Wednesday, April 30, 2014

More stamps. Metal Stamps from ImpressArt

OK, so now I have the stamping bug.

Got my hands on some steel stamps made by ImpressArt - which I got from BeadFX. These stamps aren't designed to be used for glass, but are made for metal and can be used with metal clay, polymer clay (before firing/baking) or even with leather.

I've used metal stamps (stamps designed for metal) before for glass, with good results, so I thought I should give these a try too.

First up - hey a paw print! This is 6 mm, about the same size as the smaller Leonardo pawprint, (see last post), but is raised, so it makes an imprinted (concave) impression. It is a little more generic, almost cartoony - but it works just fine, thank you. I prefer the Leonard ones, but that's because I'm picky about the shape of the paw.

 Next up - well - who did you think was leaving those paw prints? This is labeled a German Shepherd - although I say it looks more like a Belgian Tervuren. It's pretty cool, if very, very specialized. Could be a signature stamp - if you had called yourself "The Bead Herder," "Fetching with Fire," or "Barking Beads."
 And this one is a stylized flame. Which is just pretty freaking cool. And soooo appropriate for just about any of us ... .

Keep the tool out of the flame, soften the glass where you want to make the impression, put the bead down onto a surface that you can push on (i.e. a torch top marver is perfect), and firepolish very gently after - you don't want to soften the detail. Don't linger on the hot glass - you don't want the stamp to get hot and stick.

 Because these are made of steel and intended to be hammered, they do not have a wooden handle, so I would caution you to remember, they have the potential to get really, freakin' hot. Pick 'em up with pliers, wrap some leather around the end, or just do whatever it takes to not hurt yourself. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

More stamps. Large and small paw print

Well - once I've committed to buying one thing off a web site - I generally go and look for something else that I might want. At that point - shipping is already paid, so I figure I might as well get something else too. When I commissioned the signature stamp from Leonardo Lampwork, I then had a look around the web site to see what else I might want. There are lots of cool stamps / imprinting tools there. (I just had another look, and I see a bunch more that I don't recognize, so either more have been added or restocked, or I was just in a fog. Just as well. It would have cost more if I had seen them.)

So when I spotted the paw print - it was a given that I had to get it. Good thing there was no dragon foot prints - I'd have had to get those too.

There were different styles and sizes, and after awhile, I kind of got lost trying to figure out what the difference was. I elected to go with the revised large and the mini. Because they don't all sort out together on the site - I had trouble keeping track of them all - which is stupid - because I could have just opened different browser tabs every time I found one I liked. Or loaded them all into the shopping cart and sorted them out from there. Anyway - I'll buy a revised anything, and the mini-anything, I've learned, is usually more useful than the one I select.

This is the larger of the two - the paw print is about 12 mm across, or just shy of half an inch. It is raised, so the imprint is an indent, like an actual paw print in the snow, sand, concrete, ... . 

 It's a little tough to see the impression on this particular glass (Eff. Ebony and Ivory, again) - but the print is quite large and well defined and I'm quite pleased with it. You know there are going to be heart beads with paw prints on them ... .
This one, the mini, is concave, not-raised, hollowed out, if you will, and leaves a print that is raised, is in relief, surrounded by a circle. The circle is 6 mm across - so the whole thing is half the size of the larger one. Again, it works very well - and I'm very pleased with it.
You could use the smaller one as a signature stamp - especially if you had named yourself "Dog Beads," "Dog, the Bead Hunter," or "Paws to Bead."

Overall - buying from Karen Leonardo was a joy. Fast and clear communication, prompt shipment, well packed, arrived safely. Five Stars Up, or how ever you want to rate things. ;-)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Custom Signature Stamp

When I was in Tucson, I bought a couple of beads from Joy Munshower. When I looked at the back, they were signed with a stamped impression, instead of a murrini.

I really don't like murrini, they are a lot of work to make, inevitably are the wrong colour and tend to look like road kill.

So I thought this was a great idea, and she was kind enough to share her source with me.

So I got my own made at Leonardo Lampwork.

I just sent her the artwork (which is based on my initials - DJ - Dragon Jools) - and she carved it into the brass. It was quick and easy and painless.

And works pretty good.

