Archive for March, 2010

Lampwork – newbie week 4

March 17 – 21

I think I’m going to start using bigger image thumbnails. Because I can!

Week 4 colour testing

This week’s colour tests. Light blue, dark blue, baby blue, mid blue, dark sky blue opaque, light sky blue opaque, lapis cobalt blue, turquoise, “mango coral” (more on this later), anise white, and two spacers made of Vetrofond Odd Light Red Jasper. The darker one was first on the mandrel and was reheated while I made the second.

I did the blues because I had a whole pile of single rods in slightly differing shades. I do like the baby blue, it’s obviously different. I’m not sure which of the other ones I prefer, but I probably only need one of them!

I discovered in my blue tests that the rod I’d been using that I thought was turquoise was in fact light sky blue. It doesn’t make a huge amount of difference – they both react the same – but I think I prefer the actual turquoise for general purposes. (When I’ve mentioned turquoise stringer, it *was* turquoise. This had me confused for a bit). Dark sky blue and dark turquoise are fairly indistinguishable.

Week 4 beads

Back row, right to left:
1. Slightly raised dots. Yellow ochre base with layered dark red brown dots.
2-3. Dragonscale attempt. Dark ivory base, dots of silver leaf on ivory stringer (extra-silvered SIS), petrol green dots on top, slightly gravity swirled as melting in. Not quite the neat effect you can get, but I think I missed out a step…
4. Floral/eye. Base bead is opaque purple encased in transparent mid purple and is a lovely deep grape colour. I then made 4 big dots in various different base colours (black, white, cobalt, light pink) and practised some encased florals/eyes on them.
5. Green eye mk 2. This is pretty much what last week’s eye looked like before encasing, but a bit neater. Again, lime green base, encased in grass green, eye and decoration on top.

1-2. Implosions. The lapis cobalt blue one was my first and didn’t implode very far… The second is very orange – it’s opaque light red and I’d tried putting a row of mid purple and then grass green dots on the outer parts of my disk, but I keep forgetting how light transparents get in small amounts! The green has slightly tinted the bottom and the purple is invisible. But it came out much better than the first! I’m still working on getting the ends tidy after doing the imploding.
3. Smiley. Dark yellow base, black and ivory for eyes. Got a bit smudgy but I kinda like it.
4. Purple twistie bead. The twistie is one I made a while back with light pink, purple, and transparent mid purple. I wound some on for the core, encased in clear and did a wavy line in more twistie round the centre. The shape hasn’t photographed very clearly! It’s nice to hold.
5. Light sky blue and coral. I used a spoon to mash it into shape and added stringer decoration in coral and black, adding dots of baby blue in places. They change the look quite a bit and it’s rather weird!

And an alternate view, showing different sides of the eyes.

Week 4 alternate view

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Lampwork – newbie week 3

March 9 – 16

Newbie week 3 beads

Here we have… (right to left)
1. Dots – dark grey opaque base with dark chocolate brown, ivory and coral dots.
2-3. Cat and penguin, see below.
4. Ivory mashed bead with random raked coral.
5-6. Coral spacers. One heated up more times than the other.
7-10. Iris gold frit on white, black and twice on dark ivory.
11. Bicone attempt. Dark ivory with dark turquoise ends, dots and stripes.

Catmouse and penguin

Catmouse and penguin

More critters! The cat ended up with a bit of a mouse face… I’m pleased with the penguin, though I’ve realised that if I make them with the bead hole running that way, if I want to make them into jewellery, I’ll have to thread them on something that won’t let them turn easily or they’ll hang upside down.

Fairy beads – these were for the (extended) February Newbie Challenge on Frit-Happens!

Green fairies - all

1. Tree. A grass green trans cylinder base with iris opal yellow frit on the bottom and green aventurine frit on top, then the tree done in black stringer. The green aventurine doesn’t show up very much as it’s rather dark.
2. Round. Grass green transparent base, iris gold frit. Then I tried putting little bug-like shapes on with stringer dots – lime green and turquoise. Then encased with clear, which turned the bugs into abstract bits of colour instead…
3. Oblong tree with fairy. Grass green trans and iris gold frit again, encased in more grass green and mashed into an oblong. Tree on one side – black stringer, lime green stringer and aventurine green frit for leaves. Added a bit too much so it went all blobby. Fairy on the other side – dark ivory and turquoise and some trans mid purple that doesn’t show. There was more decoration at the top so I had to add extra green glass to the bottom to even out the thickness a bit.
4. Large cylinder with bug-fairy. Grass green trans and iris gold frit again, encased in clear with a little more iris gold on top. The fairy shape is in coral with petrol green and turquoise dots. The coral was probably a bad idea – it looks dull grey-purple when hot, so I ended up using too much of it without realising quite how bright it would end up.
5. Eye! Lime green opaque core, encased in grass green trans. The eye is two dark ivory dots with a black one in the centre, then a small ring of ivory over the black for the iris. The iris has cobalt blue and grass green dots. Black stringer around top, going to a small squiggle. Corner of the eye is light pink with striking red on top. There were then trails of 3 dots in cobalt or lime green decorating other places on the bead. Then I encased the whole thing in clear, which in hindsight was probably a bad idea. The eye itself looks ok, though more smeary than it originally was, but the rest is rather lost. The encasing isn’t great either – I was getting tired and it was taking forever to melt smooth. The slightly irregular shape feels quite nice to hold, though.

