Archive for February, 2013

Colour testing: Lauscha reds revisited, SNT 220 and SNT 219

I did make a few more beads with the reds at the weekend.


These lentils definitely illustrate the difference between the reds! I should have done them first, probably, but was having fun with the other designs. The difference in transparency between the new SNT 220 and SNT 219 is much more obvious here. They’re basically the same colour, but the 219 is far more transparent. I included the old SNT 220 for comparison.


Here I added a rose and stacked dot bead made from the old SNT 220. Again, big difference. The dots on white are darker and crisper, and the rose petals, while still transparent at this thickness, are noticeably less transparent than the other two. (I love how this rose has come out – am getting better with the shaping!)

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52 earrings: #10 Acapulco

I really like putting turquoise together with bright warm and/or earthy colours.

#10 Acapulco


For these earrings I used turquoise leaf beads, some really bright dyed orange beads (possibly quartz – they’re cloudy), a pair of my yellow ochre lampwork spacers, two sizes of turquoise seed beads and some little copper round hollow beads.

I’m not too sure about how well they hang with the extra dangles: they needed something there where the links join, but maybe I should have put an extra jumpring in there between the two main sections so there was more room. Obviously couldn’t do that after wiring them up!

I made the copper earwires and other ball-ended headpins I used.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 9 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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Colour testing: Lauscha chromium green SNO 616

I was asked to check how this colour behaved when mixed with others so made a few beads this weekend.

Here are the initial beads I made a while ago – the chromium green was used as the bulk of the body for all of these.

SNO616_2_ChromiumGreen_spacers 21.10.12_MossySparkle 18.11.12_GremlinsRightFootIn

1. Two plain spacers, one etched.
2. A round with iris gold frit on the surface.
3. A gremlin with Wild Eye murrini eyes.

Chromium green comes in rough bumpy rods that are fairly brittle (but don’t seem shocky in the flame). Tiny subtle sparkly flecks can be seen in the surface sometimes.

My new tests:


The round bead on the right is chromium green encased with Effetre 006, then chromium green stripes on the surface.
For the long tube bead, I first mixed together chromium green and Effetre white into a stringer, then made the bead from that.
The two tiles at the back have bases of half-and-half Effetre red roof tile and sediment, then have a wrap of chromium green round the centre, one of silvered ivory on top of that, then another of chromium green. Those were melted in and the whole bead allowed to sag under gravity before shaping them into tiles again.

None of these beads have any incompatibility problems. I really like the tiles, may have to make more!

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52 earrings: #9 Misty Mountains

For these earrings, I used a pair of ceramic spikes by Petra Carpreau of Scorched Earth on Etsy.

#9 Misty Mountains


I paired them with two African blood jade semi-precious beads – they have the same mottled green as the spikes, with the addition of earthy red. Wire-wrapped in sterling silver and hanging from sterling earwires. I hammered the balled ends of the earwires flat as they were fairly ‘rustic’! (See my last mention of having lost my auflux…)

I am umming about antiquing the silver to gunmetal so it matches the loops on the spikes better. I’ve got no idea if my liver of sulphur still works, however… I got it a while ago, have never used it, and it’s the liquid kind that doesn’t have a long shelf life. I wouldn’t want to get it in the top unglazed section of the spikes, either.

So I’m still considering that and should probably try it out on some copper first to see how it goes. I know you can try it with hardboiled egg in place of the liver of sulphur, but that honestly sounds like too much faffing about.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 8 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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Testing Lauscha reds – new SNT 220 and SNT 219


Lauscha sent me two new batches of reds to test. We have SNT 220 (07/02/13 batch) and SNT 219 (11/02/13 batch). I also have an older batch of SNT 220 that I included for comparison.


Here’s a nice labelled picture of them all. You can see that both new batches are fairly similar at a glance, and both are oranger and more transparent than the darker, tending-to-translucent old SNT 220. (I do very much like the old batch – it is similar to CiM maraschino in that it is semi-opaque when used thickly, giving a lovely depth of colour).

