Posts Tagged murrini

Colour testing: CiM Orange Crush, Firecracker, Rudolph, Ocher, Sunset

In the limited edition reds and oranges section, I have three transparents and two opaques.

Orange Crush, Firecracker and Rudolph


I left these trios of spacers on the mandrel so you could see what the striking is like. I deliberately struck all three colours, which was not difficult. Orange Crush is an orange that strikes from transparent to misty. The bottom of the furthest out bead is transparent while the top is cloudy.

Firecracker is a medium light red with orange tones – you can see that the end spacer is less struck and much more orange.

Rudolph is a true red, and has less colour variation in striking. The end bead is mistier but is still red.


I also made lentil beads and small dotty rounds which have a core of Effetre white encased in the colour and then white dots. You can see from the lentils that both the reds go quite opaque, while orange crush has streaky translucent and transparent areas.


One of the orange crush spacers cracked on one end – that end had a thicker layer of orange and you can see that it went more opaque and lighter than the other bead – may have had something to do with it?

CiM Ocher and Sunset

Ocher is CiM’s spelling, I would normally write ochre :p


Ocher is a greenish mustardy yellow. Sunset is an orange coral type of colour. I could see Sunset striking as I worked, but it doesn’t really seem to unstrike again so I got a more uniform colour than I was expecting.


You can see in the spacers that ocher is bit streaky and the sunset is pretty uniform even as spacers.


I made a gremlin out of each to see how they did sculpturally – there is still variation visible in the ocher. The only lighter part of the sunset gremlin was the soles of its feet, which you obviously can’t see here! They are done at the very end. I used marine for the little heart on the ocher gremlin, and the sunset one has a scar and an awesome little skull murrini by Jolene Wolfe (Kitzbitz Art Glass).


I did some random thin stringer trails over a background of Effetre black. You can see a little bit of colour variation in the sunset dots, and also that at this thinness they aren’t entirely opaque, particularly the ocher.


Last of all, I did some tiny ribbed cylinder beads with ocher, sunset and Effetre dark sky blue. Ocher and the dark sky blue react together a little to give a dark out line, while sunset doesn’t. What I find interesting here is how different the ocher looks with other colours next to it – it is much yellower when alongside the sunset. Dark sky blue on top of sunset has a tendency to fuzz out and spread at the edges instead of having a sharp line.

I used dark sky blue rather than turquoise as it tends to grey up less. I did give them a bath in Lime & Grime to remove any that there was.

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CiM Limited Editions Sept 2013, part 1: greens and blues

I have some CiM to test!

This is the first half, covering the greens and blues. The next lot are reds, oranges, pinks and neutralish colours.

Here are the transparent/translucent greens and blues in rod form.


Front to back: aloe juice, absinthe, Tuscan teal, trade winds and neon blue.

These are the opaque green rods.


Goblin, shrubbery and mint chip.

I mostly did small plain beads for this pass of testing, just to see how the colours came out and how they were to work.

Aloe juice and absinthe


In small spacers, they looked very similar. Aloe juice is a very pretty transparent green, nice to work. Absinthe is an opal/translucent and it appears it takes a bit of effort to make it do that. It has the slightest hint of mistiness in the spacers I made, and is a tiny bit darker than the aloe juice, though that is more obvious when both are larger. Absinthe is also a much softer colour that likes to spread along the mandrel. It either doesn’t etch at all, or needs a lot longer in the etching liquid. The little spacer at the end was the etch attempt. Aloe juice etches well for a sea-glass look.

Tuscan teal and trade winds


Tuscan teal is a lovely deep teal, not too green, and is not so dark that you can’t use it on its own in spacers, but also looks great over white. (I am using Effetre white in all these). Etches fine. Trade winds is a very dark midnight denimy blue. I didn’t do plain spacers with this, they would have just looked dark. Again, looks great over white and etches.

Neon blue


Neon blue is similar to cobalt, but is a slightly different shade. It is surprisingly soft for such a saturated blue. Etching makes it seem very slightly purpler. It stands out very well on top of white. I am keeping an eye on these because one of the ones over white has a crack, but there was also a brief power cut when the kiln had nearly finished ramping down, so I can’t be certain if there’s any problem there. The second bead has no cracks yet, and I did an unphotographed test of it over CiM peace the next day too.

