Posts Tagged plowden and thompson

Lauscha 100 coe testing

This 100 coe glass from Lauscha is mostly used for making glass pens. I was sent some to see if it would be useful to beadmakers too. I received some clear and some striped rods.

The striped rods have a core of clear, then a multi-stripe on two sides that is again thinly encased in clear. So the black and white cane has one stripe in black with a thin border of white and one that is white with a thin border of black.


One cane is transparent pink with three thin stripes of white on one side and the same with transparent green on the other side.

The last cane is red and goldstone, going black-red-gold-red-black on one side, and the same with white instead on the other.

I made some spacers first.


The black/white and pink/green work better as spacers, as the red and goldstone one turns out rather muddy because of the black in it. You can see that this is a blue-based black.


These are rather pretty beads – they do mimic the effect of frit painting, though, and I think they are less striking than the cane because you lose the sharp bands of colour, instead getting a random wispy effect. So they would be an easy way of making large numbers of these same beads, but with frit painting you have as many colours as you have frit.

For a compatibility test, I tried encasing Effetre black with the clear.


Cracks! This was what I expected to happen, really. The clear also developed quite a few microbubbles – it doesn’t feel as clean as the 104 Lauscha clears. It did melt very easily.

I went on to try with some Plowden & Thompson 100 coe glass that I have.


This is P&T vanilla with a spiral of the red/goldstone cane and then fully encased in the clear. I added raised leaves or flowers with the cane. No compatibility problems showing up here yet. (I will keep an eye on it for a month or so).


I think this is quite a pretty bead, but the visibility of the red and goldstone is very much diluted by the amount of clear it has around it. The leaves just have thin bits of colour in them.

If you have other 100 coe opaques, you can do more with this glass, but you are still up against the amount of clear that they have in them.

Finally, I made an off-mandrel squiggle.


Now, *this* is a good and different result! It keeps the sharp defined bands that are in the rod, and you can twist it to have them spiralling around. The beads have the problem that they could be made in other ways – you don’t need this cane for those effects. I don’t think the beads look as good as the cane does. I could also have pulled the cane down into twisties, but again I can make my own easily as you don’t need this level of precision in the stripes of a twistie because they even out when they are twisted and pulled down. I think this glass looks best when it is kept looking like the rods, so in sculpture.

My conclusion is that you can definitely use this cane to make pretty beads, but the ways you can use it are limited. It comes into its own if you use it for sculptural work.

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96 coe (ish) colour testing, part 3: transparents

I had a go at my friend Sue’s idea for getting very thin amounts of transparent over a clear base. Basically, gravity swirl the bead rather than trying to encase it fully, because that gives too thick a layer of colour no matter how thinly you try to do it.


Colours used:
Plowden & Thompson clear
R0254 fuchsia light
R0002 gold ruby
R0005 gold ruby extra
R0094 steel blue
R0043 plum blue


Here are the spacers. You can see that for the pinks in general, I ended up with one of each pair slightly more struck than the other. I made these two to a mandrel and it was very difficult to get the second bead to strike as much as the first, no matter how much I let it cool. The thinness of application here gives an effect you could probably get with frit, especially as there’s some little mottling on the surface in places. However, when using transparent frit on the surface of clear, I usually get bubbling where the cut edges of the frit were, and you don’t get that here. I can use the same technique to get more coverage by starting with more colour yet still keeping it thin.

The fuchsia light is light enough that there is only the bare hint of pink here. The gold ruby is thinned down to a nice peachy shade (one bead has struck a little more pink). The gold ruby extra has the largest difference, with one bead pink and one going a noticeably redder tone. The steel blue is a dark sapphire, even when used this thinly.

Plum blue


The plum blue is actually an opaque and I didn’t notice! I didn’t look that closely and thought it was one of the very dark transparents. It is a silver plum type of dark blue-purple. There’s some darker veins on the surface of these beads and the first bead has gone a bit more bronze than the purple of the second. I didn’t reduce these (granted, my flame’s not very oxy-rich), the metallic surface developed in normal use.