Now, I just have to remember to USE it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A little experimenting

Just a little experimenting. These are just shapes worked on the end of old, bent mandrels. Not sure what to do with them - plant them in the garden maybe.

This is the Effetre Ebony and Ivory - freaking awesome glass. I bought a couple of pounds - but I don't think it will be enough. I'm afraid that subsequent batches will not be the same.

I have to say, it is as shocky as hell though - loaded with air bubbles that keep shooting the end off. I have a sizable pile of chunks left over now.  But worth it.

The faces are just regular ivory - made with that Burgard face mold. Gather of glass, droop into the mold. Then drape the "hair" around the face. 
 More playing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Comparison: CiM 525 Marine and CiM 522 Tuscan Teal

CiM's Marine and Tuscan Teal - having just done both - I thought I'd show you the two side-by-side.

Top mandrel is Marine (from the left, self, self, over clear)
Bottom mandrel is Tuscan Teal (from the left, self, over clear, over white)

The Tuscan Teal is a little more green, but is very similar in value (how dark it is). Both are intense enough to hold up to dilution, i.e. using over a lighter colour (such as white) or over clear. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

CiM 522 Tuscan Teal

Another wonderful colour - a transparent dark teal. Although it is classified in with CiM's blues, it is leaning to the green-ish side.

Top mandrel, from the left, self-coloured, over clear, over white.

Bottom mandrel, all over white. 

You can see that it is a pretty dark colour (left) and holds up well over clear (right). 
These dark aquas and teals don't really need me to say anything about them - they are just so inherently lovely - you just need them, regardless. ;-)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Riley Designs Dichro - Cyan / Dark Red

Cyan / Dark Red is one of the more common colours you will see in Dichro, along with the Magenta / Blue. Once again, I should have photo'd the rod before working it.

On the left, a core of CiM Orange Crush, a layer of dichro, and encased in Uroboros clear. On the right, a core of Uro clear, dichro, and encase Uro clear.

Kind of hard to get the rationale for the name from these pics, but who cares, they are yummy.

 These are a base of CiM Mariner (a transparent teal), a layer of dichro, and encase in Uro clear. The dichro is more like green and gold, with just a hit of red.

Definitely a cooler look to the colours than the last dichro, though. Cool as in color, not cooler as in desirability - which they are both equally gorgeous.

CiM 525 Marine

Hard to beat a dark aqua blue - it really is a beautiful colour - and so Marine is no exception.

From the left, two self-coloured beads, and on the right, a clear core. This dark aqua is really dark, and shines over clear.
 With a strong backlight - it's really wonderful. I didn't have any problems with it bubbling or boiling, but I generally don't with aquas. My technique actually works for me in this case - or whatever it is that I do that no one else is doing.
 And here's a decorative doo-dad - the colour is really wonderful.
 And again - backlit. Ooops - some heat cracks in that - let it cool too much. Damn.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CiM 209 Alley Cat Again

I know I've reviewed Alley Cat (Alleycat? Allez cat!) before - it just surprises me with it's orange-ness.

A set of CiM Alley Cat with dots in Effetre 432 Medium Red - which, is an opaque - but doesn't look like an opaque here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Comparison: CiM Reds

OK - time for a head to head comparison - these brilliant CiM transparent reds. They are yummy, yummy, yummy - but how different are they?

We're going to look at 4 reds: from the top, CiM  113 Rudolph, CiM 106 Firecracker, CiM 101 Marachino, CiM 111 Bing.

 And here is the other end of the same rods, in the same order. In real life, they are this similar too.

 Because they look diffent over clear, I tried them both way. The top is a clear cylinder, with stripes of (from the left), Rudolph, Firecracker, Marachino, Bing. And the con-joined bead on the bottom is the same order, from the left, Rudolph, Firecracker, Marachino, Bing.
  Close up, from the left, Rudolph, Firecracker, Marachino, Bing. The Marachino is slightly darker, the Bing appears to be slightly more orange. The firecracker looks slightly more streaky, but otherwise, the same colour as Rudolph.
 And again, a close up, over clear, from the left, Rudolph, Firecracker, Marachino, Bing.Functionally, no difference.
 And with a strong backlight - the Marachino bead is noticeably more opaque.