Mint chip, shrubbery and goblin


I like these greens sitting side by side like this! Mint chip is a beautiful pale opaque green. There have been a few of these from CiM with slightly different shades – sprout, for example, and I don’t have them side-by-side to compare right now. Mint chip goes by its name well – it is a pretty minty green, no yellow tinge. It also has a very smooth uniform colour, no darker lines.

Shrubbery is a mid, yellowish green. I wouldn’t quite call it an olive, but it’s getting there. It does have noticeable lines where the colour has been applied.

I like goblin a lot. It is a dark olive colour with dark lines that is deep and shiny on its own and softer when etched. Good for organics and leaf tones, I would think! The rod was a bit shocky though – if you look up at the rod photo, you can see it’s cracked just above the dark line where the most heated section stopped. When I was doing my sculptural bead below, I had to baby it back into the flame every time I picked it up again, or it was shocking off along there and losing a significant chunk of glass. I only had the one rod, so I can’t say whether this would happen with all of them.


Here’s a pic on side so you can see the streakiness or lack thereof better.

Then I had some fun and made some goblin beads! (Using my dragon eye murrini). These are grumpier than gremlins and have much bigger TEETH.


Goblin, shrubbery and Weimaraner (of which more next time). The colours are darker in places when worked like this: they go in and out of the flame a lot and have heat directed at specific areas, which brings out the darker lines. You can see a little bit of reduction here and there, particularly near goblin goblin’s eye. I like the gnarly look on these!

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Stock stock stock

Busy making things…

These lentils are part of my limited edition frit’n’murrini testing for Kaz – love them! The base is CiM peace and the silver leaf has brought out some sunset oranges and even reds around the edges. I’m making some more spacers to go with them and they’ll be coming to the GBUK Bead Fair with me.

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I got round to putting implosions on ring toppers – I am very pleased with the result and will be making more. The goldstone and bluestone backings give them a lovely sparkle behind the flowers. I also made an implosion into an off-mandrel heart. More to be experimented with in that direction too, I think!

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I got a 2-hole button mandrel and have been making 1 button per session. Am somewhat tempted to get another… These can be used as unusual closures on bracelets and necklaces, plus of course as statement buttons on handmade bags or clothing, or they can be made into fibulas.


I’m going to have a small section of my table for OCD-UK beads: all proceeds from them to be donated to OCD-UK. I’m making little flyers as well with some basic info on them. Because OCD is not all about handwashing.

I got my business cards today! Mini Moo cards, and they look great.

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Whoops, been gone a bit, haven’t I?

Do excuse the vanishing act. I’ve been very busy doing a whole load of things. I’ve decided that it’s pointless to try and catch up on all the posts I’ve meant to make, so will just start here.

So, what’ve I been up to?

In April I officially became self-employed (as well as being full-time employed). I became a UK distributor for Farbglashütte Lauscha, so I’m importing lovely glass from Lauscha in Germany and selling it on my website at I’m also gradually getting through colour testing it all, because we don’t have that kind of information as available as we do for other manufacturers. I’m posting the results on my website as well as on the Frit-Happens and Craft Pimp forums.

(If you’re interested, my testing typically goes plain spacer, spacer reduced or etched, silver leaf, silver leaf reduced and encased, psyche, terranova 2 frit, white, CiM tuxedo, CiM stoneground, copper green, ivory, then for transparents there may be frit painting with iris gold and a spacer over white. Plus testing with any other colours I think might be interesting).

I’ve been to some classes, all at Di East’s studio in Enderby, Leicester: By George, it’s Lush with Julie Fountain and George Harper-East in June, where we made beads the first day and made them up into jewellery the second. Di East taught Sarah Hornik’s Glass & Colour class at the end of July when Sarah got refused entry into the UK – she also had an open day immediately after which I stayed for and shared a table for my first time selling glass at a fair.

I went to Tuffnell Glass’s free Summer Bash in August – two days playing with glass and I camped with a tent I’d got specially! I had my first go with boro there and made some marbles. (I mean to try soft glass ones too as soon as I get the time…)

13.08.11_boromarbles 13.08.11_boromarble_side

On Saturday I’m doing a figure class with Lucio Bubacco. Eeeek! I’ve never done anything like this before so should learn a lot. I did a bit of practicing this week – off-mandrel sculpture in soft glass is a very different way of working. There are photos up of what Lucio demoed on Wednesday – they are just amazing.

Here are some of my tests (click to go to Flickr to see more).

