Friday, April 30, 2010

CiM sangre

CiM sangre is a glass that has given me fits since I bought 2 rods of it soon after I started lampworking. I complained that Effetre 076 transparent red was difficult to strike and Molly Heynis at Heritage Glass recommended sangre as an alternative. In addition, it was supposed to be resistant to burning and going orange and doing all the ugly things other transparent reds tend to do. I still find it fairly tricky to strike and it has gone orange on me on more than one occasion. My photography setup, if one can call it that, has a lot to do with my dissatisfaction with the color in general, since it requires outdoor sun to do it justice and I simply don't have that in abundance. These were taken in the middle of the parking lot of my apartment building.

On the right are a handful of beads that I made with the color to put it through its paces. On the wire are plain, sangre encasing clear, sangre encased with clear, silver foil just melted in, which isn't pretty, silver foil reduced and encased with clear, which, frankly, I was expecting more out of, and my sangre/aurae test bead. Below it in the same picture are the "real" bead, made with a base of sangre, dots of aurae covered with clear, and a triton shard thrown in for good measure, and two beads I experimented with by wrapping a clear core with sangre and aurae twistie, encasing it in more clear and mashing them.
Here are two more views of my more serious bead, not helped at all by my camera, I'm afraid. Again, these are dots of aurae topped by bumps of clear, running together in the second side, and a wrap of a triton shard. I almost think I like the effect of the second side better, even though it wasn't what I was intending.

Now all I have to do is find a camera that is capable of making the beads look like they do in real life.

So how does sangre do with being a transparent red that strikes easily, doesn't burn out, and doesn't go orange? It doesn't burn out and it resists going orange. It strikes more easily than Effetre or Vetrofonds efforts in that regard. Transparency? Depends on the size of the bead and how it is worked. If the bead is anything above spacer sized and is going to be actually worked as opposed to wound off and cooled, don't count on it.

I plan on buying more CiM sangre when I run out, since by far, it is the easiest transparent red that I have found to work with.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

CiM butter pecan

A while back I reviewed CiM ginger and made a comparison bead with butter pecan, which was pretty identical with the rods I chose. There is quite a bit of variability in both these colors, and the rod color has a lot to do with the color the finished beads turn out. Butter pecan is a good pink to choose for human sculptural forms (think caucasian goddesses and angels) with the warning that it does get pretty drippy. Not quite as soft as ivory but close, and it stays hot for a long time. In the packet of glass I received, there was a lot of variation in rod size, the one I chose to do tests being about 4mm and the largest 7mm.

Plain butter pecan is creamy with an ever so slight streakiness that disappears if the bead is worked at all. With silver foil there is some yellow fuming, but not as much of a surface reaction as I was expecting. I don't really care for the pearly effect reducing the silver and encasing it has here.

What I do dig is the combination of copper leaf and butter pecan. I will be making some sort of beads with this. The iridescent blue of reduced triton looks nice against the neutral background, but I don't really care for the dark chrome of triton without the dots of clear.

Butter pecan is supposed to be a less reactive alternative to ivory and I wanted to do a test bead to see how close they were. I don't think they are very close, but particularly with a test I did on nile green opalino, the test bead may not indicate what really happens when other colors are involved.

I tested butter pecan with tuxedo in the middle and intense black on the right to see which, if either, would web and what would happen. Tuxedo and butter pecan are about the same degree of softness when melted, so each pretty much kept to itself. Intense black stayed crisp on the butter pecan, but webbed the dots of butter pecan on top like crazy.

Plum silver does pretty well on butter pecan, developing a nice lustre and not having too bad an edge reaction. Copper green does form a slight grey line, but not as bad as on some other colors. EDP bleeds like crazy when placed on top of butter pecan, and the way the butter pecan forms a clear dot in the middle is wild.

I'm glad I have this color in my palette and will be buying more when I run out. I am thinking of some seaside themed beads and I think this color will be one of the main ones I will be using.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Effetre nile green opalino

Effetre nile green opalino wasn't available for a while, and having worked the others, I was anxious to give this a whirl. It is a nice, spring green that I think works best by itself. It remains stiff when worked, more toward the transparents than the opaques. I found myself constantly resisting the urge to work lower in the flame or turn up the gas, since this color is ridiculously sensitive to torch chemistry and if the flame is too reducing, the beads will go an ugly, greyish olive with "smoke" spots on them. If they had beed surface flaws, I might have tried etching to remove the discoloration, but the glass was stained all the way through so I threw out a couple beads where I wasn't able to resist temptation.

