Posts Tagged effetre

CiM colour testing: September 2017 greens, oranges, brown

(This post has been on my to-do list since September…)

From Creation Is Messy’s September limited editions, I went for the selection of greens, oranges and browns first.

Here are the rods – we’ve got some striking going on here.


From the top: Jelly Bean, Canoe, Turtle Power, Monarch, Juniper, Harvest.

Pretty little barrels!




From left to right: Jelly Bean, Turtle Power and Juniper.

Jelly Bean is somewhat similar to Chartreuse in its glowing green, though is greener and less yellow, and is less transparent inside so the mandrel line is barely evident in these barrels. This is a soft colour when molten. Like many opalinos it can crack near the end of the rod when it cools, which is visible so you can melt it back in carefully when you next use the rod.

Turtle Power is indeed quite a turtly green. It is a middling green, neither bright nor muted, not too blue or too yellow. It comes out lighter than its rod and is streaky, as greens often are. Good organic kind of green. No rod issues.

Juniper is a darker, bluer green. Similar kind of tone – another good organic colour. Looks nice alongside Turtle Power, as they’re different enough to stand out next to each other. Again, it has darker streaks in it. I found the rod could be shocky when going back into the flame after cooling, and the first time in it peeled a bit at the cut end – it was fine when still a bit warm. When molten it was very smooth and viscous.

Orange and brown


From left to right: Canoe, Monarch, Harvest

This trio of colours together makes me happy!

Canoe is a striking silver-rich brown like Canyon de Chelly and the ASK/Kugler browns. It has some lovely light and dark streaks, and can go a yellower or redder brown. The rod itself was exceptionally well-behaved, especially as I had a slightly thicker one. With silver-rich colours some shocking at the end is fairly usual, and nothing of the sort happened here.

Monarch is the lighter orange. The end of the rod has struck lighter still, but the beads have blushed more orange in places, which I love. Monarch had an air bubble running the length of the rod, so was a little shocky.

Harvest is a deeper creamy orange. It also has some darker and lighter struck areas, though is less pronounced than Monarch. The rod was very good at going in and out of the flame – no problems with cracking.

I did a pairing off that gave some nice contrasting colours.

Monarch and Turtle Power


You can see the difference between the yellower- and oranger-struck areas of Monarch better here. There’s a dark reaction line between the swirl of Effetre New Ivory on the focal bead and the green of the Turtle Power, as you’d expect. No line on the Monarch side, just a fuzzing out.

Jelly Bean and Canoe


This pairing got a horizontal compatibility crack where the Canoe was deeply encased by the Jelly Bean, which is a shame as I really liked this colour combination. (I don’t think it was the New Ivory’s fault, though to be sure you’d need to test without it. An opalino over a silver-rich glass is a risky proposition). Replace with a transparent green for safety here, I guess. You can see the variety of shades the Canoe can get. When adding the New Ivory, it seemed to spread into the Canoe and not into the Jelly Bean. It has added some especially dark caramel tones on the border with the Canoe. You can see the mandrel line in the pressed Jelly Bean, but still see how far from transparent it is – gooey and misty.

Side view:


Harvest and Juniper


Nice combo – the more muted Juniper isn’t fighting with the bright Harvest. Handy pumpkin colours. There’s quite a lot of black webbing in the New Ivory and a dark line between it and the Juniper in only some places.

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CiM colour testing: February 2017 colours

The spring 2017 limited editions from Creation is Messy had a whole load of transparent greens, and a whole load of opaque grey rods.

To start with, I picked out the first few colours that appealed to me (those greens!), along with a couple I thought would go with them.




Chartreuse (left) is a luridly bright light yellowy green which I love.


Inchworm (middle above) is another bright juicy green that is more transparent than CiM’s Poison Apple, which is a more standard opalino and can strike lighter and more opaque. Inchworm (like chartreuse) didn’t opacify at all and remained a lovely uniform misty transparent.


I also love this colour (right beads), which is a uniform opalino beige. It is less streaky than Reichenbach’s mystic beige or pearl beige, and has a nice amount of translucency. Again, it does not seem to strike lighter or more opaque when worked for longer.

