Sunday, January 31, 2010

slow-cooked beads

Well, the kiln isn't going to work, and there's no way I can make it do so.  It heats up way too fast and cools down too fast as well.  So how can I slow down the cooling process enough to stabilize larger beads?  I'm not talking about beads that use an entire rod or more, just larger than the 1/2 inch or so I've been doing.  I particularly want to do beads on silver core liners and 3/16 mandrels and there's 3/4 inch if the bead is to be as thick as the mandrel or more.  I decided that the annealing bubble I was using was ok but soaking up too much heat from the beads.  I have a crockpot I hardly ever use and the high heat setting is about 350 degrees.  This isn't the 500 - 900 degrees a kiln would give me but it will slow down cooling a bit.
 This worked out fairly well, with one failure pictured below.  The bead above is  my experiment with fine silver wire.  Not much but I'm learning and will try more later.  I like this bead made on a silver core.  It's just dark ivory with sis but the core does add to the bead.  I wish I had done the sedona and sis bead below on a core now, too, but how would I know the  sedona would develop such a neat color cast.  Joe asked me why the ends were all rough, like porcelain, and after stifling the urge to throttle him I explained that some glasses devitrify and lose their glaze.  I like the way the edge is, and that is the part that will show, anyway.
 I thought the Effetre sandstone was very much like ivory, and it is.  Below is a bead 1/2 sandstone and 1/2 vetro ivory with dots of one on the other.  Pretty darn similar.
 To testify to the efficacy of the crockpot arrangement, here is a bead made with CiM peacock green and Effetre dark silver plum that's over 1/2  thick and didn't crack.  I didn't squash it either, but I didn't want to push my luck.  The deformed bead below wrapped with silver wire was my first effort, with the torch running out of fuel just as I finished wrapping the wire.  I relit it and cracked the bead, but it stayed together long enough to reheat and melt together somewhat before I ran out of gas again.

There is just no excuse for this one, other than I think I was looking at it too long.  Too bad, it would have been nice.  I wonder if the core can be salvaged?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

spring cleaning

I have the habit of huge, unmanageable piles of stuff and just pushing what I don't want aside and making just enough room to work in, which isn't doing as far as glassworking is concerned.  It doesn't do much for the apartment in general but the table in particular is feeling the strain.  When some coworkers expressed an interest in what I'm doing, it was the last straw.  I have to clean up after myself.  The  picture to the left and below are the results of this.  The stash rack is going to need replacement since I have a compulsive need for more colors and this will be added to soon as soon as the next delivery.  I moved the annealing bubble into a crock pot on high, hoping to slow the cooling in the beads since the kiln isn't going to work out.
 Boy, isn't it.  I knew the pyrometer was cooked due to an overfire incident but thought it might be salvageable with common sense and pyrometric cones.  Not by a long shot.  The name should have been my first clue, in fact it was--Paragon quick-fire.  I set the dial on the power controller for the lowest setting with a pyrometric cone on the shelf and watched it like a hawk.  After 15 minutes I saw small wisps of smoke coming out from under the lid.  Propping it up just a tad allowed me to see that the pyrometric cone was smoking a little but unchanged in shape.  At 30 minutes a definite chemical smell was coming out of the kiln and I checked again.  Below is a picture of the resulting cone.
This is a #022 cone, the lowest in the line which is supposed to melt at over a thousand degrees at a fire rate of 270 degrees F an hour.  Overfired.  The instructions on the kiln state that large cones such as this may bloat and distort with too rapid firing but this doesn't look at all bloated.  It looks melted.  I can't trust this.  I'm going to burn the place down.  Looks like I'm going to have to save my pennies and buy a kiln the hard way.