Plain, these are a nice, jade green that becomes more ethereal when encased in clear. Note the lack of a clear dividing line where one glass starts and the other stops. Following Pat Frantz's advice, all the encased beads were made on a core of clear to prevent cracking, which the opalino colors are supposed to be prone to do when encased.

Application of metal is a way to shift the hue of this green toward yellow or blue. Adding either does affect the surface, which must be taken into account, but the silver definitely shifts the glass strongly toward the yellow end and copper sends it equally decisively toward the blue. Both have tiny bubbles on them, with the copper being more noticeable.

Double Helix aurae doesn't do well on this glass and I doubt I will do this again. It is interesting the way the unencased bead has separation of the aurae.

I wanted to compare the effects of ivory and CiM butter pecan on a real bead and found they were similar. Both separated a bit, with the ivory on the left separating more strongly, and both are about the same shade. I thought the green glass would react with the ivory to produce a grey line, which it didn't, so I will have to compare them again on a color which I know does.

CiM tuxedo reflects quite a bit into the opalio, and the opalino dots on top of it are invisible. I ran out of gas just as I made the middle bead with intense black, but I believe the tiny opalino dots on top of the intense black ones would have been a waste of time. I was pleased that Gelly's sty didn't do anything weird with the opalino, since I may do something in a muted floral with these two.

I would probably buy this glass again. It is a color that does not really appear in the other manufacturer's lines and will make nice beads as long as I don't forget what it can and can't do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CiM plum

Creation is Messy has one thing right: It's customers like purple. I do. Plum was released quite a while ago but only recently found its way into my stash. For a link to CiM's website and to see what others have done with this amazing color, click here!/profile.php?id=100000449052869 It is billed as an opal and acts like one, melting easily but remaining midway between an opaque and a transparent in stiffnes when hot. This makes it very easy to work with, neither dripping all over the worktop or being so stiff that it pulls other colors off when applying decoration.

Plain, it is a nice, translucent orchid purple. Encased in clear, it lightens a little but seems to become even more translucent. The edge between where the encasing stops and the core starts is slightly blurred. With plum encased over a clear core, the translucency is magnified but the color remains darker.

Silver foil just disappears when just melted into this, but when it is reduced and encased in clear it gives that pearly lavender lustre that I like. Copper leaf looks better than I have come to expect and is a combination that I will probably use again. I only tested DH aurae with plum but was very happy with the bead I made, a base bead of plum with dots of aurae encased with bumps of clear.

CiM tuxedo looks good on plum, remaining crisper than I expected. The dots of plum on top of the tuxedo half of this bead did disappear. Psyche didn't reduce well on the next bead, but I am beginning to think I pulled a stringer of dark amethyst or Effetre black (which I didn't think I had) because none of the beads I have made with this stringer have reduced. Plum silver looks better on the middle bead than the picture shows. The metallic effect stays near the edges and the center has a bit of a line down it on the plum silver scrolls, but I would not be afraid to do this again. Copper green looks nice against the soft plum, but unless something very subtle is desired, there's no point in putting the plum on top of the copper green. EDP looks a bit weird, making the plum underneath look redder than it would be. I wonder what Effetre Sedona would look like with the plum? It seems they are almost the same shade.

Definitely worth a second purchase.

Monday, April 26, 2010

CiM pumpkin

Not so sure of the name of this one. It is much closer in color and melting to yellow ochre than to the coral-type specials labeled as pumpkin by other manufacturers. It is slightly translucent and not as concentrated as Effetre yellow ochre, and that alone makes me like it better than yellow ochre, but there aren't many colors I like less. I'm sure that against other colors this is more attractive. I just haven't found them yet and am not inclined to experiment much.
Plain reveals a weird characteristic or two. I did not make any other beads from this rod so contamination of the end is not a possibility, so the presence of dark flecks in the glass is strange. One is visible on the right side and there are a couple more on the back. I haven't seen any of the yellows that comes out lighter in the bead than in the rod, but here is one. With silver foil melted in, reduced, and encased in the 3rd bead from the left, there is a reddish blush that I may appreciate someday, but with copper leaf and plain silver I don't see much of a need.

