Sunday, November 14, 2010

After a Short Break

 It's been a couple weeks since I posted last, primarily because after I had surgery, I got sick.  Isn't that always the way?  I did make a few beads to test out the new annealer, and have done more since. 
 I finally got Devardi coppery black to lustre, by making the bead, turning the torch up to rocket and striking it then.  I also discovered that if I anneal the beads afterward, the lustre disappears in the kiln.  I may try setting the annealing temperature lower, say 925.  I may not, because this glass uses so much gas to bring up the coating, I don't want to take a chance.  I also discovered that when other colors are added on top, if they are left raised the coppery black doesn't have enough contact with the flame to lustre, and if the coppery black is left raised on top of tuxedo, for instance, it doesn't lustre either.  A bit of a pain to use.
 I wanted to see what Clio did in the kiln, since I read somewhere that it finishes developing color in it.  The two beads on the bottom are Clio, on the left, just Clio, after I attempted to strike and reduce it, and on the right, the same thing with a layer of clear on top.  I like the effect under clear, with the milky reduction modifying the color.  I was hoping for a more ruby color, but I suppose I should be glad I could get anything other than yellow with the hothead.
 I ordered in some more Effetre pink 256.  This bead is the old on the sides and the new in the middle.  I was fairly disappointed that the pink isn't more vivid.  Oh well, try again another time.
So, how's the annealer working?  I made the encased beads pictured here with the express idea of testing this out.  I've had problems with the old kiln cracking encased beads, especially when the beads had a thick encasement layer or were squashed into lentils.  I love the way these turned out.  I still can't do florals to save my life, but I thought the lentil came out very well.

Not the best bead I've ever made, but it served its purpose, which was to see how well a nice long soak held the bead together.  I encased a core of tuxedo with clear, in this case Vetrofond, which I've had more problems with cracking than Effetre or CiM, then added decorations of green and some bizarre poke flowers, which Joe was very kind about but he's color blind, then encased in another thick layer of clear and shaped the whole thing.  It stayed intact and didn't give me any trouble at all.  In cleaning this one the few other encased beads I made, I noticed the absence of a phenomenon I noticed with my cracked beads before.  I could tell if a bead was going to crack by feeling a concentrated vibraton along a line along the hole while cleaning it, even if it didn't crack right away.  It felt almost like an electric shock.  Now I know why it was happening, because none of the beads I made this time did it.
 I was testing out how CiM Tamarind worked on these beads, layering them fairly thickly with a twistie of CiM Canyon de Chelly, DH Clio and Terra2 and a bit of silvered ivory, then swirling it and encasing in clear.  I got some ruby out of the Clio here, and I generally like this combination for a twistie.  I can't really figure out where all the color came from, but that's OK.
This is the backside of the same bead, again showing the strange interaction of color.
This is the same twistie on a base of tamarind with the silvered ivory and squashed in a badly overfilled lentil press.  It's a pity.  I have to try this again without overfilling the press, because I think it looks pretty neat.

This bead ticks me off.  I used a base of white, I think CiM peace, covered it completely with every bit of stringer and twistie I found on the bench, spun it and added ends of tamarind.  I love the way the twisties looked and the colors I got, and am fairly happy with the shape of the bicone.

What I'm not happy about is the dimple I left on one of the ends.  I don't know how it got past me.  It totally wrecks the shape and I should have been able to see it.

Yep, there it is, right on top; it looks like someone scooped a chunk out of the bead and ruins what would have been a decent bead.  The worst part is that since I was just using up bits of twistie loitering around on the table, there's no way of redoing it.  Oh well.  It sure looks hand made.