Saturday, March 20, 2010

CiM adamantium

One of the newer Creation is Messy colors, adamantium, was begging to be tested.  It is a shimmery greyish brown rod that turns into the perfect Hersheys Kiss chocolate when made into a plain bead.  With the emphasis on turquoise this year and the prediliction for pairing it with brown, this seems like the perfect glass to use.  It plays very nice, being smooth and workable and generally a joy to melt.  It isn't soupy but not so stiff that it pulls the bead release off on a moderately cold wind.  Bead 1 is plain and it is easy to see why I think it is a nice milk chocolate color.

Now things start getting interesting.  I stupidly made these beads roughly the same size and shape, and I am not used to working with copper leaf.  These facts being stated, the rest of this paragraph is an educated guess.  Bead 2 is with silver foil, melted in.  I am pretty sure of this one, since tiny beads of silver dot the surface.  I really like the surface texture of this bead.  3 is with silver foil, melted in, reduced, and encased in clear.  I think.  The green works under the clear and seems to rise above it.  4 is with a new toy, copper leaf.  The directions I got said to encase it and I wanted to see what would happen if I didn't.  The chocolate brown goes greenish and strange metallic  spots appear on the surface, with a rough texture almost like devitrification or metallic special effects.  Copper foil is weird because the moment a hot bead is marvered onto it, it goes all ashy and won't melt in, sort of like palladium leaf.  I am happy to say that with the addition of more heat, it does eventually melt in.  5 is with the copper leaf according to the directions.  Neat set of bubbles under the surface and nice patina under the encasement.  I am still happy I broke the rules just because.

Now we get into the silver glasses.  I wisely made these different shapes.  6 is with DH aurae, reduced and 7 is with aurae, reduced, encased and doing that purple thing I love.  I'll do this again.  8 is with DH triton and I like the multicolor reduction thing going on.  9 is with triton, reduced and encased, and while I over-reduced the triton on the left side and under-reduced it in patches on the right, it still has intriguing possibilities.  I like the way the triton pops out, almost into the encasement.

10 is with CiM tuxedo, and the same separation thing is going on.  I think this is the standard reaction.  11 is with copper green and there is no reaction.  Considering how I will use this combination someday, this is a good thing.  With 12, I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and test EDP and plum silver simultaneously.  What was I thinking?  In order to get plum silver to do its thing I have to devitrify the EDP.  There is a hint of a plum silver thing going on but I didn't want to push it.  13 is with ivory and, happily, there is no reaction.  14 is with intense black and the same separation thing happens.  And the black takes over the bead.  C'est la vie.

Will I buy this color again?  Definitely.  It fills a niche that no other color so far has, which is to reproduce chocolate in glass.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CiM Thai orchid

CiM Thai orchid has been criticized for being a lot like other colors in this line.  It is, a lot.  Pictured below is a strand by strand comparison between CiM lapis and Thai orchid.  Next to each other, no problem telling them apart, but in a blind taste test, both would taste like glass.  Of course, so would all the other colors I've tried, but the point is the shades are very similar.
 The biggest difference between the two that I can see is how the lapis reacts more with silver foil than the Thai orchid does.  Next up is that I wanted to see what DH aurae did so the Thai orchid row features that.

Thai orchid doesn't do that brownish thing with silver foil, which I am glad of, and the encased beads look very nice.  There is something going on in the aurae unencased bead on the purple but the glass is so dark I can't tell precisely what it is.  I love the way the encased aurae turned out.

Finally, from left to right are with copper green, tuxedo, intense black, ivory, silvered ivory stringer, EDP, and plum silver dark.  I like the way the Thai orchid makes the EDP pop.  Looking at it now, I'll have to do a head to head bead to see if I can tell the difference between plum silver light and Thai orchid.

A very pretty shade of purple, and one I will buy again, because it's purple.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CiM lapis

Ah, a color I can really sink my teeth into, CiM lapis.  It is a whole lot more violet than the Effetre shade by the same name but is a beauty nonetheless.  The rods are wildly different in size, and I usually pick the smallest to do my test beads with, which results in very small beads in this case.  By itself, lapis is a very dark, streaky blue violet.