With DH aurae encased and plain I don't see anything that jumps out at me. I like the way the triton shard I wrapped around the center of the right bead looks like a knotted belt, but that was due to the way the shard folded and not any contribution of the glass.

Nothing special going on with the beads combining pumpkin with other colors, except to note that due to its low opacity, dots of pumpkin applied over another color will not remain opaque.

I probably will not buy this glass again, since the usefulness of a slightly translucent yellow glass seems pretty low. I may reconsider this if I start making sunflower beads.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

CiM smurfy

Creation is Messy smurfy is amazingly well behaved. Up until now I've only used Effetre 236 dark turquoise and never saw any reason to do otherwise. Now I doubt I will use it again. Smurfy is not an exact match for the color; the Effetre 236 is a tad darker. Smurfy is a bit streakier, especially if the bead is simply wound and finished, as I usually do. There is no boiling and this glass is so much easier to work. I did have an issue with the flame on my HotHead reducing the first bead I made, but this was due to a problem with how the torch was attached to the new tank. I was very glad I was using a turquoise, since the minute it went brick red I knew I had a problem and was able to correct the reduction issue and go back to torching.

Plain, smurfy is a nice, medium turquoise with some streaks, which aren't a problem for me, and absolutely no pitting. With silver on its own there is some yellow fuming, which may work in a specific application that I can't imagine at the moment. The same bead reduced was neat to look at, but the minute I encased it, there was nothing to indicate that silver was ever there. With copper, there is a neat blue-black film and some less-neat bubbles under encasement. Without encasement the copper leaf looks like burned rice paper.

Considering what happened to the silver, I didn't think I'd like the Double Helix aurae, but I'm glad I tried it. Under encasement, there is an attractive, subtle rainbow that goes well with the turquoise. Without encasement, the gold makes a nice contrast.

None of the color reactions surprised me. From left to right are light (?) yellow pastel, ivory, EDP, red roof tile (which didn't do the dark orange to yellow fade I was hoping for), intense black, and plum silver.

I will be buying this glass when my current supply runs out, because even if it costs a few pennies more, it is so much easier to use I will save it in aggravation.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Odds and Ends

I only made a few beads each of the two new transparents from Effetre, mostly because I seem to enjoy working with the pastels and specials more. On the left is green rosette, a very dark emerald green that stands up well in thin layers. The self bead first on the wire is almost black, and it is only near the hole that you can see it isn't. Over clear, green rosette looks about as dark as the next color down, dark teal is. I think dark teal is quite a bit more blue, but would have to dig too far to find out. Over white, the green rosette is applied very thinly indeed and really is staying dark. The line going around the bead is not a crack, it's where i overlapped incompletely when winding on the color. Over ivory, I believe there is just a hint of a grey line, but nothing too glaring.

The black olive is a neat color, but I don't know how many beads I'll be making with it, since I don't have much of a call for brown at the moment. Maybe as part of an animal print? I'll see. In order, a plain bead, one made on a clear core with dots of black olive on the left half and a band of black olive on the right, a white bead treated the same way, and one on ivory.

These are my first experiment using dichroic coated glass. Please, no one laugh. The top bead, I forgot that the dichroic coating goes on the inside unless it's being encased again and I know I don't have enough skill at all to keep from frying the coating while encasing the bead. I got the order right on the bottom bead, and apart from a minor error trying to get used to using a paddle to shape a bead (note to self: don't try to learn two things at once) I'm pretty happy with this bead.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Effetre light violet transparent

Lately, I've been going through my stash of beads and photos and publishing some of the ones that got away. This is such a one, although I don't know why it did, because it's purple! The color is Effetre light violet transparent, which is a premium color, but I don't know why because it is machine pulled. Regardless, it is a nice shade that is sufficiently different from their amethyst color to merit a separate purchase. It melts very slowly, resists thermal shock and remains very stiff when working.
Plain, it appears very dark indeed, which makes me wonder if there was ever a medium or dark violet and what color it looked. With silver foil melted in and left alone, only tiny beads of silver on the surface indicate that anything was done to the bead. It is when the silver is reduced and encased in clear that something magical happens. I really love this effect.