Dark olive and gold ruby extra


Watermelony! Base of dark olive, clear dots, gold ruby extra on the clear dots, then another layer of clear dots. I was tired and didn’t properly think this through – I should have put a light opaque under the ruby because the green showing through makes the dots slightly muddy, but it came out better than I had reason to expect.

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96 coe (ish) colour testing, part 2 and pinks


Here’s last weekend’s haul of beads. I made a lot of small pairs this time because my stash of small beads was hugely eaten into at the Flame Off and I’m running out of earring beads! (I had an orphan bowl where I’d just poured all my usable leftover and test beads that dated all the way back to when I started lampworking and was charging ¬£5 to fill a small ziplock bag. It was quite popular! I’d never have used them all myself, so that was good, but now I do need a few more).

Honey yellow and Orange Grove frit


To begin with, I made a pair of little cylinders in R 0017 honey yellow with granny apple green frit. The honey yellow opacifies a lot.
I also made a pair of frit painted cylinders using Plowden & Thompson clear and Jolene Wolfe’s Orange Grove frit. These are neon bright!

Pastel green and isar blue


This next pair of colours are reaction tests. I made pastel green bases and put fine silver leaf on top. This was to double-check the result I got last time. Yep, the leaf definitely goes a lovely darker colour. Heating and cooling did seem to develop the colour after the initial melting in of the leaf.

I also tested iris gold frit on isar blue bases. The iris gold is dark brown in the centre with a yellowish ring around the outside, and the isar blue has developed separation lines in its surface.

Lemon yellow and isar blue


The blue pair have an isar green base, with pastel green dots, steel blue transparent dots and more pastel green dots. The pastel green is decidedly translucent in this application – the first row of dots in it don’t really show at all, having been swallowed by the blues. The steel blue is tinting the top dots.

The other pair are vanilla and lemon yellow stacked dots. The lemon yellow is something of a transparent olive in the rod – fairly saturated but not so much as to look black.

Old rose and heliotrope


These cylinders have a base of old rose and then heliotrope stacked dots. The heliotrope fuzzes out at the edges and pushes the old rose around.

Pinks and purples


Caroline at Beadbug has a sample pack of all her Reichenbach pinks and purples: these are the opaques. Aren’t they pretty? No devit here – they seem to strike a little, though I have no idea if they’d do that once in the kiln anyway.

In order from pink to purple: old rose, soft rose, opal dense rose, coral pink, opal raspberry, lilac red, opaline pink.

The opaline pink is oddly named in my opinion, as it’s the darkest purple one here. The coral pink is noticeably redder than the others.

Vanilla Carousel


Finally, a set of tiles. Vanilla, opal dense rose, opaline pink, isar blue (including a twistie made from the vanilla and pinks).


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96 coe (ish) colour testing

At the UK Flame Off at the beginning of April, I came home with rather more 96 coe glass than I’d been planning… Caroline of was there and I planned to get some stuff from her – she’s importing Gaffer and Reichenbach rods to the UK, as well as frit. But Barbara Beadman was also there, selling off Reichenbach and P&T glass. That added quite a weight to what I had to drag back home after!

(I’m calling everything 96 coe for simplicity. It’s more of a range than that: P&T nominally gets referred to as 93, Reichenbach as 94 and Gaffer as 96, and they all have a +/- value of at least 2 on that – the exact value varies per colour).

The colours I was playing with in this session were:

P&T birch green
R 0113 vanilla
R 0175 pastel green
R 0245 isar blue
R 4291 dark olive

P&T clear
R 0011 heliotrope
R 0139 strawberry
R 0043 steel blue
R 0039 brilliant copper blue

I was fairly wiped out after the Flame Off and Silverstone bead fair days, so I decided to just play with my new cylinder combo roller from Now, I can make cylinders that are longer than they are fat well enough with a marver – part of the reason to get this was to make them the same size. However, the cylinder ‘discs’ aren’t something I’d like to try to make without this! Oh, I could, but I’d need to be very careful not to let them spread out along the mandrel.

One cylinder combo roller with beads:


I didn’t have much of a plan for how I was going to decorate them either, other than knowing I wanted to use some silver leaf with the opaques.

Here’s a group shot.