With silver, it looks a bit like the night sky, excpet for a brownish interaction (clouds?)  I will either continue to try to use silver without doing this or only use this color when I can live with this effect.  It is a pity, since it is the only mar to a beautiful color.

With DH triton, I did get one weird effect.  The glass in contact with the triton scrolls went almost as metallic as the triton itself.  This showed up rather well, even with my budget-friendly camera.  I usually don't like the lime green reduction under encasement triton can get, but here I do very much.

There is no reaction with copper green and I rather like the combination.  Very springy if the snow ever melts.  Tuxedo is doing its separation thing, and I like this as well.  It reminds me of a bearded face looking at me.  With intense black, this effect is, well, intensified.  I wonder if intense black and tux are related?  With ivory there is nothing to remark upon except that my stringer work has not improved.  The silvered ivory stringer was more done for laughs than anything else, and nothing happened.  I do like the way the EDP seemed to soak up some of the purple from the blue to appear more purple than it does by itself.  Finally, the last bead is with plum silver dark dots, melted in and reheated gently to see if lapis would develop the metallic sheen that some folks commented on.  For me, it didn't, but once again my cylinder is dropping pressure.

Will I buy this again?  Oh, yes.  It happens to be my favorite shade of purple, called by whatever name.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

time off

I may not be posting much next couple days.  I've been busy w/ doctors' appointments and had a minor procedure which has left me feeling poorly.  Figures, since I just got more glass.

Monday, March 15, 2010

CiM ginger

A new batch of colors came in today, and it's time to go frantic torching.  One I was particularly waiting for was CiM ginger.  It looks pretty close to their butter pecan, and does some strange things.

By itself as the first bead on the mandrel, it comes out pretty much the same color as the rod, maybe a shade lighter.  The next bead was struck with very thin dots of striking red to see if it was a striker.  Nothing here that I could see.  With silver it goes brown, and this lessens under encasement, with no visible effect from reduction.  In this case, I definitely like the DH triton on the other encased bead better reduced.  The pale green and peach is nice.  Aurae went really nasty and baby poop colored.  With copper green, there is the faintest of grey lines, but much less than ivory, which this is supposed to replace, but does not much resemble.  The next bead, which looks a lot like a self one, is actually in combination with CiM butter pecan.  A little explanation is in order.
These are the rods, in the packages.  The lighting in my "studio" is horrible, so I had to adjust the heck out of the light and color levels, but this was pretty close to the way they actually looked in the glass stash, with the original labels.  The butter pecan is pretty consistent, but the ginger shows a lot of variation in the rods.  I wonder if the beads will turn out different.  Usually CiM is much more consistent than this.

Back to the beads.  The next bead is looking very textural with silvered ivory stringer really melted in.  I like this effect.  What surprised me was that there was a slight reaction with ivory, with the ginger going dark where it contacted the ivory.  Curiouser and curiouser.  Ginger separated on intense black, no surprise, but also on EDP, which was.

Further testing is in order.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

finally, the right size

OK, I finally got it.  karola commented to try marking the mandrels with sharpie to get a specific size, but I quickly found out that sharpie marker burns off.  What does it is marking the mandrels, then making small beads on the ends to mark the spot, then filling them in.  Major accomplishment for me!  I am happy.  It doesn't take much.

Actually, the internet has been down and this has cramped my style in numerous ways, since a fault of my character is that I tend to obsess.  Without an internet it has been impossible for me to work at all, since all I can think of is that it is down.  No one, including me, wants to hear about all this so, Yay!  I made a bead I'm finally happy with and can move on to other things.

