Archive for September, 2010

Lampwork: weeks 19-21

[July 3 – 18]

For a week in the middle here, I ran out of gas *horror*. I can only replace my bottle on weekends, and it ran out on a Sunday night after the place I get it from had closed. Very frustrating!

The colour of the month challenge for July was CiM Zachary, and the theme was On the Beach!

I made some twisties featuring white, CiM ginger and stoneground, dark red brown and coral.

Brown and coral

Then I made a set of a dark red brown lentil and matching spacers decorated with the twistie and some layered dots of the colours in it.

I did a similar thing with CiM zachary, dirty martini, electric avenue and Vetro med lapis.

Zachary blues

Beachy beads

Tide coming in

I call this lot ‘Tide coming in’. They’re variable – I didn’t manage to keep my lentils the same size, and I got them too hot while adding the murrini so they went out of shape a bit. They are mostly dark ivory, Reichenbach ocean and murrini by me, Kaz and Jolene. The lentils also have some SIS shards, some CiM stoneground and some P&T vanilla. I noticed on the rounds that if I left the wraps of ocean thin, they tend to react and go brown round the edges, but are fine when thick.


These are white encased in ocean with Kaz’ broken biskwits murrini. I love Reichenbach ocean – it has little glimmers in it.

Beachy shard

This is CiM sapphire and mermaid with SIS shards and Kaz broken biskwit murrini.

More dragonscales

More dragonscales – magic and petrol green dots.

Etched amethyst

This is a part-etched amethyst lentil. I used nail polish to draw the design on it before putting it in the etching fluid.

Ocean and sherwood 1

CiM sherwood encased in ocean with biskwit murrini and trails of SIS on one side. Unfortunately this one thermal shocked. The picture shows the back too – the glitter in the ocean gives a subtle shimmer over the green. I don’t think the red, blue and white murrini goes very well with it, but that’s the danger of choosing one at random! I don’t like the way I decorated the front in general – it’s rather bitty.

Pulsar kitty

A little jelly-like kitty in CiM pulsar. It has kryptonite eyes and a blue Kaz biskwit murrini front and back.


An octopus! Base lentil is pulsar, body is CiM phoenix with stoneground.

Zachary and amethyst kitties

These kitties are in CiM zachary with pulsar dots and amethyst. Again, Kaz biskwit murrini front and back.

Ocean and sherwood 2

I redid the cracked ocean and sherwood bead, but used Kaz’s multicolour mermaid murrini this time, and kept the decoration down. I like this one much better.

More ocean beads, with a BHB

I made some more using these colours: 2 rounds to go with the lentil, and my first BHB. Making the big hole bead smooth and symmetrical is definitely on the tricky side! This was on a 5mm mandrel.

Sangre kitty

Kitty in CiM sangre with Vetro odd custard eyes and Kaz biskwit murrini. The custard was a bit brighter than I was expecting! He peeeeers at you.

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Birthday necklaces

[June 24-30]

Necklace for Anna:

Anna birthday necklace

Ivory and dark turquoise beads – lentil with raked dots, 4 rounds with raked dots, 4 plain spacers. The beads were etched. Combined with Greek ceramic beads in blues and fine silver, strung on silver leather with a sterling clasp. I just sat down and made all the beads for this without having much clue what I was going to make beforehand. I’ve done the raked design once before and quite like it, and I’m very pleased how the necklace turned out!

Necklace for Sus:

Sus birthday necklace

Totoro bead in Vetrofond periwinkle, 4 gravity swirled rounds, 4 periwinkle spacers. Combined with Greek ceramic beads in greens and fine silver, strung on knotted waxed cotton cord with a sterling clasp.

Sus birthday necklace: Totoro closeup


Totoro necklace prototype

This was my first try at the Totoro necklace. It’s lariat-style on green silk rattail with small spacers in pale blue, kryptonite, pink lady, mystic pink, dark lavender and baby blue. I decided it didn’t work very well – I think it needed larger beads as it looks very thin and sparse in person.

Flat Totoro!

Flat Totoro

A different style of Totoro :)

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Lampwork: week 17-18

[June 14-27]

The dragonscale beads were also done in week 17.

First hummingbirds

Hummingbirds. I did these after Sabine mentioned Roger Child’s hummingbird tutorial on YouTube. I made the hole going the wrong way by accident the first time… This is something that I had to force myself not to do for the other ones. It just felt more natural for the body to be that way round! They are petrol green with dark lavender wings, which has photographed as blue under my halogen bulb (dark lavender’s a colour shift glass).

More hummingbirds

Some more. One has a Reichenbach mystic grey-blue body and pale blue wings, another is mystic pink with pink lady wings, and the third is MCD with ocean wings.

Iris blue on ivory

These are Reichenbach iris blue on ivory. See how the design on the lentil has nowhere near as much of a reaction line? I think this has a lot to do with pressing and only the surface of the glass being heated up as much after I added the blue. It wasn’t hot enough to sink in so much, so it didn’t produce as much of a line. The rounds were heated fully molten while I melted the dots in and gravity swirled them a very little. They’re reduced to get the metallic effect.

Lace and yellow opalino

On the right are lace beads, made by making a base of anise white, adding little bits of CiM Hades stringer and superheating it so it webs. Love the effect. On the left are yellow opalino beads. The bicone has robin’s egg blue frit on it. The rounds developed that reddish colour in the kiln, which confused me a lot! I am assuming they reduced slightly in there, but only on one side.