With silver-rich Double Helix aurae, the plain bead looks ok but nothing to write home about. Encase it with clear (I wonder what would happen if I used another color?) and it shows off beautiful blues and greens.

I wanted to see what would happen to the intensity of this color when layered with other colors, and here's my answer. The violet recedes a little and lives up to its name. It is a lovely shade and I must say I am rather pleased the way this floral turned out. The base glass is Vetro lemongrass odd, which I love as a background for purple flowers. On ivory, nothing ugly happens, but I think that the ivory separated and darkened a bit more than I can usually get it to. Over white the violet remains rather dark, but the layer was a bit thick.

EDP scrolls bleed a lot over the violet, but that is to be expected considering the extreme difference in viscosity between the glasses. I don't know what I was trying to do by putting dots of light violet over a clear base bead, but what I did was make a bead that looks very much like it was made of only a very pale violet glass. The violet dots on top of the copper green are disappearing, but the copper didn't do anything ugly.

Would I buy this again? Oh, yes. It's purple.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vetrofond orange sherbet

This is the last of a load of oranges I bought recently. I don't know what I was thinking, unless it was a longing for summer and warmer weather. Vetrofond orange sherbet presents as a bright orange rod with a white core. From previous experience with the cored rods from Vetrofond odd lots, I was extremely careful to preheat this as I was sure the end of the rod would pop off at least once. I needn't have worried, since this color turned out to be surprisingly well behaved. I liked the striated effect so much that I couldn't see spoiling it too much with a whole lot of other treatment. For instance, I don't ever see myself wrapping it in silver foil or using a DH lustre glass on it, so I didn't bother to test for a lot. I did think that EDP and turquoise were likely, so I did these and the results were positive. I especially like the almost nonexistent grey line with the turquoise.

One of the ways to bring out the striation is to manipulate the bead on the mandrel, so the 2nd bead from the left I pulled and repositioned with steel needle nosed pliers then remelted into a round bead. I don't know how well this shows up. Since the material that is used to shape a bead can have an effect on the appearance of the glass, I marvered the cylindrical one with graphite and used my brass lentil press to shape the other. No difference.

I liked using this glass and will make other, summery beads with it. I may not buy more since it may not be available, but if I run out and it is, I will.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CiM Gelly's sty

Another CiM color that almost slipped by me. They have so many, I'd go broke trying to own them all, but I'd love to try. This one is really a unique shade of pink. It is slightly translucent, but this is part of its charm. Effetre rose opalino is similar, but it is a pain to work with and Gelly's sty doesn't need to be struck. I think the best thing about it is that it plays so well with other colors. The material from Creation is Messy says that it goes light under encasement and likes to be worked hot. There are reports that it can be shocky (oh, no) and devitrifies. I was forewarned on the shockiness and as far as the devitrification goes, I'll just have to see.

Plain reveals a pretty, rose petal shade of pink. Encased, it looks pretty much the same to me. Perhaps a tiny bit more translucent. Maybe a good thing. If I want an ethereal pink, this is the color for me.

I didn't even bother testing this one with silver or copper, since I knew it would go all yellow with silver and I have yellow opalino and CiM ghee for that. With copper I just wasn't interested. I suspect the shockiness advised against comes after cooling without kilning so we'll just see how the plain encased bead does before I add copper to the mix. With DH aurae, pictured here, it goes golden and highlights the gold dots of the aurae. Nice. I love what it did under encasement. I only wish my clear didn't scum up.

The translucent quality of Gelly's sty is really highlighted by its use with CiM tuxedo. The tux seems to be slightly absorbed by the pink, but that is light transmission, because the edges of the black on pink are nice and crisp. The pink on black looks slightly lavender. I have to try encasing a tux bead with Gelly's sty now. EDP bled a little but works well on this pink. No burning! I really like that there is no reaction with ivory. I was sure there would be. The dots of pink on top disappear on both the ivory and the white next to it. Gelly's sty is fairly stiff for an opaque, so that explains the ivory and white bleeding.