Friday, March 12, 2010

longer beads

 I've been working on some longer beads to go in the party tools I picked up.  It's quite a challenge keeping these things hot.  I am positively terrified of going to rewarm them and blowing them up.  Don't laugh.  This has happened.  I keep the exploded bead on my workbench as a reminder, as well as the chunk that landed on the seat cushion while I happened to be working from the seat.  This is the longest one I've made to date, and I didn't measure it because I couldn't find any measuring device.  They are all hiding and will in due course be found.  I had to pick a striking color because I like a challenge, in this case CiM stoneground.  The decoration is sis.
 This one is very pretty, but for this design I need more width.  I think I will wait until I have the masher to do something flatter.  The base is cobalt and the decoration is spirals of DH triton and aurae, feathered, reduced, and encased haphazardly in clear.  It is a pretty bead, but not one that works in this design.
My favorite of the lot, and one that, unfortunately, came up too short.  The base is Vetrofond extra light olive and the decoration is a twistie made from opal yellow and psyche.  I love the way the reduction on the psyche is so variable.  It really is a kind of rainbow effect.  This was a tough bead to make because the E.L.O. is really soft when hot and started to droop badly when I was applying the stringer.  As a result the center is not wonky, thanks to the marvering, but not as developed in color as I might have hoped for.  What do I want?  I very nearly had glass dripping on the table.  Some of the stringer is buried deep within this bead. 

In addition to continuing to work on my size perception (is there a way to mark the mandrel?) I have to work on getting the ends to look pretty.  Hmmm.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vetro gunmetal

This is a tough color to photograph, especially with my cheapie camera.  Here goes.  Vetrofond gunmetal,  aha! promises implied.  Metallic effect, neat reaction, something neat.  What I got:  another black.  I don't have a good shop for coaxing the best out of colors, but I wanted something.  On the left, Vetrofond gunmetal and on the right, CiM gunmetal.  And a unique at that, supposed to not produce the effect as easily as with the standard.  No matter how I look at it, the Vetro gunmetal is just black.  It is not a failure of the camera but an effect of the glass.  Heated gently for an extended time, black.  This is the first bead.  Maybe it reduces; this is the second bead.  I put a drop of aurae on to check.  Nothing.  Does it do anything neat with ivory?  Apparently not.  Now we get into the CiM.  I have had decent luck with this supposedly difficult color, probably since my HotHead reduces and burns cooler than pros' torches.  I can see a sheen.  It is even slightly evident in my lousy picture.  Next is reduced as before.  In order to distinguish between the 2 colors, I put a dot of ivory on the CiM beads.  I didn't know I would get a reaction, but I like it.  I din't get anything on the reduced bead other than this great reaction, but I will try it again.  I have to do it this way since the ivory and CiM gunmetal bead did nothing.

Final analysis, I will buy any gunmetal except Vetrofond.  It isn't doing anything for me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Effetre coral Martian strata

This is one of Effetre's numerous corals that they came up with a while back, Martian strata. Strata is the right word, since it is arguably the streakiest of the lot. It heats nicely and looks pretty decent on its own, but I like it best with silver and silver glass. And CiM tuxedo. The plain bead on the left is pretty indicative of how it turns out if you don't fool with it, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't fool with it.

With silver foil melted in, it does the usual thing, with the purple and blue thing under encasement that I really like. I tried to reduce the bead under encasement uniformly, and obviously wasn't very successful. I wonder whether the purple is incompletely reduced or the yellow is? Or which is over-reduced? OK, now this is annoying me. The beige isn't bad, but it wasn't what I was hoping for and I want to know what I did so I don't do it again. Next time.

With silver glass it looks pretty good on its own, and I'm glad I gave DH psyche a try as well as the triton. I love the color sheens I got on reduction. Under encasement, the triton is doing its green thing. I wish I could reduce it just to turquoise or lavender. With practice comes skill.

The coral and turquoise is a better combination than the copper green. Both have that grey line, but again, no where near like is achieved with turquoise and ivory. With CiM tuxedo, the coral is separating like crazy. I love it.

That effect isn't as pronounced in the next bead with Martian strata over intense black over Martian strata. The top dots are separating a little but here's my color that holds its own on intense black. Everything spreads on ivory, perhaps because it is so soft. Plum silver isn't looking very plum, nor is it very metallic. It was a nice try. Note I had no luck at all striking the TE-331 stringer with clear dots. I couldn't hope lightening would strike twice, could I?

