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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