Catchup – weeks 7-8

Week 7: 5th – 11th April

Week 7, first lot

Some faux boro – straw yellow with iris gold frit, pulled into stringer. I was trying some things to see if they cut down on the cola tones. These are over white, then encased. The dark one 2nd from left was encased in teal – not such a good idea! The other two are me trying out blends of the small amount of frit I had, over white.

Fugly? Moi?

I call this bead “Who do you think you’re calling fugly?” or possibly The Kitchen Sink. It’s an end of day bead where I started with a teal base and added a bunch of leftover stringer ends and little bits, then put razor creases in it and encased with clear. I capped the ends with CiM Stoneground and some dots of it elsewhere. I then put SIS on top and added some teal raised dots at the very end.

I also had a few goes at blowing shards this week, using a hollow mandrel. Not quite how they’re supposed to turn out, but quite pretty…

First shard

Clear with blue-green frit mix. It probably wasn’t a good idea to start with clear when I haven’t made hollows before, because I think I had a small hole somewhere which eventually got covered up. Then once it was expanding I got a small blowout. The walls are still thick and it is still in one piece – there wasn’t much point smashing it because it’s far too thick to use and it is rather pretty in itself.

Then I tried using medium red, so I could see what I was doing as I built it better. It was rolled in iris opal yellow frit. With this one I got it blown up a bit, put it back in the flame to heat it back up so I could blow more… and melted a hole in one side, assumingly where it was thin. No pics of this one as it’s the same as the next only smaller.
Third: same as the above, a bit bigger, and blew out when I was reheating with my finger covering the end of the mandrel.

Third shard

Fourth shard: same again, but in orange. This one worked a bit better in terms of regularity, and it’s a bit bigger. Still not as thin as it should be.

Fourth shard

I then smashed up the two small red ones so I could use the thinner pieces to decorate some beads:

Shard beads

I tried some more implosions – it’s still very tricky to work out what I’ll end up with when I’m choosing the starting point. These have surface decoration on the sparser end of the implosion – vine cane, clouds or flowers.


Two end of day beads: black base, coral stringer trails, little bits of clear on top. Also a pale blue round with ink blue on anise white flowers.


Sage green with CiM Canyon de Chelly trails and SIS on top. Then the same with CiM Khaki.

SIS trails

End of day bicone. The centre is pastel yellow with black trails and light amber on top. Sage green wraps on each end, and SIS on top.


Colour tests
R-L: Pea green, yellow opalino, dark turquoise transparent, light turquoise transparent, teal and sage green transparent.


Week 8: 12th – 18th April

Teal base with Vetrofond odd light red jasper, dark amber and SIS on top.


Somewhat inspired by Michael Barley’s baleen beads – I mean to get the tutorial at some point. This was a dark purple transparent cylinder, with razor cuts and encased in clear. But you can’t see the cuts because it was a transparent… Oh well, you live and learn. It has CiM Canyon de Chelly ends and dots with SIS added. The eye is Vetro odd light red jasper, plunged and covered with clear. There are some other small clear raised dots around to balance it.

Eye 1

Eye 2 is similar, but with petrol green inside and in a tab shape. Don’t think it worked particularly well.

Eye 2

Here’s them all collected together. The top row left to right are: another go at faux boro, two tabs of Vetrofond odd light red jasper over dark amber, my first hollow in teal, and the last two were going to be a hollow but the bead release broke in the middle so I just rounded them off – teal over odd light red jasper.

Week 8

Flame Off beads

Flame Off beads

On a Cricket I made two rounds with Reichenbach Ocean (the second also has dark blue transparent frit, which I didn’t know was transparent at the time and so doesn’t show up) and a cylinder made of transparent grey with Reichenbach silver brown on top, reduced. Didn’t get much out of that, only the ends struck and I should have encased it anyway… Not wonderful shapes – a suddenly hotter torch and 2.4mm mandrels when I’m used to 1.6 will do that! Also no marver in my immediate vicinity, so the cylinder was shaped on the bench top.

On a Minor I made a clear round, encased in DH Aurae with clear dots on top. Reduced to lovely gold and managed to squish it in the fibre blanket (lots of light = hard to see if it was still glowing). Then I made a mimosa round with some commercial murrini on it. I was planning to do more (there was a rod of Psyche grinning at me) but then it was clear-up time.


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