Yangtze and Sea Mist


I am in two minds about Yangtze and Sea Mist. They are full of micro bubbles and the end of the rod boils very easily, both of these leaving bubbles that don’t go away. The rods themselves look faintly striped inside. I would normally dismiss these as poor quality glass, but I do really like the way the nuggets look – it is different from an opalino, or an etched bead, or from baking soda bubbles. They are muted non-uniform colours which are quite different from the rest of the palate. I think they would do well to pair with or mimic semi-precious beads which have cloudiness or inclusions, where most transparent glass beads alongside those look too brash and uniform in colour. So if you have a very specific use-case, these might be useful. I think I’d buy them if they weren’t too expensive, because I do have a lot of semi-precious beads I think they would go well with (labradorite, blue lace agate and so on).




Troll is an opaque muted grey-green that is not unlike various of CiM’s other colours, but is still a type I like and find useful. I picked it as an opaque to go alongside these other colours for the two-tone beads below. It does strike greener than it appears on the rod, which is more of a blue grey.

All the nuggets!


Aren’t they pretty just on their own?

Two-tone critters


Troll and chartreuse above.


Inchworm and bubbly yangtze above. I do like the colour fade from one to the other.


Cornsilk and very bubbly sea mist above.


You can see an area of Sea Mist that boiled on the rod on the back of this bead. For use in a non-organic bead this is a no. For one that is, there’s a possibility you might want to do this on purpose. (Again I like the transition from one colour to the other).


Troll and sea mist above.


Cornsilk and chartreuse above.

For the rest of the colours, I decided to do organic beads, and paired them up for this.

Peat Moss and Safari


Peat Moss is a suitably brown-olive transparent green. I trapped a couple of bubbles but on the whole it is very clear.

Safari looks greyish in the rod, and not having looked them up beforehand, I was very surprised that it immediately struck to a light sandy brown! The bead coming out of the kiln is more uniform than it looked going in, but you can still see a darker brown in one corner below.


I put a wrap of Effetre New Ivory across the transition and twisted it. It is a very handy insta-silvered-ivory rod and I really like the way it came out.

Peridot and Van Dyke Brown


Peridot is a pale transparent yellowish green. It does bubble quite easily, but they mostly ended up like tiny champagne bubbles here rather than scum, so don’t look too ugly.

Van Dyke Brown is like Safari but darker and greyer. This bead has kept a bit more of the colour variation (but on the light side) so we have a pale milky grey and a warm brown, with some transition areas of yellow and cooler darker grey. It remains streakier than Safari did.


Eel Grass and Pachyderm


Eel Grass is a midtone green. I got a few bubbles again but not too many.

Pachyderm is a grey-brown that has streaks and variations that are less extreme than the previous two. It has come out distinctly warmer and browner than the rod here. (I like these types of greys – CiM has had quite a few of them now).


Refresh and Prussian Blue


Refresh is a very pretty pale green-aqua (and I think it looks great here!).

Prussian Blue is a dark easily-mottled streaky blue that will strike greenish. Here it has stayed mostly blue.


I added Effetre New Ivory again and I love the combination of all three colours.


Hemoglobin and Koala


Hemoglobin is a semi-transparent red (only the little nub on the side has remained particularly transparent).

Koala is the actually grey one out of all these grey-looking rods. It has striated here next to the New Ivory and produced strong dark lines but from the bottom of the bead looks like it would stay pretty uniform away from that.


There’s an interesting bit here where the New Ivory is underneath and thin on top of the red (and over-reacted on top of the koala).


Okeanos tests

Finally, I did a pair of tests with Safari and Van Dyke Brown as the most reactive colours, combined with silver glass Double Helix Okeanos.


For these beads I had a central cylinder of the brown, a cap of okeanos on each end with little brown dots, and a wrap of okeanos around the centre on top of the brown. (The colours of the okeanos make it look like it is below the browns, which isn’t the case. You may need to stare at it a little!)

In this first bead with Safari, the central okeanos wrap has spread to be very wide. There are dark lines and interior reaction lines in the Safari (the latter particularly obvious in the dots).

The Safari has struck a bit darker than before, which you would expect, but there is plenty of lighter shade left. Okeanos has produced its pretty blues and greens easily.


Now for Van Dyke Brown.


Here, the central band of okeanos has been swallowed somewhat by the surrounding brown, making it much thinner than the previous bead. The Van Dyke Brown has struck browner than before, and only has grey in the dark reaction lines.


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CiM cardamom and linen

CiM have some more colours out: here’s my test results of a pair of rather nice neutrals.

Cardamom is a pale pastel green and linen is an opaque creamy beige.


