Thursday, October 28, 2010

Coppery Black?

 I've been whiling away the time waiting for my new annealer to come, but the excitement has kept me making some beads.  I was attracted by a new glass available from Devardi, supposed to be usable only by hothead users and rendering a finish similar to the very expensive silver glasses, only in copper, not silver.  Why not take a chance and order some?  Here's a link to Devardi's site and Golden Coppery Black is about 1/3 of the way down the page.  There's even an instructional video showing how to bring up the lustre.  It looks so easy, doesn't it.
 What I got was a slew of black rods, one with a tag bearing the label "golden coppery black", and another with a suspicious spot of color change, distinctly silvery.  You can just see it in the rod in the above picture.  I've included a loop of copper wire in case my picture didn't come out well.  After making quite a few beads with the suspect glass, I believe that the rods were mislabeled.  I tried the rod with the label on it as well, hoping that at least that would be the color I ordered.  No luck.
In the photo above, the bead in the upper left, still on the mandrel, was treated as I would CiM gunmetal, and I got a  very similar effect.  The paddle on the end of the rod was simply mashed, cooled and flashed in and out of the middle of the flame like the video suggests, as were the rest of the beads, except for the one on the right with the DH Triton bumps, where I was trying to reduce it to see if that would help.  The center bead, right next to the copper ring, is made with both ends the Devardi glass and the middle CiM tuxedo, and nothing doing here at all. 

I'm very disappointed by this glass.  I really don't need any more gunmetal, which is what this seems like it's going to be, not to mention I was looking forward to a new glass color just for me as a hothead user.  Devardi glass is less expensive than Italian glass or CiM, but it is shocky and boils and pits if it isn't worked cool enough.  I've received rods that were mislabeled before from more than one source, so unless something miraculous happens to my technique I'll assume that's what's happened.

In the meantime, my annealer was just delivered and I'll be spending the next month trying to figure out how to program it.  Directions so simple a child can program it.  Bah!  Anyone got a child to program this thing, cuz I'm having VCR flashbacks?

10/29/10  Devardi glass wrote back and explained that I've been doing it wrong.  I have to make the bead, turn the gas up to rocket and flash the bead in and out of that once it's cooled to no longer glowing.  I'm not used to working with so much gas, since I'm pretty stingy with the MAPP fuel.  I gave it a try with the labeled rod this morning and will post a picture of the resulting beads.  I definitely had some golden irridescence going into the kiln.  Apparently, MAPP gas gives you a golden hue and bottled propane gives a coppery one.  I wonder if I'll have to get a tank of propane just to see what it looks like.  And I'm still not sure about that rod with the silver smudge.

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