Friday, January 29, 2010

waiting for the weekend

 I have a bit of a cold and didn't make many beads  yesterday, nor will I make any today, so I'm contenting myself to working with the beads and photos I have.  These pictures were all taken by me with my cheap camera so they sock.  To the left is a copper green bead made on a 3/16 mandrel, decorated with some heavily silvered sis.  I wish I had more reproduceable results with the sis.  I imagine lots of practice will help this.  I had an issue with some of the scrolls I made being so lightly adhered they cracked off, so I really melted this in.  The reduction or devitrification on the ends of this bead bear witness to this.  Not what I was hoping for but it works for this bead.  A favorite quote I have that could have come from any ethnic grandmother would be "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."  I made the mistake of saying this to Joe, and he said, "Or underwear."  Just goes to show that you shouldn't try to get too clever in the face of practicality.
 This next bead is also copper green with sis scrolls, melted in flush but the bead didn't do that bronze metallic thing.  Now how do I get one result consistantly?  I think the dropping gas level in the cylinder played a roll in the first and the next bead in the batch I made last night.  Below is a bead made from plum silver dark, with sis decoration.  I devitrified the heck out of it and tried to correct it by reheating in a neutral flame until it was molten again.  The surface coating only got thicker no matter what heat was applied so I'm not sure what was going on.

 I like this one, taken from 3/4 view in the left picture and straight on the side in the right one.  It is dark ivory with sis and goldstone swirls.  I made this on a 3/16 mandrel with an eye toward eventual bottle opener mounting. 
Finally a pair of hoop earrings I had been dying to try, made using the technique of heating a rod of clear, coating it in frit, in this case homemade pink and green, and proceeding to make the bead with this multicolored rod.  I think they turned out nice, sorta hoping for an early spring.  Next time I use this type of hoop I'm making the holes a tad smaller.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frustrations in photography

The difficulty of posting photos of my stuff is beginning to perplex me.  I keep saying (to myself still, thank God) why doesn't this look like the beads?  The answers to this are as complex as why the glass does what it does.  Add to this very little skill in actual photography or composition and I am frustrated as heck.  Colors look different against each other.  Dragonjools posted about this with a link to a site with magenta, orange and turquoise.  Colors look different with different light sources.  Witness the flower necklace pictures.  Colors look different with different cameras and monitors.  Where is the bead in this?
Above is a some fairly pretty beads using a base of 220 periwinkle and my miserable rose cane on the left and 256 dark pink opaque on the right.  We shot these on about 20 different backgrounds and this is the only one that showed what the colors even looked like.  I remember during school pictures the photographers sent home instructions on what colors to avoid when sending the kids to school on picture day.  Now I know why.  Surprisingly, the beads on the right, which I am calling pebble beads, look best on a sand colored background.  My friend Carol, who was taking the pictures, wished we had some sand to take the pictures on because they reminded her of pebbles too.  I suggested the cat box but that was turned down for obvious reasons.  We settled on the underside of a lid from her crock collection.Two of these are ivory with silver melted in and the middle one is CiM stoneground  with silver melted in and ivory dots topped with EDP.  I don't know whether I liked the way the ivory turned all black or not because all the spots did the same thing.  The EDP looks nice, though.
 I have another hundred photos of these beads against various backgrounds.  The top bead is Effetre 213 grasshopper and copper red green stringer, the middle one is copper green with a complex stringer of turquoise, cobalt and grass green opaque, and the bottom one is copper green with a copper green red stringer.  These changed color the least, but were the most difficult to photograph at the time.

Copper green red.  Beautiful if badly named color.  It probably is copper green changed in some way to produce the reddish tones, but the copper green turns turquoise and the red turns magenta.  The necklace beads are self copper green red and black spacers and the earrings are vetro black feathered with copper green red stringer.  The amount of color adjusting this photo took was stupefying.  Usually I just white adjust and save.  On this one I had to white adjust, normalize, hue and saturation adjust, color balance in all three levels, then white adjust and normalize again.  To get it to look like what the bead looked like in the first place.  The beads on the white candle were just white balanced.  Go fig.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the pause between breaths