I’ll go over each type of bead side-by-side now.


First we have the spacers. I did not attempt any deliberate striking of these as I wanted to see whether they were auto-striking or needed a little more effort. So I just made four spacers on each mandrel and put them in the kiln. I was surprised how unstruck the SNT 219 ones came out, because they appeared darker when I put them in the kiln.

Verdict: unlike the old SNT 220, they definitely need to be deliberately struck. From the later beads, they don’t seem difficult to strike, but for spacers the attention needs to be paid.


These two beads were rounded off in a bead roller and have a wrap of Double Helix psyche, heavily reduced. (Excuse the iffy end!) This was the darkest red I got out of either colour. Both base beads are still transparent, though – you can see into them. The difference in outlines round the psyche is may just be due to the way it was melted in, rather than the base – it’s difficult to tell without further testing.


These two little beads show how they stand up to being layered. I used Effetre white to make stacked dots. The new SNT 220 came out darker than the SNT 219, which is very orange in the dots. Both had a tendency to unstrike between layers – the SNT 219 was trickier to stay struck at the end.


Finally, I made a pair of sculptural roses to see how they behaved when repeatedly heated and cooled, since these go in and out of the flame repeatedly as I add each petal. Both roses remained mostly transparent – the SNT 220 has a little cloudiness whereas the SNT 219 is almost perfectly transparent. The SNT 219 has stayed a little less struck in the centre and at the outer edges of some petals, which is a lovely effect in this kind of bead. Both are still orange-tinted reds.

Both of these are very nice reds. There was no tendency to go brown in either of them. I’d probably pick one rather than both as they’re quite similar, it’s just tricky to choose which one! The 219 is lovely as a rose while the 220 is better in dots and probably marginally easier to strike.

For further testing, I plan to make the same beads with my old SNT 220, and to make a plain lentil bead in all three of the reds. I may make a heart in the two new reds too.

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52 earrings: #8 Toffee Apple Loops

This week I used some of my lampwork beads: big hole and small hole discs in olive green and caramel brown, alongside some chunky copper wire-wrapping and earwires made from some of my copper headpins.

#8 Toffee Apple Loops


52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 7 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #7 Selkie’s Trove, Part 1

I have a little bag of assorted labradorite beads that I’ve been planning to use, so I got some of those out for this week’s earring pair.

#7 Selkie’s Trove, Part 1


The beads are all different sizes so I didn’t worry about trying to match them, I just made sure that the overall length of the trio was the same. I wire-wrapped them with sterling silver, and my earwires are sterling too. I made the little ball-ended headpins at the bottom – I’ve been making headpins of various sizes and materials using my Minor. Fine silver headpins are easy to make using my little soldering torch, but copper melts at a higher temperature so I could only get it to ball up reasonably just after refilling the torch, and only do a couple before the flame cooled again so I do copper ones on my Minor now. I did the sterling ones on there too in the same batch. I couldn’t find my Auflux so made them unfluxed and they’re a bit pitted but not too much.

Labradorite has a beautiful iridescence that comes and goes as you turn the beads around. I’ve managed to capture a little in the photo below. It makes me think of water on rocks and sealskin, hence the title. It’s part 1 because I think the trove should have other treasures in it too!


52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 6 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #6 Rainforest Colours

I used a pair of my older lampwork beads this week: transparent yellow nuggets with small red and orange shards and frit in similar colours. I wanted to use some chain in these, since I never use it. Partly because I find it vary hard to tell what size it is when buying online! I have some miniscule silver chain that I might try and use in another pair… This is a rather nice small 2-in-2 closed link red brass chain. I like the warmth of red brass.

#6 Rainforest Colours


The rest is done in copper. I was wondering what I should dangle off the bottom jumprings and sorted through my bead stash to find these little Czech glass leaves. They have an iridescent green-bronze colour on one side and light brown glass on the other and I think they went really well. This photo shows both sides.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 5 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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