Closeups of some

Fairy trees detail

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Lampwork – newbie week 2

Week 2: March 1-7

Here’s my current collection of colour reference spacers from both weeks:

Newbie week 1 and 2 spacers

The new colours (clockwise from yellow onwards) are medium lemon yellow, dark yellow, light red, light amber transparent, dark turquoise, light turquoise, cobalt blue, light pink, one more go at striking red, pale blue transparent. (I forget if I’ve mentioned – everything’s been Effetre so far).

In the middle’s some of the striking red where the bead release broke while I was winding on. Lovely ruby colour! With the bead I tried to do the trick where you heat it all the way back to clear after shaping and then strike it, but I’m not sure if you can do that on a hothead – I certainly didn’t manage to get it clear and it’s just darker brown… Next time, I’ll try working very very cool instead.

Beads part 1:

Newbie week 2 part 1

From right to left. I did some experimenting with greys because I was rather dubious about them. All these lovely colours of glass and I have *grey*? So I made the one on the end, and I think it’s beautiful. Light grey transparent base with pearl grey swirled dots on the surface. It looks slightly darker in person and has a lot of depth. The next one’s similar, but using the diamond half of my Mini Duo press. Then there’s one that was *supposed* to be pearl grey encased with light grey, and I was planning to put pearl dots on the surface and possibly etch when I get some Dip’n’Etch… but despite trying to let the base cool down, I still encased way too hot and squidged the base about, so I left it as is. I actually think it’s rather pretty – in person the ridges inside are a bit more defined and it reminds me of a style of glass marble. I think doing this on purpose with a variegated colour as the base would look lovely. The last grey one is the same as the first, but done twice. So it has a light grey base, swirled pearl dots, encased with more light grey and more swirled dots on the surface. More depth, even harder to photograph :p

Thennn… The green one was a clear core with some green twistie on top, encased, more twistie, encased again. Still needs more twistie inside to give it more structure – I think encased opaque twistie would have worked better. I love the way twisties look, but I haven’t quite worked out how to use them effectively yet! The two at the end are attempts at razoring. The first (dark turquoise) one came out surprisingly well – the folds are a bit more obvious in person. So I tried again the next day and wanted a two-colour effect where I razor through to the second colour… Opaque purple and petrol green. That didn’t work so well. I also didn’t encase quite enough, so there are splotches of petrol green still on the surface. More practice required!

In the process I learned that it is rather tricky to torch between about 2:30pm and 3:30pm on a sunny day at the moment, because during that time the sunlight hits my working area at just the right angle so I can’t see my torch flame, or have enough shadow to check whether things have stopped glowing… That’s why I have a couple of squished beads in pic 2, because I must have put them in the fibre blanket when they were still too hot. (Sunday I torched between 12 and 2pm instead. Much better).

Newbie week 2 part 2

First, two pairs of fritties. Iris opal yellow (squished!) and aventurine green on white. The yellow needs a better background colour really, I’m just trying them all on white to start with. I am assuming it should also be reducible since it’s an ‘iris’. Then there’s an ivory base with dark turquoise dots and some lines, a bit messy, that also got squished. Next, another dot combination that’s quite subtle but I rather like in person – pearl grey base, then the big central dots are pearl grey on petrol green on purple, with the small dots being pearl grey on cobalt. The purple really spread out and you can mostly only see it as a line round the edge of the big dots. The green also spread, but not quite so much. Then there’s a pink/purple one that I think was the most successful of that day’s session: light pink opaque base, the big dots are layered transparent mid purple and light pink, the small dots are layered opaque purple and light pink. I put the small dots in alternating spaces so they would push the big dots out of shape.

The last two are ivory and dark turquoise. First, a much neater dotty bead, then I tried the encased stripes technique where you start off with dots, put a disk of clear round the centre and as it melts in it elongates the dots out into stripes. It was working pretty well, I just didn’t put enough clear on to start with, then I got it slightly out of shape when trying to add more, which is why the stripes are twisted! Still wasn’t enough to go all the way to the ends, so I twiddled them with a transparent stringer and then dot encased – bit messy, and I slightly boiled the glass while doing so. Next time I’ll start with a much smaller base bead, because this thing is pretty big.

I also had a couple more goes at twisties throughout the week, not hugely successfully. I don’t have any more pieces as neat as my red one yet, and the more opaque ones I tried making ended up very thin.

(There’s one bead missed out of my photographs – it was a pressed square, white base with one straight line and one wavy line of red twistie going round it. It looks pretty much as you would imagine, I just wanted to check what the red twistie would look like when on the surface of something. I left it in my bead bowl when I was taking the pictures).

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