29.08.11_caricature_head_02 01.09.11_figure_02

I’m getting ready for the GBUK AGM and Bead Fair on Saturday 24th September at the Loyd Lindsay Rooms, Ardington, Oxfordshire. I have a table booked there and will be selling my beads for the first time as well as Lauscha glass, so I’m busily making stock and trying to sort out how I will display it and all those many things.


Phew! There have also been a few fun swaps going on – there was a twistie swap earlier in the year that I got a bit over-enthusiastic about and made piles of twisties! I’ve just sent my murrini in for a murrini swap, and I’m quite pleased with a couple of the recipes I came up with. I have a charm swap due at the end of September…


I’m also doing a little bit of testing for Kaz’s monthly limited edition murrini and frit blends.


It’s all go, and I’m having a great time! I decided that this was the year I would go for classes and attend events, while I am still full-time employed and have the disposable income. I’m intending to go part-time so I have more time for glass, which requires the courage to actually leave or alter my rather dull job. I think I’d probably be better off leaving entirely and applying for something different part-time, but I know how things work here and there would be Change! So I keep putting that part off, but the days when I manage to get a decent amount of glassy work done are so much more satisfying that I know I have to do it eventually. I’m waiting for restructuring at my boyfriend’s workplace to be over, then I think I’m out of excuses. (He’s happy for me not to have a part-time job at all. I’m… not. I get issues about money and the spending thereof in that situation).

Life! It’s full of stuff! :)

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Raku carrot murrini

Raku carrot murrini

I’m unsure about this lot! They don’t always strike that easily, and when they do you can get some odd effects. I suspect I might keep using the ones I have and probably not make more in this exact recipe. They can be interesting, at least. They contain transparent amethyst, carrot red and raku, with hades and triton lines.

Raku carrot murrini in use

A few in-use closeups. The first was from a bead I showed in this post (the kalypso blot). The second two were on a bead with some CiM gunmetal on the surface, and all sorts of strange things happened.

Gunmetal and murrini

You can see it above. It’s baby blue with some gunmetal on top. Not reduced – you just need to waft the gunmetal about in a neutral flame and it’ll do its thing. The murrini have colours all right, but are also a bit weird and seem to have bleeding going on.

Raku orange kalera

This bead has a base of tongue pink (or striking terracotta, as Julie of Lush Lampwork is trying to rename it!) and wings of opaque and striking orange. The murrini on one side struck a bit, the one on the other side refused to at all, but has developed a thin black outline. My terracotta is variably struck :p

Raku orange kalera - other side

Above’s the other side. showing the one that didn’t strike.

I haven’t used these encased at all yet – must remember to try that and see what colours I get. I haven’t tried reducing them because the raku will just go silvery and I don’t think there’ll be much to look at. Might be worth a try anyway just to confirm it. I’ll add it to the ever-expanding to-do list!

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Triton murrini

Triton murrini

I made some triton murrini that I’ve been having fun with. They’re very simple: core, triton, contrasting stripes, but they’re effective and you can get a whole load of different effects depending on how you treat them. Here are a few examples!

Triton murrini in use

You can leave them raised and poke them, melt them flush and encase them, poke them and encase them, reduce them more or less… The top left one is briefly reduced and left raised – it’s a shiny but dark blue. The one next to it was encased. The pale blue-silver ones are reduced for longer and then encased. The bottom right pair with the dark blue and green are reduced a couple of times and encased in Lauscha soft clear. The shiny gold-pink one middle right is left raised and was reduced multiple times on a hothead – I was very surprised by the effect!

The dark blue and green effect is probably my favourite. Here’s the bead I got it on.

Blue Winter with murrini

It was made for January’s theme of the month, “Blue Winter”. The base is Lauscha dark teal (aka steel blue), tornado encased in soft clear and with SIS shard fragments and the triton murrini. I like how it came out a lot. I don’t actually know if the soft clear affected the colour I got in the murrini – all the other encased ones are under 006, but I also treated this one differently, so who knows?

Blue Winter - view 2

(Yup, I’ve started using a closeup of the murrini on it as my user icon!)

I have a striking murrini that needs a bit more experimentation, and I just made a batch of murrini with psyche in – we’ll see how they come out.

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Further experiments in silver glass

For my Double Helix seconds, I ordered Psyche, Ekho, Kalypso, Terra 2, original Pandora (just to try as it was very on sale) and Aether. They’ll keep me going for quite some time!