A nice color. I would buy it again as an alternative to the more expensive rosewood, which it resembles a lot. It is a little darker and murkier and thus, to me, not as attractive, but in a setting where this doesn't matter this is a better color. If I run out, would I buy more? I don't know, since there are an awful lot of corals around.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Vetrofond wasabi

St. Patrick's Day is coming so it's time to drag all the green out of the glass stash.  The color by itself is very similar to CiM olive, but apparently originated from a weird batch of their yellow ochre.  I should have tested it with turquoise but didn't care for the color combination in my head.  I may yet.

Bead 1 is by itself.  It is a real Spanish olive color.  I like it better in 2 with silver foil melted in.  Adds a bit of surface texture and interest.  3 seems to be the best of this group, with silvered ivory stringer.  I don't know which is reacting to the silver more, the ivory or the wasabi.
These are with ivory, CiM tuxedo, and copper red green.  I sorta like the combination of the olive with the purplish, but name a color I don't like better with purple.  Still, none of these really does much for me.

7 is with DH triton, reduced and encased in clear.  I don't care for this combination, but neat things are going on in the triton, with blues, pinks, and greens, including lime.  Not enough contrast.  8 is with triton again, just reduced.  I got a tiny bit of webbing  and I like it better than under clear.  9 is wtih DH psyche now that I learned to strike it, and there is some webbing and the psyche reduction looks nice.

On these I was trying to see if I was going to get any special effects.  10 is with intense black dots and more wasabi on top.  Some webbing is aparent on the top dots.  11 is with dark silver plum, just to see if it would do anything neat.  It didn't, but it's DSP.  I like that pretty much no matter what it is on.

Will I buy more again?  I don't know.  It is a valuable color to have in my palette but for me it is not something I would want to make scads of beads out of.

Monday, March 8, 2010


 Could I be getting better at striking silver colors on my hh?  It must be this glass.  Double Helix' te-331 looks so cool in the ad photo but I never get anything that looks like it.  And this doesn't. But it's closer than I usually get.  There is actually color there.  The bead will probably crack.  Both these beads are on Vetrofond black, which I'm finding does wierd things with application of silver glasses.  It gets a gunmetal type thing going on in the area the silver glass doesn't touch.  Naturally, this isn't visible on the photos I took and it does disappear when encased, but it could be neat on its own.  The top bead is unencased and all I got is a faint blue turquoise line, and that gunmetal thing.  The bottom is encased with Effetre clear, and it was tough to get it to strike again after I encased it, since what happened was that it went all greenish and only just started to go lavender and blue.

These are my efforts to do other things with this color, and I'll confess to taking quick and dirty pictures to get them before they cracked.  My best striking efforts to date, the 4th bead from the left, is already cracked and ready to go.  The first is unstruck, glass wound off and done.  The second I didn't allow to cool enough before attempting to strike it.  The third is overstruck and poop-colored.  I encased it in clear, hoping to shield it from reduction.  I saw the color change and opacity develop and, rather than starting all over again and heating it to clear, finished it off.  The 4th is encased in clear again, and I had such high hopes, but they were dashed.  The 5th is a self bead that wasn't quite right and the 6th is also a self bead and I tried to do it right but didn't get very far.

These are with a core of CiM tuxedo, a layer of te-331, and in the case of the bead on the right, a layer of clear.  In all these beads, the blue/green predominates, which is a sign that the ruby tones aren't being given the chance to develop by slow heating.  Still, these aren't ugly so I should count myself lucky.  TE-331 does tend to blend into clear, I'm noticing, at least when it doesn't crack.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Effetre rosewood

Effetre rosewood.  Lovely color.  Actually, just what I've been looking for and one I will be playing with a lot.  It holds its own.  It plays nice.  Give me your odd lots.  Give me your wild and wacky.  Actually, please, but give me this color first.

1 is plain, unadorned, and badly shaped at that.  Not a bad color.