I have christened these “Wut?!” beads. They are fugly. They’re dragonscale-based. The first is an ivory base, SIS dots, then Reichenbach silver brown dots that were melted in, reduced and dots of clear were added on top that were then partly flattened. The second is similar but has a CiM olive base, SIS dots and EDP striped pink dots before doing the silver brown and clear as above. Lots of devit from the striped pink and a big blobby mess!


Mystic pink hollow with purpur frit. Mystic pink lentil with hades webbing: this behaved slightly oddly, didn’t web well and formed some whitish lines as well. Devit? Then a dark lavender lentil with hades webbing (I adjusted the photo so it appears the normal colour rather than blue).

In week 18 I also made beads for birthday necklaces for two of my friends – to be seen in my next post! Plus a number of tiny little spacers in pinks, blues, and greens.

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Whoops, this post has sat as a draft for over a month. Must get a move on!

[June 14-20]

Mum wanted me to make her a necklace with dragonscale beads.

There’s a tutorial for the technique by *Naos* at Lampwork-Etc. Basically, you want a base colour that will allow spreading, a dot colour that will spread, and some extra-silvery SIS. You make SIS dots on your base, put small dots of the spreading colour on top of those, and melt them all in, doing a very gentle gravity swirl just to allow the dots to move, spread and push each other into shape. When your colour spreads enough, you end up with scale shapes butting up against each other that are bordered with silver. When it doesn’t spread enough you can still see the base inbetween.

I did a number of colour tests to see what would work and what wouldn’t.

I had plans to test a whole bunch of bases, but with round beads if it spreads properly you don’t really see much of the base, so I stuck with ivory most of the time. She suggests using Vetrofond dark ivory – I used Effetre light because I thought that might be a closer match than Effetre dark in terms of how reactive it is. Other options she mentions are copper green and Vetrofond ochre green.

The spreading colours she suggests are Lauscha olive and steel blue, neither of which I have, and EDP. There are some more posts in the thread I linked with suggestions for other colours. I tried everything I thought might spread.

I tried with silvered coral stringer for some – it doesn’t make much difference most of the time. If they don’t spread properly it gives a slightly darker outline.

Dragonscales 1

L to R:
1. Ivory base, SIS, EDP* dots. As suggested, works well! The EDP has devitrified in places though.
2. Ivory, SIS, petrol green. Works a bit, probably needs bigger petrol green dots. The ivory has stayed lightest on this bead.
3. Ivory, SIS, periwinkle. Doesn’t spread enough.
4. Ivory, SIS, coral. Doesn’t spread either, but I do quite like the way the colour’s escaped slightly (in the periwinkle too).
5. Transparent amethyst, SIS, EDP*. You can only see the different base right round the holes!
6. Copper green (over black), silvered coral stringer, pastel yellow. Less said the better
7. Ivory, SCS, petrol green. I used bigger dots, and the coral is a bit darker than the SIS version.
8. CiM mink, SIS, CiM poi. This has gone very weird! The dots seem to have gone inside-out.
9. Ivory, SCS, mink. I like this one – the mink is a bit translucent and the dots are a warm browny-purple that hasn’t shown up in the photo.
10. Ivory, SCS, raku. Works very well! Not much colour in the raku (I rolled it in a press to chill it) but the little there is does add something.
11. Pastel yellow, SIS, CiM leaky pen. The leaky pen works pretty well, don’t think the base colour was a good choice though!

Dragonscales 2

1. Ivory, SCS, Reichenbach magic. Works! Slightly greener than the raku.
2. Ivory, SCS, Reichenbach multicolour dark. Also works!
3. Ivory, SCS, Reichenbach iris blue. I was hoping this would work – apparently most blues don’t. I suspect all of the iris colours will.
4. Ivory, SCS, Reichenbach caramel. This one also goes metallic when reduced, like the irises. I would expect flamingo to work too, as it seems to react in exactly the same way, only pinker. Really like this one.
5. Ivory, SIS, CiM hades. Works and goes a tiny bit webby round the edges of the black.
6. Ivory, SIS, copper green. Pretty separation. Works, though not as enthusiastically as some of the others.
7. Ivory, SIS, CiM poi. You can at least see some of the poi this time, but it still does weird things!
8. Ivory, SIS, opal yellow. Turned out like the poi – you can’t really see what the dot colour is supposed to be at all.
9. Ivory, SIS, MCD. A repeat to try for different colours. Hasn’t been annealed yet, so they’ll probably strike further in the kiln.

Dragonscales 3

I had to take these pictures in sunlight to get the colours mostly right. Three are pale blue over EDP, the other is teal over magic (bases all ivory as before). I don’t really like the effect. The EDP ones are still very dark, and I think the magic makes a tidier shape on its own. The pinker one is where I melted the EDP in flat before putting the transparent dots on top, but it isn’t consistent all the way round.

I then etched most of them to see how they would look. I didn’t etch the one with copper green dots, because the copper green base bead went washed-out when I etched it and I liked the colour in the dots.

Etched dragonscales 1

Etched dragonscales 2

*I have since discovered that what I was sold as EDP is actually striped pink – EDP with a core of rubino. It works spreading-wise, but EDP only should give better colour… if you can work it successfully.

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