I didn't do any beads today, as the favorite show was on, so here are some beads I made after Frantz Art Glass' DH sale. From left to right: Aion2 plain and encased, CE-352 (to be caliope) plain and encased, aurae plain and encased, triton plain and encased, and psyche plain and encased. All the plain beads were struck, or a reasonable approximation therof, and reduced, and all the plain beads except aion2 are a core of clear with the silver color on top, which shows very well on the psyche bead since, did I mention, I sock at encasing? The psyche is so dark it's hard to tell if it strikes or not. I hope to get some new lighting for photography soon since the lighting I am using really doesn't do justice to the colors. As far as the psyche bead goes, I think I like it much better unencased. I am starting to run low on the gas cylinder, and this makes a difference with how the glass behaves. I have trouble getting a really hot flame and striking even triton can be difficult if the gas is running out. I'm getting some of the TE-362(?) prototype soon, supposedly a duplicate of Terra2, and this post or another like it will appear when it does, as well as testing on various colors with the silver glasses. One reaction I'm very fond of is with Effetre mosaic blue and triton. As self stringers, mosaic blue is virtually identical to trans cobalt, in fact the only way I could tell them apart was to make them in different shapes. With triton, at least, encased, the mosaic blue fumed a delicious green and the bead is noticeably better.

The mosaic blue bead is second from the top and the plain cobalt one is on the bottom. I'm saving the mosaic blue for silver glass since at about 1 2/3 times the price it's just not worth using plain. Granted, it's nothing like silver glass, but still. The cobalt hasn't reacted to anything but peacock green and I do intend to test mosaic blue with other colors but until I test out the budget conscious used kiln I got I am not planning on using peacock green again.
The kiln I got is an early paragon with a wonky pyrometer that has trouble registering "low temperatures." I am not sure what that means so I've ordered some pyrometric cones to see if I can trust it at all. If I can't hold glass at a reliable temperature this isn't going to work. I'm good at math so I'll try to figure out the temperature per hour charts in the manual that came with the kiln. I have no problem whatsoever crafting jewelry for my own consumption that hasn't been properly annealed, but I am not going to try to sell it, which is the eventual goal.

Playing with pictures

 Today I went over to my friend Carol's house and we played with her excellent digital camera.  To be more truthful, she played with the camera, and the lighting--note to self, get a task with Reveal incandescent bulb, the fluorescents sock for photography-- and I watched and handed her beads from time to time.  Even without the macro lens, which is actually a macro telephoto (there's an oxymoron), and tripod she was able to take pictures that put my meager efforts to shame.  The animal print beads pictured here are OK in my pictures, but here they show exactly which glasses I was using, for instance ivory vs. dk ivory and that the brown batch of strawberry sweet I got hold of really is reddish.

I should really see what the silver based gold tones do on ivory, btw.  I really like the leopard print and tiger stripe beads I made by encasing a light color like ivory with transparent amber glass.  It adds a whole lot of depth to the bead.  I don't wear animal print clothing or decorate with this style, but it has design possibilities, especially with the earth tones I seem to be wearing more of.  Also, I like leather cord as a stringing material because it doesn't require a lot of skill to string and is easily replaceable if it gets ratty.  For this bracelet it's nearly mandatory.
This necklace is one that one of my friends found very amusing.  It is of powder pink, struck inclompletely in the smaller beads.  I had thought that powder pink was more of an earth tone, based on the compact flourescents that I use exclusively since I am a klutz and am always knocking over lamps and popping bulbs.  With the incandescent lamp the pink tones come out and the necklace actually looks much better.  I've posted this one before, but never with this degree of clarity.  The decoration is ivory and goldstone stringer. 