Rosewood likes silver, even by itself.  Nice texture on bead 2.  3 is under encasement and it shines.  I see pink, blue, green, and PURPLE.  What's not to love?  The neat gravity and marvering effect is one I would go for on its own but the fact that it is combined with great colors is attractive in the extreme.  If only I could make it do this when I wanted it to.

With silver glass under encasement it's pretty lame.  But by itself in bead 4, with triton stringer just reduced, I don't know what's going on, but I like it.  Separation!  Never had this before.  Get it again?  Doubtful, but loving the bead.  Encased, in 5, everything goes away and gets boring.  Didn't get enough reduction on the low cylinder.  It's just blue glass getting lost on the brick red.  TE-331 I had high hopes for, but I'm still wrapping my mind around this amazing color and it's going to play coy.  I will have you.  Just wait.

Whole bunch of colors, and guess what?  It doesn't wash out.  Intense black?  No problem.  It is crisp and so is the black.  Ivory?  Ditto.  Copper green is nothing special, but not ugly, which I am appreciating.  CiM tuxedo?  Takes it and gives back change.  Effetre turquoise?  Not a combination I would care for but nothing nasty going on.

Would I buy it again?  No brainer.  Of course.  This is the perfect supercoral.  It costs a little extra but boy, is it worth it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

petrified wood

This is another one of Vetrofond's numerous odd lots, which are difficult to come up with now.  This is a shame, since this one is very pretty.  As far as the plain bead is concerned, Effetre rosewood is very similar.    This one really likes silver, but not so much sliver glass. 

1 is plain and is a nice, streaky terracotta.  With silver foil melted in, nice things happen.  2 is with just the foil and 3 is the same under encasement.  I love the shades of purple, blue and green that sit between the layers.  They almost seem to float on the surface.

With silver glass the prettiness is not as evident.  4 is with DH aurae, I think, and 5 is with triton.  What was I thinking doing these roughly the same size, shape and decoration.  Now I am not sure which is which.  There is a slight brown fuming effect on the petrified wood, and both reduced well, but either could be aurae.  I know 6 is with triton encased because I didn't do one in aurae.  I should be thankful I had that much sense.  The triton went somewhat green but it's not so bad against the orangey petrified wood.

The less said about 7, the better.  The dark streaks going across the petrified wood is TE-331.  It didn't strike.  At all.  I need to play with this color more.  8 is with copper green and there is perhaps the faintest of grey lines between the copper green and the petrified wood.  I wish the copper green could have done its separation thing.  That would have been cool.  9 is petrified wood dots on top of intense black dots on top of a petrified wood base.  The intense black stays crisp and the petrified wood goes translucent.  I have to play with this idea and see what happens.  I also have to go back to testing with CiM tuxedo since intense black is too dominant.  10 is with plum silver scrolls and I'm not sure about this one. 

Ivory bleeds a bit into this coral type color but the effect isn't too pronounced, despite what the fuzzy photo says.  11 is silvered ivory stringer and 12 is petrified wood over ivory over petrified wood.  Again, the dots wash out.  I have to find a terracotta type that holds its own over ivory.  Maybe Effetre zucca scuro.  It sure is vibrant.  I'll give it a try.  One thing to note about the combination is that the petrified wood seems to lose its streakiness under the ivory.  That is not the side effect of my lousy photography.

Would I buy this color again?  I wouldn't go out of my way for it.  It is very, very similar to rosewood, which is still available.  Of course, it was 1/3 the price.  Always a plus.  I guess it would depend upon how much glass I was intending to use.

Friday, March 5, 2010

midnight cobalt

This is another one of those colors that only came out in limited amounts, Vetrofond midnight cobalt.  It is DARK.  I didn't even bother making a self spacer, because it is so dark there's no way it would be distinguishable from a black bead and I wouldn't want to string it into something by mistake and have it show up in bright sunlight.  It melts slowly ans remains pretty stiff.  It doesn't shock easily.

1 is a spacer over clear and 2 is over white.  3 is over white with silver foil melted in, then reduced.  I had noticed this effect with standard cobalt and wanted to see if it did the same thing.  It does.