The closest colour I have so far to cardamom is Effetre grasshopper green, shown on the left as a comparison. It is darker. I etched one of each pair of these spacers.


I decided to test cardamom against grasshopper green in terms of reactions. Many greens get a dark reaction line with yellows and reds: grasshopper green actually doesn’t.


The colours I used for the dots are: Effetre bright acid yellow, CiM creamsicle, Effetre light red, coral and light sky blue. You can see that only light sky blue reacted with grasshopper green, and none of them reacted with cardamom. Cardamom’s also a very nice uniform green – no streaks, and the colour dots sit very cleanly on it. There’s a bit of fuzziness around the edges of the light red on grasshopper, and the yellows and coral have slight rings in the centre on it, making them look a little untidy.


Here are linen and cardamom together.


This side of the bead has copper green stringer. This is the same bead as the one below, so the copper green probably developed slightly more grey reduction than it normally would, despite my best efforts to only reduce one side. The copper green is showing some of its haloing effect and both linen and cardamom show some streaks under it.


The other side of the bead has psyche stringer. The psyche has reduced better on top of linen: more purples and less brown. The silver glass has made the linen darken and the cardamom go yellower. There are some separation lines on both colours echoing the stringer lines, but they appear much cleaner than with the copper green. I wouldn’t really choose to use cardamom with silver glass based on this, but I love how clean it is with the dots above. One to appreciate for itself!

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Busy, busy, busy! And more Lauscha

It’s been a rather hectic week and half! I’ve had another Lauscha delivery (glass up on I have some odds: Grey Tint and Blue-Reddish (I tried to find a better name for the Blue-Reddish, but none were forthcoming and periwinkle is already taken to refer to a different colour…). I have a little SNT 230 Copper Ruby, which is an intriguing glass: transparent greyish olive in the rod, clear in the flame… strikes opaque brick red in the kiln! More of that is on order. A little bit of Czech glass from the guys at Lauscha taking over a workshop: transparents including a lovely deep blue, plus some white opalino. And a restocking of the soft clear.

So I’ve had all of that to make test beads of, cut and weigh the rods, photograph them, make labels and get them all up on my website so people can actually buy them! On top of that, my oxycon had troubles the weekend before last and needed taking to pieces and investigating. All working now *touch wood* and I documented the process in case it’s useful to anyone else, so there are more photos to edit for that! I’ll post it here too, once I get it written. It shows you how to get to the fan in a DeVilbiss, which is fairly involved and needs two specialised tools. I hadn’t had a look inside before, innnteresting. There are tubes and cylinders everywhere, and of course the compressor taking up a chunk of the space.

Oh, I did a blues comparison for the Odd Blue-Reddish, because blues are notoriously difficult to photograph accurately, so yu can see more accurately what’s what with them all side-by-side. Lauscha, a fair bit of CiM, some Effetre and Vetrofond. These aren’t all the blues I have, just the ones in the same sort of area. May do a more comprehensive one that also includes CiM glacier as I left that out. It also shows Lauscha sky blue, which is a lovely baby blue opaque. I asked for some to test as I had no idea how different it was from other sky blues: very much so! Will be getting some in the future.


I got a bundle of mystery glass: Kate Drew-Wilkinson’s brother was auctioning off a box of her old glass, including some stained glass. I won it, and he very kindly let me pick it up within London, so we went on an adventure one night to collect it and trundle it back via the Tube in my oh-so-trusty wheely trolley. (I did have to mend the bag beforehand, as it came a cropper when transporting the long boxes of Lauscha round the corner and up the stairs). Anyway, mystery glass! I cleaned it all up (the stained is gorgeous and I’m not sure I’ll be able to bring myself to cut it up for beads) and spent some time trying to work out what exactly it was! Think I have it IDed as Plowden & Thompson 93coe – I have a sample pack from them and some of the colours match exactly. Am also meaning to photograph those and see if anyone can give me colour names for the others. I have a lot of a very neon transparent green. Maybe I ought to try making mad scientist beads!

Etsy listings are continuing apace. I’m trying for one a day and frequently failing – getting 5 good photos edited for everything is killer.

