Friday, April 27, 2012

Found Treasures

The thermocouple on my kiln was damaged when I moved so no new beads until next week when the new one comes in, which has me down in a big way.  I did manage to find a few sets of beads that I hadn't listed yet when I moved, so I can have some new things.  I'll ration them out, I think.

My favorite, made with Devardi Aurora frit on CiM Peace.
I really like the delicate color on them.  It's a tough call which I like better, the Aurora on copper green or Peace.

The Effetre streaky denim spacers and indigo hollows I blogged about last week, and I'm not looking forward to trying to get some usable photos of the hollows.  They are lovely and I was going to make them into earrings for myself.  I still might.

I have a second Etsy shop, Fire in Ice Baubles, for handmade findings and non-lampwork jewelry and I made some very cool beads for earrings to demonstrate some dark silver plum headpins I made.  I'm really digging the way the beads look with the copper head pins and end caps.
The beads are a base of Effetre Spring Willow with Double Helix scrolls.  I thought the spring willow would do that wild orange thing it does but apparently this time it decided not to.  It didn't blush much either.  I love the unpredictability of this color!  I made these beads the same day, with the same rod and some blushed and some didn't.
Check out the first spacer to the right of the focal.  Half went orange and the other half pink.  So cool!  If anyone knows why it does what it does, let me know, otherwise I'll have all kinds of fun trying to figure it out on my own.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Moving In Part 2

Today is a bit of a bittersweet post.  My new studio is all set up.  Here it is
The only fly in the ointment is that the thermocouple on the kiln was damaged during the move and I had to order a new one.  It will come next week and I can wait until then but I'm not a happy camper.  Imagine the scene.  I've spent the day scrubbing and toiling with the reward of a couple precious hours of torch time.  I fire up the kiln and commence to dip mandrels.  Nothing happens and that dreaded tcL message appears on the display.  I knew what to look for this time and it didn't take long to find the problem.

Dragonjools had written a post about it here
http://dragonjools.blogspot.com/2012/04/kiln-troubleshooting.html
and it was a quick and ready reference I was grateful for.

I still made a few beads and cooled them in the annealing bubble I use for demos.  Small beads for my own use that I won't care if they break.  I've got more of the glass I used to make them and will be able to if they don't hold up.  I just had to make something.  More glassy posts when the part arrives.

Moving In

No pictures today, just a quick post to rejoice in finally having a computer again after the move.  We're mostly in, only one more trip should do it.  Hopefully I get my studio set up today and all the glass unpacked.  The new studio has lots of natural light which should make telling colors apart easier.  I really need to make something today - starting to go through glass withdrawal in a big way.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Color Testing Revisited

 I'm getting ready to move and thought I'd talk about a few things I've been working on before I have to pack up my shop.  The above beads were made with a frit blend from Devardi called waterlilies, on CiM stoneground that had been covered with silver foil which was melted in.  I love how the etching brought out the pinks and the droplets of silver.  On just plain white, below, the frit is pretty, like a summer meadow, I think, but I like it better on the silver and brown.

 I picked up some Devardi Aurora frit as well, above on the NW and SE beads over CiM crocus, and below over copper green.  I really like the way it looks on copper green and have made a set of it, this time getting them all round.  I did do a set on white, where the true colors show up.  It is a pleasing blend of purple, lavender, and greens.

The last color I tested was CiM indigo, a limited run.  For all the world it looks black and may as well be.  The above are hollow beads and you can just about make out the white ribbon stringing them together.  Not sure how I'll use this yet.  I'm thinking of making it into twisties or filigrana and making hollows and/or ruffles with it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Now This Ticks Me Off

 I've been on a rainbow kick lately and devoted a lot of time and energy into this set.  Some of the beads originally came out the wrong size and I had to remake them, yada yada yada.  Looks good, right.

Not so fast.  It was only after I cleaned them and was getting ready to photograph them that I noticed.  They had touched in the kiln and I got glass transfer.  Profanity ensued.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Effetre Metallic Black vs. Dark Silver Plum

 I made this set last month and was very happy with the way it turned out.  The only glass used was Effetre metallic black and while I loved the way the beads looked, metallic black is a pain to work with.  For one thing it is ridiculously expensive, and while that is a consideration, for me it wasn't the main one.  The biggest problem was that it is an Italian black.  It pops and boils, and the matte metallic coatings forms so fast on my low heat little hothead that it was nearly impossible to fuse the raised decoration on.

I decided to try Effetre dark silver plum instead, which is slightly less expensive but more importantly, not at all a pain to work with.  Quite the opposite.  It melts like butter, doesn't go shooting rod ends all over the table, doesn't boil or spark and develops a metallic shine when I want it to and not before.  I used the machine made version because I seem to have gone senile and ordered it twice in a row last year and have lots of it.  There is a difference between how the machine made version reacts in the flame and how the handmade one does but it is more readily apparent with dual fuel torches.  On the hothead, it forms a matte luster easily.
Side by side, the difference between the 2 sets is pretty clear.  The black set is black and the DSP set is, well, plum.  The black set has a more rainbow kind of luster and while the plum set does have tones of teal and gold in real life they don't show up to the camera at all.  I chose these pictures because they highlight the differences.

Here the difference isn't so obvious.  I like how these turned out and if I decide to do a similar set I'll use DSP again.  The metallic black might work for stringer or shards but for  a whole bead with raised decoration it's too much of a good thing.