mink coloured.

Some folks report that Mink plays well with silver. I guess that I should try silver with Thunder Egg and see what happens.

Wow - flat out one of the most completely unexpected colour changes I've ever had.

I guess the question is now, how to keep it blue. Because the Creation is Messy page show samples that are blue or only partially struck.  So there has to be a way!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ooooops! Meltdown!

Well - it happens to everyone eventually. Either the kiln, or the operator, fails and ooops - the temperature goes too high and you ruin a kiln full of beads.

So it was inevitable that it happened to me at some point. And it just did.

I was just heading past the kiln, and I looked at the temperature as I went by, and instead of a temperature, it read:  "HTdE."

Hmmm. That's not normal.

Cracked open the kiln door - woo boy  - it's glowin' like Chernobyl in there. The beads have actually dripped off the mandrels, and melted into a big free form plate (proving that glass really does want to be 1/4 inch thick).

Not good. 

Ok, turn kiln off. Look again. The glass has flowed all over the floor of the kiln and the mandrel rests. The beads are one big puddle.

Nothing here is salvageable - let's try and mitigate the damage to my kiln.

Pull the mandrels out and put them aside - on something non-flamable, please!

The glass however - that's a lot of heat. Fill a bucket with water.

Pull the kiln rests out with the long tweezers, and take outside and dump into the bucket.

Inside the kiln, a few "cabochons" of glass remain - but some poking with the tweezers frees them from the floor of the kiln. Never did get around to putting on that recommended layer of kiln wash that all the books say you should put on the kiln floor for just such an emergency. Fortunately - the kiln floor was fairly dirty - which made it easier to get the glass off.

Here's some pictures so you can see the gory details.

These are the mandrels - sans beads.  :-(

My glass encrusted mandrel rests. Notice how nicely it goes with the autumn leaves?

 Pulling it out of the bucket.  A metal bucket would have been better, but I was in something of a hurry at that point.

See - it pays to not sweep out the floor of your kiln. You can see the accumulated flaked off bead release on the bottom of the glass. Once again, being lazy saves the day!

The error message, HTdE, btw - is High Temperature Deviation - meaning the kiln overshot it's target temperature by more than 100 degress. Possibly due to a stuck relay. I will be watching the kiln like a hawk for the next little while.

Or possibly because I accidentally turned the kiln off, restarted the program, and didn't give it time to establish what temperature it was at before telling it to Skip Step. Seems to me I saw this happen before - it just didn't matter because there was nothing in the kiln at the time.

So - give it a few minutes if you have to restart the program on the kiln, and never forget to check the temp occasionally - just in case.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Effetre Silver #4

After I posted about the new Effetre Silver glasses - someone posted in the comments that they understood that the point of these new glasses was to work well with silver and silver glasses, not that they have a high silver content.

So, I had another go at it.

This is a spacer of Effetre Silver #4,  with a center line of silvered ivory, and transparent dots on either side of the line. Melting the dots down "pushes" the silvered ivory into the distinctive wave form.

This is just silvered ivory on #4. The silver has fumed the #4 into a warm, chestnut colour. 
 This is Okeanos over #4.
 This is a hodgepodge of: clear core, encased w #4, squiggles of silvered ivory and okeanos. Melt them in, apply a lot of heat, mash and reshape, and more trails of okeanos. It's kind of a muddy mess, I'll admit.

This is a base of ivory, wrapped in silver foil and melted in. Rolled in Electra frit, some Okeanos on top, more frit, and reduced. Well, what do you know. I apparently forgot to put any of the #4 in it at all. Sigh.
 The rainbow effect of the Okeanos "flames" is pretty cool though.

Do I have a conclusion? Well - the #4 does fume up like crazy, and goes some nice colours. Am I really excited about it? Not yet. It's not bad. It just has to turn blue or purple in order for me to get really excited. Green and brown I can do any day.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

CiM 207: Daffodil

With a 200 series number, we know that CiM has classified Daffodil as an "orange" - instead of a yellow. This is the classic "schoolbus" colour - it looks yellow - until you put it next to something yellow - in which case - it is obviously orange. Then you put it next to something orange, and it is, of course, obviously yellow.

Schoolbuses and pencils. That colour.

And see what I mean about CiMs not shifting - the worked colour is very true to the rod colour.

It's a wonderfully creamy colour to work. A true opaque, and buttery to melt.

You can see from these two, it is a little streaky.

It's fun to work. Very creamy. 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

CiM 301: Canary

I've tested this before, CiM Canary, and nothing has changed. The glass from Creation is Messy is wonderfully consistent, and the yellows, oranges and red are much more "what you see is what you get" than the same colour ranges from the Italian manufacturers.

It's a pure yellow - not quite as intense as it might be, owing to it being translucent instead of opaque. 

I wonder what it would look like in an encased cane, over a core of white, or maybe over something else, and used as hair for a mermaid or angel. Hmm.

I didn't have any problems with it boiling - but this style of bead is not worked hot. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Mystery Mustard

I was over at Nortel the other day - rooting around through the glass - looking for a Banana Yellow. I wanted a bright, happy yellow, with no orange, but more banana than hi-lighter colour.

I thought I might struck gold, or yellow, so to speak with this glass. The rod appears to be the right colour - and Jean told me that it was an odd lots, she had multiple pounds of it, and would let it go cheap as she didn't know what it was called.

Score. So I took home a few rods to test.

Sigh - not bananas. Unless you think "bananas just before turning black and squashy." More of a mustard colour. Dijon mustard.

 Oh, and btw, this is why I am LOVING the new Foster Fire. Those loose beads FELL off the mandrel. Just slid off without any provocation. Woo HOO.

The Mystery Mustard is a slightly translucent colour, and would probably look a little brighter over a base of white. But for my purposes - it is not bright enough. So, if you love it - call up Jean and score it while you can. She has a few pounds of it, and is anxious to move it out! 

It's so frustrating with the Effetre and Vetro yellows, oranges and reds. They all shift a little in colour.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Just for fun: Obsidian + Silver

Another, just for fun, eye candy sort of a post. These beads are a core of CiM Obsidian, a layer of fine silver, melted in,  reduce, and encase with clear.

 This one has spirals pressed into the clear. There is also a cubic zirconia in there.

This one had some fine silver wire as well, just for fun.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Double Helix Terranova

Either the search function on this blog is not working worth 5h1t, or I haven't reviewed Terranova before. Which strikes me as weird. Cuz I've been using it for a while. It's a great glass - I've been using it in the Dragon Eyes for a long time.

Anyway - I was just making some beads for fun - something that I haven't been doing very often and something that seriously needs to change - and I made these. A core of Terranova, marvered, and encased in clear.

The droopy one was deliberate, btw.

Large range of colours, purples and reds. Very dramatic. Easy to get the colour too. I like this glass a lot - can't think why I haven't talked about it before.

Or, as I said, the search function is just broken.