 This bead rocks.  It is Effetre dark ivory with aurae stringer, melted in slightly, struck and reduced.  The aurae fumed the ivory yellow, which really does a lot for this bead.  I am going to do more of this in the future.  This I like.
This is a set of party tools that I couldn't resist today.  I had to put them together just to see what they looked like, with some beads that I had lying around that were roughly the right size when combined.  I think the posts the beads are mounted on are interchangeable in some way but haven't tried fooling around with them yet.  It might be easier to make beads to fit them.  The bottle opener and stoppers are mixed silver glasses over dark opaque glass, encased in clear, and the spread knife is a center bead of partially silvered CiM stoneground flanked by two of my favorites, a core of CiM tuxedo, silver foil melted in, a thin layer of Effetre kelp and a thicker layer of clear.  They have a kind of dark green iridescent quality that I find very appealing.
I posted this necklace before, but it remains one of my favorite color combinations so I'll shamelessly post it again.  The green is Vetrofond oddly odd lemongrass, the purple is CiM poi with small dots of Effetre dark amethyst, and the clear is Effetre super clear.  Yes, I've mixed three manufacturers in each bead.  Nothing has cracked.  Yet.  I didn't know whether I liked the dark background or the white one better so I'm posting both.  Notice the quality photography on this one.  The camera matters.

Finally, because it seemed like a good idea at the time, this is the purple flower necklace, backlit and tweaked so some of the details are visible.  No, this picture doesn't have a purpose that I know of, since I am highly unlikely to use this as a suncatcher, but a really thickly encased set of beads with backlighting was too intriguing to resist and with digital photography we weren't worrying about wasting film.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Having just received the new periwinkle from CiM, zachary, I thought I'd do a comparison of the opaque periwinkles in my stash. From left to right, zachary, plain and encased, Effetre 220 periwinkle, plain and encased, and Effetre 222 dark periwinkle, ditto. No surprises here. I haven't done color testing, nor am I sure I'm going to. They all act pretty much the same way. They react with ivory, go toward the yellow/grey tones when silvered glasses and go lighter when encased. I haven't tried silver foil because any reaction that they would do sort of doesn't appeal. I plan to use them in florals, and they look very good when combined with transparent and opaque cobalt. For now, that is enough for me. In the opalino spectrum, there's Effetre opalino periwinkle, a very nice color that lies midway between their light and dark as far as saturation goes and CiM chalcedony, which I posted a picture of.

I have been working on getting some work for the event I am planning to merchant at in March and getting my etsy store up and running with usable pictures in it. I got a used kiln that was cheap and hopefully will do for now. This must do me for now.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dark matter and the universe

Dark matter is a good name for this new glass from Effetre. It doesn't do all that much sitting there on its own, but combine it with other stuff and you're going to get a reaction. The self spacer, 1 below, is a good example. The lower picture gives a better idea of how it actually looks, with the top picture more acurately reflecting the rod. It's when you start to play with it that you get a better idea of what it is. Bead 2 is reduced, with a neat sheen and purplish area that do not show up well in the photo. 3 is with silver foil melted in, and the greenish patina looks really interesting, especially if paired with other colors, sis, for instance, that I haven't had time to try yet. 4 is silver foil melted in and encased in clear, and I'll be honest, it looks better without the encasement. 5 is with DH psyche scrolls, struck and reduced. Not much happening but I wasn't expecting much. I'm still learning to get the most out of psyche and it seems tricky to work. Interesting green fuming effect on the dark matter, though. This is more evident in 6, which is struck, reduced and encased with clear. 7 is with alternating bands of triton and aion2, struck, reduced, and encased in clear. It's a pretty bead, but the main thing that strikes me is the difference between it and 8, which is dark matter with triton scrolls, struck and reduced and left on its own. 10 is dark matter with CiM gunmetal unique stringer. There is a gunmetal-like reaction on bead 5 that didn't show up on film, which can be seen as the greyer area underneath the psyche. It seems to be a function of the silver glass, since it didn't show up on the gunmetal bead, but my attempts to duplicate it without the silver glass and just by working it high in the flame were unsuccessful. As I said in the beginning, I like this glass more for what it does than what it looks like. The encased psyche in particular looks better than anywhere else.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