Yellow seems to bleed a little but there is no ugly reaction. Strangely, copper green appears bleached out. there is nothing ugly happening here and I would feel confident using the 2 together, but I would wish for more contrast. The intense black stays crisp and the Gelly's sty separates into that neat mouth thing, but it is almost invisible due to its lack of saturation. Trying to get plum silver to go metallic without devitrifying was a task beyond me, but there is a hint of a shimmer, trust me.

I will definitely be buying more of this color. It is a pleasure to work with and an unique addition to my palette.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Effetre very cherry

It seems I bought a whole lot of Effetre at once. This is a very deep red, if a cherry it's an overripe Bing. It comes out as a semitransparent, very deep red. The rods I got were about 9mm, and thus I was a little nervous about heating them, but I shouldn't have worried. While not melting as slowly as a transparent, they are certainly stiffer than the 436 dark red special, and not at all shocky. In terms of hue, I am strongly reminded of CiM bordello.

Since this is a semitransparent color, I wanted to see what it would look like self and encased. The left bead is a self spacer, the second is over clear and the 3rd over white. All look dark red and the self one is a very deep, very rich red.

With silver this color really looks cool. A hint of this can be seen on the left bead, with some bluish effects, but it really shines (literally) in the rainbow irridescence of the middle bead, which is silver foil melted in, reduced and encased in clear. Copper leaf encased in clear is not impressive.

With a nod to Pat Frantz and Dragonjools in their blogs, I couldn't wait to see what it did with DH aurae. There is no visible reaction in the 2 beads on the left, which are aurae reduced and psyche, which would not reduce for me. Under encasement aurae looks very cool blue and green and triton the same, only darker. In fact, I can't really tell what the base color is in my poor lighting.

I wanted to see what would happen over ivory and discovered two things. The first is that it doesn't react as a gold pink would by producing an ugly black spot and the second is that very cherry is a striking color. Yes, there are dots of very cherry on top of the ivory dots in the bead on the left. It doesn't do anything ugly with copper green, but I don't care for the way it looks brown over the green.

I have nothing against this color and would buy it again, but its depth of color makes it hard to find a use for. One thing to note is that it is very much easier to work than 076 striking red.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vetrofond pearl grey

I've been on bed rest for almost a week and these posts represent me rounding up the pictures of beads that I made previously and haven't had a go at yet. This is a color that I didn't think I'd like at all in rod form but was pleasantly surprised at with the finished beads. The rods melt nicely and the color makes a pleasant background against everything except silver and Double Helix glass.

The first bead is plain for comparison. When I had made this, I noticed that the end of the rod nearest the melted section had gone whitish without devitrifying, so I had to try to do this on purpose. The bead on the right is this attempt. I think it looks a little lighter. This glass reminds me of CiM glacier a lot.

With silver and the DH glasses psyche and Aurea, the yellowish fuming spoils it for me. I do like it with copper leaf, encased in clear. This is the bead in the middle.

This plays well with other colors, especially the copper green, producing a nice spring palette. The bead in the middle with the intense black layered dots looks pretty neat. I'm not as fond as the same effect with EDP.

I don't know if I would buy this color again or CiM glacier. For my purposes the two are nearly interchangeable.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Effetre dark pumpkin

These are the only beads I made with this color, because they represent an entire rod of this super shocky color. I got tired of chasing hot chunks of flying glass shards and quit while I still had a "studio." I will say right off the bat I will not be buying this color again, ever. I preheated the heck out of it in every way I knew and it still exploded, and not just in the rod end pops off kind of way but shards flying all over the place. I had a tough time even getting the end of the rod hot enough to start winding it, instead I held pieces in a pair of needle nose pliers and more or less stuck them to the mandrel. Making beads was not a pleasant experience and if this was the first color I worked with, it would have been the last. Strangely enough, this came out as zucca scuro in the "silver challenge" bundle released in December and that rod didn't do this. I am just not willing to risk burning myself or my abode any more.

That having been said only 2 beads are even remotely worth it: the bead in the middle is with dots of DH psyche, melted in and reduced, and the one on the right which is dots of intense black and dots of dark pumpkin on top (this was very tricky to make.) While I like the way both of these turned out, the place can't take another go at trying to make more.

Others may have had other experiences with this color and are welcome to tell me about them in comments, even link in your pictures if you can figure out how.