Terra 2

This is terra 2. I struck, reduced and encased it (because terra 2 can get some reduction shine too) and pressed it as a kalera. But during one of the pressings it got too cold, cracked and spit off a chunk of one side at me. I filled that in with clear and healed the cracks but my colour in this bead isn’t great. It has a little bit of stormed supernova twisted on one end – should have put that over an opaque for a better effect. It also has a little bit of coral stringer. I think the colour I got would have been ok as a backing if I’d added more surface decoration to make that the focus instead. The back is slightly purpler in places.

Terra 2

This one’s also terra 2, but it worked much better. It’s over carrot red. I tornado wrapped it, leaving little gaps for it to reach the surface. I used the top of my big Cattwalk lentil to mash each side against my torchtop marver, since I don’t have a large enough crunch press to do this. It’s got a Kaz striking murrini on one side, dots of aurae and a couple of twists. I reduced the surface. I really like this one – it has shine and colours and purple and I like the way it still has little curves leftover from the tornado wrap.

Terra 2 - another angle

It’s a nice shape to hold, basically.

Kalypso blot

This one’s a bit weird. It had a bead release failure at one end, so I had to do some hurried pulling off of glass to stop it becoming stuck to the mandrel. Bad bead hole at that end – I’m just impressed it came off! It’s kalypso with clear dots on one side plus a murrini I made. Not sure the recipe for that one is very successful. Anyway, you can see that the kalypso’s over-reduced/overstruck because it’s gone that white MOP look in places.

Kalypso blot - back

Here’s the back. Those aren’t cracks, they’re just because I encased it lengthwise in stripes and some of the stripes weren’t pushed close enough together so there are some little ridges. This bead didn’t turn out how it was supposed to, but I actually still kinda like it.

Psyche and kalypso

This one didn’t turn out as intended either – the base is kalypso on white and the interior colour is nothing to write home about. But! Psyche is my new best friend – I put a caterpillar of it around the bead and a surface twist at the top, and the colour contrast makes it not matter so much that the kalypso was unsuccessful.

Webby aurae

This one also went weird, but I really like the effect. It’s aurae that I accidentally made all webby, tornado encased in baby blue. I added one of Kaz’s striking murrini and the bead got too cold and cracked while I was doing it, so I had to reheat it all the way through.

Webby aurae - back

If you look at the ends of the bead the aurae shows up as blue-green wisps, while in the centre it’s more solid. Psyche dots on top. I just like the whole effect – it’s quite subtle and less bling, and I’ll happily make this into something for me to wear. I should try this again, since I like the effect the encasing colour has.


Finally, this is just encased kalypso. I didn’t actually use a reduction flame for this at all, just rolled it in a neutral flame before encasing. It’ll develop a sheen anyway. I’m finding it harder to encase rounds than pressed beads with silver glass – they’re smaller and you have to get them perfectly even. You can see that I still got this one too hot in places. I messed this bead up a bit by rolling it in my doming block to help the shaping – there was some dust or something in there and now I have black streaks on the surface! Whoops. From looking at this, you’d assume it had a red core, but it’s all kalypso.

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After the class


When these came out of the kiln, you could say that I was pleased!

Triton caterpillar over CiM mermaid (you can see a little bit of mermaid in the second pic, but not much is visible) with SiS on one end and a magic+hades twistie on the other. Look at the colours in the magic!

Triton view 2

The next one uses Ekho:


Using Anouk’s secret recipe for hot pinks! Actually, I have no idea if that is a secret or not, but she is doing a third silver glass tutorial that will cover it. I think the wraps on the ends were multicolour dark.


This is aurae spiralled over Reichenbach mystic pink. The wisps have more iridescence in person. The surface is triton dots and one of my triton murrini, believe it or not! I think I reduced multiple times for it to end up like this.

I haven’t quite got as good results since, from the ekho at least. But I’ve been zipping about trying out different glass, so it probably just needs a bit of attention. I like triton, it’s well-behaved!

BHB raku and MCD

This BHB is raku over opaque orange, encased and with multicolour dark on the ends. Plus my triton murrini, that were reduced and then covered in dots of clear. This has made them go a paler blue-silver. I was surprised how the raku came out! It’s unusually uniform and looks rather like standard multicolour. I do like the colour though – it’s muted but very pretty.

I also created an enormous fugly monstrosity of a lentil that has many things wrong with it, but these things happen!

At this point, my silver glass stash included triton and aurae, plus some stringers (including the Ekho) and single rods I got from Knatty Dreadz when he was still selling them. It didn’t take me very long after the class to place a nice big order with Double Helix for their seconds! (These are rods that have failed visual quality control – ie they may be slightly knobbly or curved or oval. To be honest, I can’t tell the difference with most of them, and most glass manufacturers would happily sell them as firsts. Got me some aether too – their clear, which I am yet to try).