plum silver

One of the half-dozen or so favorite colors I have is Effetre plum silver dark. Some of it is still hand pulled. It's a lovely dark, rich purple. It does neat things. The beads aren't labeled but the plum is easy to pick out. They are the dark ones with the sheen, true in various degrees, but once I made my third bead it was easy to see how to get that pearlescent look. It doesn't really react with silver glass, note the unencased trailed bead on the mandrel, but silver glass reacts with it under encasement to produce blues and greens. The top bead on the mandrel is with triton and the cylindrical one below it is aion2, and I have to say, I like the way the aion2 reacted better. I got some more silver glass today so I'm sure further beads will be forthcoming. I trailed some copper green scrollike things on the bead below the cylinder on the mandrel, but I was running out of gas and the green didn't get a chance to melt in. That is another combo I'm going to have to try. The other colors on this bracelet are (I think) 274 dark violet and 271 plum silver light, which is darker than the dark violet so I'm not sure on the lighter color. It might be 272 violet. These colors were all obtained before I went crazy so the rods aren't labeled the way I'm obsessively labeling them now. I've noticed that the plum silver light doesn't do the pearlescent thing to the extent the dark does, but there is a neat interaction between it and the intense black stringer I was using.

Friday, January 22, 2010

more test photos

I didn"t like most of my test photos, and while I haven't had my stuff photographed well yet it has been photographed by me, better than it was before.  For instance this necklace was a green and blue blur last time I photographed it, and with the macro setting on the camera and the colors clarified, it almost looks like it does in real life.  It even has the color interaction I like pretty well depicted.  The glasses used are again peackock green and cobalt. 
The bracelet is one I've been wearing to work for months and finally decided to take a decent picture of.  The coral is Effetre coral streaky sherbet, there is some opalino carnelian, and the trans orange is Vetrofond arancio perfecto.  I used dark red stringer on all.  I like the color variation of the dark red when it is mixed with the coral, but the bead with the red bumps looks like it's oozing drops of blood.  I don't know whether to say neat or gross.
This necklace I didn't dare show in my earlier picture since it was blurry and the colors were miserable.  The spacers are plum silver dark, the sky is copper green red and the ground is moss agate.  If these colors don't look right to you, it's the bead.
These didn't show up very well in an earlier post.  I sorta have the camera and software working for me now and I like the pictures a lot better.  The beads are the same.  Now they went and changed the format for this blog.  Figures.  Just when I start to be able to figure out where stuff is going to come up it changes.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New colors

Santa came again and dropped of a whole bunch of glass and a lens press. I am now learning to use all of these and the results are variable. I got some wierd color combinations and some lima bean looking beads but I think I am on the right track now. For now.

1. CiM pheonix, as unstruck as I could make it. I did make this on the same mandrel as bead 2 and flashed it in the flame a few times, but I wouldn't have thought it would have struck to the extent it did. Only around the holes is it a peach color.
2. plain and struck
3. being taken over by SiS. I knew I would like this combination. Next lesson: learning stringer control.
4. with DH aion2, encased in (I think) CiM clear. I was hoping for that orange and purple thing, which I will probably never be able to duplicate with a more readily available color. I got grey.
5. with DH triton, encased and mashed with more success than I thought. A little overfill on the press but I think I got the general shape the bead has to go in right. Now I have to figure out how to encase so I don't get all that clear on the thin edges.

With any luck at editing this blog, what follows are some beads I made with Effetre kelp, 080(I think). I wanted to try it primarily as an encasement color for silver and silver glasses but this has suggested all sorts of other lines of experimentation so this may or may not have been a good idea. The beads are as follows:
1. plain
2. with silver leaf, melted in
3. with silver glass, triton, I think, encased in clear
4. over CiM tux, melted in, reduced, and encased in kelp. I like this bead.
5. tux with triton, reduced and encased in kelp
6. tux with silver leaf, encased in kelp. The kelp went semitranslucent on this. Not my favorite bead.
7. tux with silver leaf, encased in a thinner layer of kelp and mashed. A bit better. Note the brown reaction.