4 is a test to see if applying silver foil, melting it in and reducing it brought out the blue.  I was surprised to find out it did, just barely.  5 is the same as 3, encased in clear.  I was sorry to see that the effect wasn't really preserved, but there is some lightening of the blue.  6 is over ivory with ivory dots.  The blue is so dark it's hard to see if there was any interaction between the 2.  I don't think there was, based on the crispness of the edges of the ivory dots.  7 is with copper green and nothing changed on either side.  8 is with turquoise and nothing happened here either, but I got a nice thin dot on top.  This is an idea--use the color to place over white on a cobalt blue bead so the dots on top of the white look as intense as the base bead color.

I like the way 9 turned out.  It is dots of TE-331 with clear dots on top of half of them.  I didn't make any special effort to strike the TE-331, and wouldn't you know it, it is my best color reaction to date.  I wonder if I can do this again?
Would I get more of this glass if it were available?  I don't know.  The glass I have will last a long time, since it is really only visible in very thin layers.  It would be good for fine stringer work or in murrini but that's about all I can see using it for.  I can't make murrini so pulled cane and over other colors is about it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

bracelet of hope

Check out this blog.  What a loving gift!  a bracelet for vila

Nice work, too--

These are gorgeous, but as she says, those who are sending charms aren't motivated by the prizes.  But they are nice.

moon rock

Vetrofond must have come up with a lot of neat colors at once, all pretty well sold out.  This one is called moon rock and, while it doesn't say anything about the moon or rocks to me, it's still a great color and one I will be using again.  It seems a lot like painted desert in yesterday's post but without the purple tone.  The rods are a medium grey, with a core of yellow surrounded by a layer of something dark, followed by grey, dark again, and a thick layer of grey.  One of these days I ought to pull and manipulate the glass on the mandrel like I had to with sweet lime to get these layers to show, but for now I'll just go with the color itself.  Interestingly, one of the rods in the 1/4 lb. I got was a light purplish beige.  I should also test this one to see if it comes out different.

1 is plain, with some streaks that don't show up very well, naturally.

Moon rock likes silver, especially under encasement.  There's a great texture and fuming.  3 is with just silver foil and 4 is with silver foil that was reduced and encased in clear.  Of course, the only part of the bead that shows the wonderful green and blue shades this produces is lost in shadow and reflection.  I am going to do a lot of these.

Moon rock also likes DH triton.  I'll have to try other silver glasses.  I don't know about Reichenbach magic, but the TE colors might be neat.  It is good in both 5, which is reduced and encased in clear, and I like this effect and 6, which is just reduced to such a mirror that I can see the turquoise bead next to it.  The brown fuming is tolerable and I can see some of the base color underneath.  It's almost like it was burned into the bead.

It reacts somewhat to copper colors, as shown with the turquoise and copper green.  A thin grey line forms and the moon rock dots on top of the copper colors separate.  Not the worst I've seen but something to remember.

Ivory seems to be pretty compatible with moon rock.  There is some fuming from the silver in 8, which is with silvered ivory stringer, and the silver isn't as pronounced as it is in some of the other beads I've done.  Check out how the ivory spreads and bleeds in 9.  The moon rock just sort of disappears on top of it.  It seems like it's trying to separate, so I don't know.

10 is with intense black dots covered by more moon rock.  The moon rock is translucent over the black and the black stays crisp on the moon rock.  Good to know.  Plum silver didn't act as dramatically in 11 as it did with painted desert.  Perhaps a little fuming, but I don't think so.  But it's not ugly.  12 is with EDP and I am happy to see it does nothing ugly with gold.  There is a reaction line on the moon rock buy I can live with this.  What is different is the bleeding the EDP seems to be doing.

Post update:  This is a striking color and it is possible to manipulate this on the mandrel to bring the colors to the surface.  The first 2 beads on the wire are painted desert, but the 3rd is moon rock manipulated and marvered and the 4th is the bead from the off color rod in the package.  It does look like an entirely different color.  I had this with sweet strawberry.  The moon rock rods are the bottom 2, with the "normal" in the middle and the reddish one below.

Would I buy it again?  Yes.  Will it be available?  Who knows.