Sunday, February 28, 2010

Double Helix psyche

Double Helix has a truly amazing line of glass, which I have only begun to dip my fingers into.  It changes color, goes all metallic, shifts color depending on the light source and generally is impossible to exhaust the possibilities of.  It is also a bit tricky to work on a HotHead torch.  Naturally, I have bought all the colors I can afford.  I won't use this all up since as my technique and studio improves I will continue to make discoveries.  Like this one.  Thanks to Pat Frantz and her blog, I know that psyche likes ivories.  So I rounded up most of  the obvious ones I have and tried it out.  So what did I find out?  It is indeed possible to really strike this color, you just have to really turn up the gas.  I've been making the beads in a moderate flame, then finishing them off low in the flame.  This isn't enough.  I have to make the bead, heat it to soup, then let it cool to no longer any hint of glow and turn the flame way up and reduce it low in the flame.  Then I get iridescence, in fact I get color change!

1 psyche stringer on opal yellow, then 2 is opal yellow on psyche.  I like the rim on the edge of the opal yellow but I didn't get any webbing.  I wonder if this might have struck to pinkish a little in the reducing flame.

3 isVetrofond river rock, then 4 psyche with some very thin river rock webbing.  I like the webbing on the river rock, but the psyche doesn't strike very well right next to the ivory.

5 is Vetrofond dark ivory and psyche stringer, then 6 is the same reversed.  The color change on bead 5 is not as visible on this photo as I would like, and I was too low on gas to strike the psyche properly on 6 but this is not as obvious an effect as on the other beads. 
7 is psyche with silvered ivory stringer.  Because of the thinness of the stringer and the lack of striking next to it, the psyche only reduced on the ends, but this bead bears further investigation.  I have to learn to make thicker stringer.  I either melt it all over the place and it's crooked or I pull it too fast and thin.

8 is Effetre sediment with psyche stringer and 9 is the reverse.  I got some really cool greens and blues out of the psyche on 8 and was running out of gas and didn't properly strike 9.

10 is psyche stringer on Vetrofond E. L. O.  This didn't do as much cool stuff as I could have hoped, but I wasn't making a very large bead and didn't get as many cool effects as I could have with a larger mass of glass.

11 is CiM khaki with a twistie made of psyche and opal yellow.  You can't really see the khaki under all the twistie I piled on but there is quite a bit of separation of the khaki near the ends.  Next time I'll leave more khaki showing.

All of them reduced far better than any previous efforts.  My favorites are the ones where the psyche went greenish.  Green and purple is a great combination.  I didn't get a whole lot of the webbing, but on the river rock and E. L. O., I got a tiny bit on the edges of the stringer.  I think I needed to superheat it more, but to be frank, I'm worried about dripping glass all over the place so when it gets really liquid I remove it from the heat.  I wonder if prolonged heating at a slightly lower heat would do this?

To the left is a picture of my first attempt to do something with psyche, not very convincing.  The left bead is encased over clear and reduced a little and on the right is encased, which does nothing for it.  Check out the triton next to it, now that's dramatic.  I like psyche as decoration better.  I flatter myself to think I understand it a little better now.

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