I made a few crocus unique beads, I forget which unique, I'll look it up, and decided I had to try it against the original crocus, which I think I like better. Or I like the beads better, at any rate. The original has very few, if any color reactions that I've found yet, although it was hard to reduce old faithful triton. Here are the beads.
1. plain
2. with silver foil, melted in
3. encased in clear. Fritpedia suggested encasing it in Reichenbach clear, which I do not have, so I tried CiM clear. It's not doing anything for me. I'll have to try it with the Reichenbach, if I get some.
4. With DH triton. Note the lack of silver color on the triton. Ignore the misshaped lentil.
5. with triton, reduced and encased. This turned out a bit better.
6. with silver plum dark scrolls, finished high in the flame. OK.
7. with copper green. No reaction. What? a color that doesn't react to copper green?

Here is another color I had to try, seeing that spring is almost here (what a laugh) and I need a pick-me-up. These were made with Vetrofond banana cream odd lot.
1. plain and unadorned. What a nice sunny color.
2. encased in CiM clear.
3. with DH triton stringer reduced and encased in clear. I didn't think I would like this, since thinking of this and silver glass did nothing for me. I am glad I tried it, because it's my second favorite of the bunch. As far as color combinations go, regarding technique, did I mention I sock at encasing?
4. with sis. What was I thinking? I'd blame the drink but I was sober. I am noticing that encasement and color reactions lighten this glass. Interesting thing to know.
5. with plum silver dark, finished high in the flame. Nice contrast, but I don't know if I would want a set of these.
6. with effetre turquoise 236. Less of a grey line than I was expecting. I like this combination.
7. with copper green. Again, not a whole lot of reacting going on. Pretty combo.
8. with EDP. My favorite combo. I didn't think I would like it, again, but I'm thinking pansies.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Plain vanilla?

Today is going to be a busy day so I'll stick to an easy one. I love the look of the ivory beads that others are making and am disappointed that comparatively speaking, mine are washed out and neither streaky nor curdled. Could this be lack f experience? Probably. How do I fix this? Get experience and see if there are any materials reasons that my beads aren't coming out like I want them to. What follows are the results of my experimentation.

1. Effetre sandstone
2. Effetre ivory. Note the nice striation and darker cast than the bead next to it, the perhaps inappropriately named
3. Effetre dark ivory. This is the old batch I had. Maybe the next batch will be darker. See bead 5.
4. Vetrofond honey crunch. This one of the 5 spacer sized beads I got out of this rod as it exploded all over my dining room. I have another rod but as I found it nearly impossible to get a gather from this ubershocky color I may never use it again. It is definitely not worth the burns.
5. Effetre dark ivory new batch. Yep. Same issues. I read somewhere or other that when this color is overheated or overworked it blanches and loses its streakiness. This must be what I am doing, although one would think it wouldn't be this easy to do on my HH torch. Maybe I'll like Vetrofond's version better.
6. Vetrofond dark ivory with silver foil melted in. I did this more because I like it than to see what difference the manufacturer made.
7. Vetrofond dark ivory. Same issue, although the rods look wildly different than the Effetre. They are a translucent beige, but work up just the same.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Effetre 219 copper green

Another test beads post to show the tricks one of my favorite colors is able to do. This is Effetre copper green and I like it not for it's original color, which is one I almost never wear, but because it makes pretty beads and does neat things with other colors.