Damn. I just realized I left Radio Flyer out of this test. Poop.

All great reds - love 'em. Firecracker and Rudolph are pretty much interchangeable, I would say.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

CiM 113 Rudolph

had a very shiny nose ... here is that shiny, red nose.

CiM Rudolph, another bright happy red.

From the left - two self-coloured beads, and on the right, a clear core with Rudolph encasing.

The Rudolph also goes cloudy, and seems to opacify (is that a word?) more completely - but I can see "windows" of clear into it. The encased bead has stayed nicely clear though.

Another stunning shade of red. Starting to wonder how different these shades are, however.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CiM 106 Firecracker

Speaking of firecrackers (last post was a wine glass and a firecracker), Firecracker is suddenly a HOT name in glass, with both a CiM Firecracker and an Effetre Firecracker landing on my bench last week. (The Effetre, I will get to later.)

The CiM Firecracker is a gorgeous, intense "power" red, a transparent that goes cloudy as you work it more. I have reviewed Firecracker in the past, but got different results, with it being slower to strike.

The top bead has solid ends, and a clear core, encased in Firecracker. 

The bottom row is two self coloured beads on the left, and a clear core encase in Firecracker on the right.

 Here are those two self-coloured beads. The first one made, on the left, is opaque, from the process of heating and cooling, and the next one is less opaque, it has been through fewer heating and cooling cycles.

Even with a clear core - some cloudiness has happened, due to keeping the other beads warm.

I started with two bead of solid Firecracker for the ends, and then in-filled with clear, and encased the clear with more firecracker. You can see the spiral of cloudiness from laying down the Firecracker and melting it in.

It's a super pretty, bright red, no traces of brown in it. If you don't mind the opacity - it's still a win!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Glass is so cool - slow motion glass + firecracker

But for all that ... it still doesn't break the goblet - just the stem ...

And that might have been a bad glass - do it again, I say!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Soft Glass and Opals

You may have seen them yourself - floating in the middle of a marble - an opal.

Well - you know a thing or two about opals - it being your birthstone and all - and you know that a real, live, mined-out-of-the-ground opal would never survive the heat of being worked in glass - so ask - and it turns out to be a Gilson Created Opal - embedded in borosilicate glass.

And there it ended - because the word is that the Gilson Opal (artificial opal) is a close enough COE to the boro that you can include it.

Which would indicate that would not work in soft glass.

Well - that would be correct.

When I heard a rumor that you COULD put opals into soft glass - I was all over it like dog hair on a velvet couch.

But, sadly, the answer is, no, it's not compatible.

This is the remain of a marble and a bead. They blowed up good. 

I tried both the black opal and the white, in various sizes - even the utterly minuscule ones broke the glass. The shards of opal that fell back out of the glass retained their fire and brilliance (as you can see).

The original premise stands. Not compatible.


Friday, April 04, 2014

CiM 607 Vineyard

CiM Vineyard appears to be an opal - puts me in mind of "Eggplant."

It is a dark purple - mostly reads as opaque, but has a translucent quality to it.

From the left,  self-coloured, over clear, and self coloured. The rightmost bead (with less re-heating) - is quite a bit darker.

This rather handsome bead is a core of Vineyard, rolled silver foil and melted in, trailed with something that I'm not quite sure what it was - I thought it was ivory, but I may have picked up Desert Pink or Eff Petal Pink. Final step - encased in Zeus.

 And these I show just for the colour - the lids are made of Vineyard in both cases.

I am not happy with these - but it's not the fault of the glass. Please don't judge.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Comparison: Effetre 260 Light Pink; Eff 746 Petal Pink; Eff 261 Angel Pink

Side by side comparison - from the left, Effetre 260 Light Pink; Eff 746 Petal Pink; Eff 261 Angel Pink.

Petal Pink, in the centre, definitely lighter, and Light Pink and Angel Pink are similar, but Angel Pink is more variable.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

What's on your pallet?

Do you have a glass palette? Or Pallet?

Dropped into Nortel Mfg last week. New glass shipment came in. Those are 22 lb bundles.

Mmmmm - ivory.

And more of it - not even undressed yet. 

There's some torchin' to be done!