In my oh-so-copious spare time (*snort*), I am trying to design some earrings made with semi-precious beads that I’m happy with. I can do lampwork earrings, and I can do semi-precious ones that mimic lampwork earrings: ie the actual design is simple and the bead or stone does all the work, but I’m trying to use some of the smaller beads I have in something a tad more complex and am not getting far. I want to use some hammered copper rings, for example, but use them with sterling earwires without that looking out of place, so that needs more silver accents elsewhere… and I don’t have any larger sterling jumprings to tie things together, so I think I need to make some of those first. It’s a bit frustrating, because it takes me a couple of hours of staring at components and trying them before I start to get anywhere, and then it’s bed time! That’s without distractions.

Oh, I’m also designing myself some more Moo business cards: if you sell on Etsy they have an offer where you can get a free pack of 50 full-size business cards (with Etsy logo on) free, and Moo are also having a 30% discount this weekend and I fancy some of my own-branded stickers, because wouldn’t that be awesome? Anyway, the DTP package is out (I use Scribus, it’s open-source, free and pretty good!) along with yet more photo editing. Am very happy with the way some of my photos look at full res, though! Much love to my camera: it’s a Panasonic Lumix TZ6 and a fab little worker.

That’s enough waffle for right now, I think!

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Lampwork – newbie week 6

March 29 – April 4

CiM colour tests

CiM spacers

This week I started with a treat and got out my CiM sample pack. Spacers above of most of them. I haven’t done Peace, Hades, Stoneground, Canyon de Chelly or Khaki – Peace because it is white, Hades because it is an intense black and a spacer would be a waste, and the last three so far because they work best as reactive bases for other things (also because they are expensive and I only have very skinny rods of the first two!). I might reconsider that, though. I already know I really like Stoneground from a little bit added to a more recent bead.

It’s nice glass to melt – I was particularly impressed by the transparents. Pulsar and Clockwork felt lovely. I’ve noticed that a lot of the opaques got much darker round the mandrel – particularly noticeable on Thai Orchid, Glacier and Celadon.

For some reason, I’m still finding it rather difficult to take pictures of red and purple beads and get the colours right if there are other colours in the picture too. Possibly a combination of my camera settings and jpeg compression. The reds come out hugely saturated and darker than they should be. The picture should be reasonably accurate (by my monitor at least!) but the purples should still be a bit lighter. Oh, and Lipstick varies depending on the type of lighting – it’s brownish there but much redder in sunlight or halogens.

Opalinos and turquoise

Week 6 beads

I bought up someone else’s stash of opalinos – it seemed like a good opportunity to try them out! The UK suppliers don’t tend to carry them and they’re one of the things newbies get warned off because they aren’t always strictly compatible with other colours and burn easily. I really liked them – didn’t have a problem with them getting too hot on my hothead and I was careful but they didn’t seem to be shocky. And I love the results! Here we have nile green, periwinkle and carnelian opalinos. The transparent baby blue bead was me trying carnelian opalino stringer on it – not very noticeable! Then I did some dark turquoise beads with black stringer design.

Faux boro

Faux boro 1

I started doing some experiments with this – it’s the straw yellow plus iris gold frit version. The first pic is just that, wound directly on from the rod and encased in clear. The blues are fairly dark and the whole thing has a slight cola overtone in some lights, particularly noticeable along the mandrel. I think this might have something to do with straw yellow being machinemade now – certainly I’ve seen people saying that the current available batches aren’t as good as older ones.

Faux boro 2

The second is straw yellow with iris gold frit, pulled into stringer and wrapped over a tube of clear then encased. I was wondering if that would give less cola colour. Not so much! You can see blues from some angles, but not in this photo :p

I did a couple more experiments with it this week too – should be in next week’s post!


Flamingo beads

I really like these. Light grey transparent core, which I handshaped into ovals, then added diagonal stringer lines in black, anise white and carnelian opalino. Melted in, gravity swirled, reshaped and then mashed flat. Pretty!

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Lampwork – newbie week 5

March 22-28

Week 5 beads, part a

I had to do some mystery colour identification this week. Almost all of the rods in my starter kit were labelled, and the ones that weren’t were mostly duplicates or else easy to work out by looking them up. After my mix-up with turquoise and light sky blue I went through and labelled everything that wasn’t. But I found one rod that looked the same shade as dark yellow, but felt rough like coral, and one rod that looked subtly different from standard white. On a whim, I decided to see if the mango-ey yellow behaved like coral. Yes, it really did. It melted like it too, getting dark purpley-grey when hot. I put it on a turquoise base and made raised florals (on one side anyway, the other side got a bit out of shape so I raked it around and melted it in). When it came out of the fibre blanket, lo and behold I had a reaction line with the turquoise. Just like coral. I went around dubbing it ‘mango coral’ for a while and was wondering if it really was coral, because I know the colour can vary hugely between batches and I think there was a Sunny Mango odd coral at one point. I eventually asked Tuffnell’s about it, because I wanted some more, and Emma reckoned it was 418 pastel yellow. I couldn’t find any mention anywhere of this colour reacting with turquoise (but then again I found very little mention of it at all). So I have some ordered and hopefully the mystery is solved!