1. self bead, marvered a bit on an aluminum marver
2. self spacer, held high in the flame to try to get that brown edge you see on the rods.
3. rolled in silver foil and melted in
4. with DH triton, struck, reduced and encased in vetro crystal pale green
5. with SIS scrolls. The contrast on this one didn't come out too good so the dark streaks and curdling on the SIS aren't very good in the picture but they're there in the bead. Also, the predictable grey line where the ivory meets the green.
6. with ivory scrolls. Note the grey line.
7. with plum silver scrolls, held high in the flame to give the plum silver it's lustre. There is a slight reaction on the plum, it sort of went more reddish on the edges but it's hard to see with the glare from my lousy lighting.
8. on CiM tuxedo. Wow, look at the separation of the copper green. I love this one.
9. with copper green red scrolls, incompletely melted in so it looks blobby. I can't see where one stops and the other starts but the bead is more what i thought the copper green red would look like in the first place, not as a purplish color.

Here's a bracelet I made using only copper green and Effetre 023 mosaic green, another really great color. I love how the mosaic reacts on the copper to produce a light zone on the copper and the copper on the green to produce those little clear spots in the center of the dots on the spotted beads. I got a brown oxidation or devitrification type thing on one of the ones I mashed into a cube, but it doesn't bother me because it's an unusual color and it is going to do neat things.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

CiM poison apple, or why I should label my rods

After yesterday's debacle I thought I'd dig up the beads I had made and make a few more using CiM poison apple so I'd know what it would look like if I saw it again. The rods are now labled correctly and my face is very pink. I like the style of analysis on the Mind Melt blog so that is the one I'll use here. Future results may vary.

1. self spacer
2. with black, probably Effetre intense black, melted in
3. with black,ditto, surface, just cuz I like it
4. with triton feathered (see, I did make one and forgot) and encased in clear
5. with gold aventurine stringer, melted in
6. with silver foil, melted in
7. with silver foil, melted in, reduced, and encased in vetro crystal pale green
8. with SIS scrolls, melted in
9. with ivory, note how the ivory stringer separates and curdles and the green doesn't form a grey line
10. stringer flowers over CiM tuxedo, encased in crystal pale green, note how the opal color bleeds, lightens and turns more transparent when encased.
11. with Effetre pale pink swirl flowers, looking almost white but not having any nasty reactions.

When good beads go bad

I do things on a small scale. When I buy glass, I do it 1/4 lb. at a time, both for financial reasons because I have to have all the colors at once and because, well, I have to have all the colors at once and Joe is starting to say things like, "You got more crack," when a package comes. More on that another day. I buy MAPP gas in 1 lb. cylinders because my apartment complex prohibits 20lb. tanks for grills and I don't think they will wink at my glass. When a bead goes bad a little piece of me dies. OK, that's a little extreme, but I definitely analyze the heck out of it and try not to make it happen again. I have been experimenting a lot, like any beginner will, and I have my share of strange beads, but I hate it when I can't use them. On these, they just turned out to be unworkable. The top 2 had separator issues and the bottom one, well, I don't know what stuck to my utility blade tool but it looked too bloody to use.

Note to self: Don't sit there waiting to see what color something is going to go, just garage it. I am not an expert at encasing, in fact, it could be said I sock at it. In these cases, I didn't sink the beads in anealing bubble fast enough to prevent mild thermal shock. The cracks don't go past the encasement layer, but not because I mixed glasses, I don't think. The flat bead is Effetre dark matter, DH aion2, and clear and the round one Effetre gaillo ocra, aion2 and clear. I can still look at these, but for the functional use they were intended they will not do.

This is one that I did the first month of making beads, back in October. I don't know what I did wrong, or right, since I like the bead and tried to do it again, but the first bead I made using Effetre anice white had a uniform transparent grey layer over the white. I didn't smoke the glass, I think, since it doesn't have that streaky thing going on, nor is it a reaction to the millefiori, since the other beads I made using the same combination didn't go all wierd. Just a neat effect.

This last picture is what happens when you have a fat wad of various shades of green and aren't paying attention to what you are doing. My mind was thinking apple green and my brain didn't register that I had another glass that could be interpreted as apple green color: Effetre cool kiwi. So several beads that should have been CiM poison apple were made with Effetre cool kiwi. The kiwi rod is on top. Note that it has been used. I just have to make more beads tomorrow. What a shame.