Saturday, September 29, 2012

Effetre 756: Rogue

 Rogue - an interesting streaky grey - streaked with browns.

Not sure if this is a reaction, like a reduction, or a streakiness. Any way - these four spacers are just wound out of Rogue. The grey is a sort of a blue grey - and the brown streaks - which are variable - almost like a transparent - add a very interesting and organic touch.

Normally - I would assume this is a streaky glass - but something about the end of the partially worked rod just has me wondering about that.
Anyway - interesting colour and bears further experimentation.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

CiM 106: Firecracker

 CiM Firecracker.  A juicy and delicious new red.

CiM describes Firecracker as an Opaque, but when diluted with clear, or only partially struck - it is a transparent.

It really is a wonderful shade of red - it might be my new favorite red! 

Here, on the left, self coloured, wound, relatively cool. On the right, made a gather first - heated to clear hot, self struck as it cooled. Kilned, no further striking.

 Here, the one on the left was heated a lot - you see some streakiness in it. The one on the right has a clear core.
 Just for fun, clear core, streak of Firecracker, allow to droop, cap of clear.

More spacers - each a slightly different shade, depending on the degree of heating. 

 This is a base of firecracker, encase clear, Goldstone stringer, mash, press pattern.

And finally - Firecracker. with dot of clear. 

Firecracker is a transparent red - ranging from amber through orange to red, depending on the degree of striking. It does tend to develop cloudiness as it is worked, but it is a delicious and juicy colour with no hint of liveriness (brown-ness).


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Torching for Beads of Courage @ BeadFX

Attention Lampworkers!

Support Beads of Courage - at BeadFX - Sep 29

BeadFX is having a Beads of Courage Day. BeadFX is donating torch time, Nortel Mfg & Creation is Messy is donating glass. Lampworkers - come and give your time and talent to make beads for Beads of Courage.

Saturday, Sep 29 - 9 am to 6 pm.

Phoning to reserve a torch is encouraged - but drop-ins are welcome - based on availability. Some glass will be provided, but feel free to bring your own as well.

Learn more about beads of courage here:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bead Release: Foster Fire

Foster Fire Bead Release.

It's back.

And it's good.

Foster Fire has a bit of history behind it. When it first came on the scene - quite a few years ago - I adored it. It held up to my big beads, and was the ONLY bead release that worked with those curved mandrels from Inspiration.

However, I noticed that it stopped being great - and became mediocre - and I drifted away from it - trying and liking other bead releases over the years.

Then - this came back into my hands again. "Uh," I said, "Um - I have really liked this for awhile."

Try it again, I was urged.

The story is, briefly - that the original owner and inventor - Robin Foster - sold the business - and the new proprietor tinkered with the formula.

Ms Foster has now bought her company back - can't begin to tell you how often that happens! - and is now producing it again with the original formula.

So - does it work? Oh yeah.

It does need a little drying time - about 10 - 20 mins - depending on the humidity. I find that if the bead release is dripping wet - it will pop and fly off the mandrel - so let it dry a little before using the flame to finish drying it.

Or leave over night.

It will sometimes develop small cracks in the bead release when heated - and remember - I am using a big torch (Nortel Mid-range) - but they cracks don't open up and you can actually lay down the glass over the cracks without fear of the glass sticking to the mandrel.

It does stand up to the weight of the big beads - although the intense heat does seem to make the unprotected (un-covered) bead release more subject to breaking away.

Pulling the beads, however, is a dream. These slide off like they are buttered.

And this is a huge plus as far as I am concerned. I HATE pulling beads.

So Yay! Foster Fire is back and as good as it used to be.

(Kind of nice to be able to say that about anything!)

Monday, September 03, 2012

Torch Test: Bethlehem Alpha: First Impressions

No - I haven't abandoned my beloved Mid-Range Plus - but I do have a change to test drive the Bethlehem Alpha.

Holy cr4p - this sucker pumps out heat.

 The first impression of this torch is that it is a stylish and sexy piece of equipment.

My initial uses - this torch can really get things hot. It is a fairly fine flame - capable of a fine point - but very intense. It doesn't have the wide flame of my Mid-Range - which allows me to easily make an entire mandrel of beads - I can easily do 8 beads at a time on the Mid-Range. The flame width is about the same as the Nortel Minor -  but more intense. You really have to turn it down or work further out if you want to work cooler.

I'm currently running it off 2 concentrators - a 9 litre and a 5 litre. It is certainly possible to boil colours that you didn't know could boil.

 I think I'd actually like to have one of these mounted on top of my Mid-Range.

Intense flame - making a mess of my bead release

My first impression is quite favourable - I'll keep you posted as I go.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

CiM 506 Moana Ltd Run


CiM Moana - described as a "teal opal" by CiM.

The sample beads are laying on my desk - catching my eye, over and over.

CiM has classified this with the blues - as opposed to the greens - and it is that shade of blue-green that you could argue all day that it belongs with the greens - until you put it next to a grass green - and then you put it with the blues - until you put it next to a royal blue.

Truly - right down the middle - this is a translucent teal - and it positively glows. The photos do not begin to do it justice.

Below, we have (from the Left) - a Marker bead in Effetre Petroleum Green (for reference), Self-coloured Moana, Self-coloured Moana with Ivory Dots (look at that edge pattern! Whoo hoo!) - and Moana over white.

Your monitor will vary - on mine - it appears bluer than it does on my desk - but so does the pet. green - so the relationship between the two stays the same.

This is a really, really lovely colour.