Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Carousel Ponies

I took a class with Joy Munshower back in November - which I have to  recommend. Cancelled flight, sick students, etc., I was starting to feel like the class was cursed, but it all worked out. I definitely enjoyed it, and it was totally worth it for all the insights into how she makes her beads. She was kind, generous, down-to-earth, and completely prepared and organized (even if the airline wasn't!)  If you have a chance - definitely you should take a class with her.

I'm focusing trying to make carousel ponies - I love Joy's work, but don't want to seem imitative, so I'm going for the flamboyant, exaggerated, stylistic carousel horses of the turn of the century. I've long been fascinated with the art of the carousel horse. There was an oh-so-brief moment in history when the fascination with the mechanical and the craft of the artisan stood side by side as equals - and it produced some stunning works of art - IMHO.

Anyway - here is where I am so far - these are shot "hot" before going in the kiln - and I have to say - I like some of them a lot less once they come out. (Damn those kiln fairies.) Also - the failure rate is currently above 50% - some of them are so butt-ugly (not pictured here) that I am actually just throwing them in the garbage - a completely unprecedented move. If it wasn't for wanting the mandrel back - I wouldn't even pull them.

I'm also learning that some colours don't really stay the same after an hour of flashing it in and out of the flame. My favorite so far is CiM Adobe, which, is, of course, discontinued. Figures.

Anyway - it's a process.

Just remember - when someone asks you how long it takes to make a bead, the answer is "time at the torch" + "number of years of practice."

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Fire Lotus is back

After a lengthy break - Trautman is again making COE 104 Fire Lotus. Hallelujah!

Fire Lotus is the one of the easiest to get reliable purples out of -  heat it to clear, let it cool, strike in the flame.

Hello Fire Lotus, I've missed you. Welcome back.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Effetre 765 Rooster Tail

This is a super cool looking rod - but not quite sure what to do with it yet.

The rods are striped with colour, and each one is different, and different diameters - the top rod is about 10 mm, the next one pictured is more like 6. (This is the one I used.)

The effect is pretty cool when looking at it up close like this,  but the overall effect is pretty dark. I don't think it will stand on it's own - but good make a cool background for something else.

 See  - like staring into the bands of Jupiter. I encased this - hence the bubbles. I did find the Rooster Tail boils a little if you work it hot.
 Any attempt to do anything other than just lay it down results in mud-mixing - not pretty. The base of it appears to be a super dark garnet red - which you can just barely see here - indicating that using it with silver glasses might get you some unexpected and potential ugly results.

 Sort of a novelty glass, as far as I can see, but I might be missing something fundamental.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Pink that Doesn't React with Silver!!!!!!

Look at this! This is Double Helix Rhea, over silver foil! 

Every new lampworker tries, at some point, to make a pink bead using Effetre Rubino Oro (Ruby Gold) over silver foil - to their sorrow. They then learn to encase the silver foil in clear or pale blue, and then put the rubino on top - because Rubino is tricky - it reduces to an ugly dull lead colour if the oxygen is even slightly low, and it reacts with silver and looks like mud.

But after a conversation a few weeks ago with Jed at Double Helix - he told me in passing that because Rhea is made with a different formula - it would not react with silver. "Holy crap," I said - "that means I can layer it over silver foil."" I guess," he replied, "I never tried."

So here it is - still hot and headed into the kiln - I haven't seen them cold yet - but here it is. A base of crappy Effetre clear, rolled in silver foil, and encased directly in Rhea.

Attempt #2 - base of black (CiM Hades), encased in Rhea (with a few spots and swipes of Zephyr, because I ran out of Rhea - it's a big bead! 

So - all of you who wanted pink over silver foil - here you go - this is it!