For the second mystery, I had a suspicion it was anise white. So I very gingerly melted it – anise white is infamous for being extremely shocky and exploding all over the place when introduced to the flame – and made a spacer. There was no exploding. It actually melted really nicely and was even softer than normal white. It looked decidedly different while hot, though, which reassured me that it wasn’t just standard white. My spacer was fairly nondescript with a very slight hint of translucence, particularly round the holes. So I went and asked on FH if there was any way of definitively identifying it as anise, without having to get hold of some intense black and trying to web it. Red Hot Sal (Sally Carver) gave me some very good advice about melting in stringer design on a standard Effetre black base. Normal white will stay white, anise will sink in and get little purple lines in it. In the two beads at the top right, you can see this very clearly!

I have ordered more anise as well, because I really love this rod. I am just hoping that the batch I get is half as well behaved.

I spent some time experimenting with various combinations of anise, coral, pastel yellow and turquoise, practising my scrolls and florals. The coral decoration on anise bases were interesting – the coral sinks in a little and makes the whole bead look much more translucent than the anise on its own.

The huge blue/purple encased bead is ink blue over white. Ink blue’s a very dense transparent, so generally you’re going to want to use it over something lighter so you can see the colour.

There’s a Vetrofond Odd Quartz Grey spacer in there too. I think I need to do some pressed/mashed beads with the Vetro odds, in the hope I keep their streakiness.

On Friday I tried making a vine cane, but it exploded. Well, ok, I got air bubbles trapped in it, tried to pull it out, got a very short, thick cane and then it started exploding when I tried to rewarm it to pull it thinner. Chunks of green all over my workspace! (It was a lime green rod with stripes of pea green, petrol green and black stringer, that was then encased rather badly in transparent grass green). I ended up picking up whatever bits I could get to stick to a mandrel, forming it into a cylinder, mashing into a rough square and adding florals of coral and pastel yellow. I rather like the result (bottom row, third from left).

Then I made the big turquoise sorta-lentil. I shaped it with a spoon. It’s got ink blue stringer in the background, which spread a tad more than expected, and more florals.

On Saturday I attempted the vine cane again, with much more success! I kept everything hot and marvered flat every stripe of colour I added. No air bubbles and much thinner encasing made the whole thing far more friendly. I still had to pull it twice – first I got something of a decent length but too thick to use for decoration, so I heated it a little at a time and pulled thinner. It’s a bit wiggly because of this, but hey, it’s a vine! For both attempts I started off using the grass green rod as a punty, and with both of them I lost it at some point (this time because I melted a section too thin, so was left holding two rods with cane attached to each) so the pulling was finished with pliers.

I then started making another base with detritus from the first cane, and my gas ran out! My flame got teeny tiny and incapable of melting anything. Very annoying, especially as I was worried that the local gas place wouldn’t be open on Sundays and I’d have to wait an entire week before being able to get more propane – turned out it is open for a few hours, so that was a great relief. (A week with no torching?! What would I do?)

Sunday's beads

New gas, and boy was it obvious that my torch had been gradually running cooler and cooler for a while before it ran out entirely – not noticeable until I changed canisters and had heat! So I continued: I made a small tube of clear and used that to pick up vine detritus. I mashed it and tidied up the ends, then added coral and pastel yellow flowers as before. It’s the bead in the middle.

Then I made the cylindrical bead – straight vine detritus, formed into a barrel, black added to the ends and anise white flowers added. (It makes lovely flowers!).

Then there was the turquoise base that I threaded on very thin strands of coral adn pastel yellow, raked, then added some anise white threads and raked again, then added some random lines of clear to the top and melted it all in. It probably didn’t need raking! All you can really see are the reaction lines, without the colour in the middle… It’s interesting, anyway :p

I finished off with four teeny little spacers in transparent grass green, because I thought the mini gas-ran-out bead was cute.

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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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