When it comes to clear, Anouk recommends Reichenbach 1011 crystal, because it doesn’t affect the colour of the silver glass and can also be worked long and hot without ill effects. The beads above are using Effetre 006 because it’s what I had. My batch is decent, but I have noticed you can’t work it quite as hot.

Mystic pink supernova

A final thing to sign off: this is mystic pink with stormed supernova dots and clear dots. Lauscha supernova isn’t the same as Double Helix reduction colours: you don’t get an easy surface sheen by reducing it – I spent a long time and it stayed purple! It’s a very nice purple, though. However, it can be stormed. Storming is a technique by Amy Kinsch, see her tutorial Taking Reduction Glass By Storm.

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CiM sangre, triton murrini

Encased sangre

This pair of beads are CiM sangre encased in clear. Sangre’s a very handy transparent red – unlike Effetre striking red, it doesn’t go brown easily, and if you’re using a hothead, you probably won’t notice it’s a striking glass at all. The rod’s red, you wind it on and shape and it’s still red! On a minor you can go through the clear stage, though when I’ve used it so far it has still struck pretty automatically. I haven’t had to do anything to it on purpose.

I’m posting these to remind myself how elegant simple beads can be. I’m rather envious of lampworkers who manage to make whole sets out of beads like these, with or without surface decoration. I’ve never managed the patience to do that yet myself! Focal and matching plain spacers, or pairs of decorated spacers I can do, but a set of 6-8 same size, same decoration beads? Nope. And I think that’s something I should work on.

Part of the problem right now is that I work full time, so can only lampwork in the evenings and weekends, and I have something else that is also eating up a lot of that time right now. So when I sit down to torch I want to try as many different things as possible, rather than repeating one. Hopefully later in the year I will have adjusted the work balance a bit so that I have more time for lampwork, and consistency and discipline in making sets is something I want to aim for then.

To illustrate, now to jump to something completely different!

RRT with triton murrini

This is red roof tile, partly encased in amber and with some triton murrini I made on the surface. I like the colour contrast in this bead a lot, and I’m very pleased how the murrini came out. You can get quite a number of different effects out of them depending on how you treat them – the number of times reduced, whether you encase them, etc etc – which I intend to go into in a future post.

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November Colour Challenge Swap

We had a Colour Challenge quick swap on FH. We formed groups of 5, and each of us picked a colour without knowing what the other people in our group had picked. We then all had to make beads using our five colours and only those colours. It’s an interesting challenge!

My group’s colours were CiM heffalump, dark transparent turquoise, ivory, coral and periwinkle.

Colour swap trial beads

These were my trial beads, just seeing what I could do with the colours. You can see that I leaned towards making the dark transparent turquoise my main colour (it was the one I chose!). It’s interesting to see what the rest of the group did differently.

I decided that the heffalump and periwinkle were a bit too similar for my tastes. They aren’t the same colour, but they are a similar kind of tone in this application. Heffalump colour-shifts from pale pink to lavender blue, and periwinkle is bluey-purple – on top of dark transparent turquoise they both look purplish. On the tubular bead, it has periwinkle on the end and heffalump just past halfway down and they look almost the same. For this reason I mostly tried keeping one as the core in my test beads, and tended to put dark transparent turquoise dots over the other. I’ve seen some lovely things done with heffalump, it just didn’t hold its own in this colour combination. Because we had ivory, it couldn’t be used as the palest colour either.

I’d be interested in playing more with this colour combination, but I think I’d leave out the heffalump and stick to four colours. It makes planning easier!

Colour swap prototype

I made some shards and murrini, and this was my prototype for the final design. The base is dark transparent turquoise, the shards are ivory, coral and periwinkle, the murrini are periwinkle, dark transparent turquoise, coral and ivory. I added heffalump and coral dots, put dark turquoise on top and left them raised.

Colour swap beads

These are the beads I swapped. They’re tubby lentils, and I’m quite happy with how they turned out! I didn’t have as much time for experimenting as I’d have liked (no torch for a week because of a broken washing machine blocking my space).

Colour swap beads, view 2

Would I have made them without the challenge? Probably not, and that’s why it was a really good idea! I’m pleased the murrini worked, too – it’s hard to tell with so many reactive colours in a small space.

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