Strawberry and clear


This is a core of clear, a thin encasing of the cylinder surface with strawberry and then with clear again. That shows how saturated the red is (and this is one of the lighter transparent reds – a lot of the 96 transparents look almost black in the rod).

P&T birch green


This is a lovely very dark opaque green. The spacers are plain, and the bead on the right has a wrap of pastel green (which looks quite blue over the birch green) and diagonal spirals of steel blue and brilliant blue, both transparent. The steel blue is extremely dark, even as a thin stringer.

Dark olive

The cylinder at the back is a base of dark olive with silver leaf melted in and some dots and lines in vanilla. I added strawberry on top of the larger dots and it has a deep jewelled colour. The dark olive has gone blue around the edges of the silver leaf in some places (easier to see in the group shot).



Both cylinder beads in the foreground have vanilla bases. The left is vanilla and isar blue. Isar blue is a soft, spreading colour.
The right is vanilla with silver leaf. I think what I did here was to put vanilla lines and dots on top of the leaf and then isar blue fine lines and dots on top of those, giving the fuzzy blue centres and the brown where the vanilla meets the silver. I added heliotrope dots on top.

Pastel green


Here’s where it gets unexpected. This pastel green reminds me a bit of Effetre opaque uranium yellow – don’t know if the greenness is the same as I don’t have any to compare, but it’s a similar sort of shade. In spacers it is ghostly and the cylinder in the middle shows what happens when you add silver leaf! It’s gone dark caramel. The darkest dots are strawberry and the lines and small dots are vanilla with steel blue centres. It looks opulent.

What I want to do is work out a bead design to show off the jewel tones in these very saturated transparents, and do something less messy with the pastel green bead.

Layered dots are an obvious thought for the transparents, though I have a slight disadvantage in that I have no white just now…

At the bottom here I’ll add another two test beads I made in a second session.

Steel blue and heliotrope


This is a little pillow of clear with steel blue over one side and heliotrope over the other – the steel blue is still incredibly dark here. The heliotrope got some brownish streaks so you need to be careful to keep that one cooler and higher up in the flame.

Dark olive and pastel green


I made this pillow bead from dark olive and encased half with pastel green, then put iris gold frit on top. It has made the dark olive go blue underneath the frit and there are some pale greenish outlines. The frit has gone a darker amber on the pastel green side and there’s some yellowing of the green in places.

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Valentine’s bead swap

The beads from the FH Valentine’s Bead Swap arrived! Here are the three lovelies I received:

Valentine's swap: received

Beads by Terri, GlassOwl and Anna (ShinySnail). Anna’s is sparkly and I have a suspicion may involve the fabled pineapple sparkle!

Here are the beads I sent.

Valentine's swap: sent

Three off-mandrel hearts. One in Lauscha transparent pink with a silver glass twistie. One in Lauscha caramello with psyche. One in Plowden & Thompson black, which goes metallic. I gave extra heat to some areas so it developed some surface texture.

I resolved to take part in more Frit-Happens swaps this year – it’s lovely to get little packages through the post with surprise glass beads in them! I also find that swaps get me doing new things – I don’t think I would have spent nearly as much time making hearts if not for this one and I’ve really enjoyed it. (I am also confident now that I can make beads of good enough quality to send out to other lampworkers! Which can be the scary bit).

The latest UKJC spring charm swap has also kickstarted an obsession with an entirely new technique for me, more about which later…

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Speedy beady catchup

[August 2010, inbetween the frit tests]

I’ve been hopping about a bit here – the CiM tests were in the second half of September, but I wanted to get them up sooner.

Lotus beads

I got a little carried away making lotus beads. I find them quite relaxing – dot, dot, dot, dot… Above are my first two. The cobalt is a BHB. Then there was a multicolour dark one.

MCD lotus

Then I made more! I was trying to make some little diddy ones, but they didn’t turn out quite so well. You need colours that are dense enough for the petals to stay defined, and they look better when the petals are a bit bigger.

All the lotuses

August’s Colour of the Month was 060 transparent cobalt, so here are a few more. I did some BHB practice (accidentally used light ivory instead of white on the skinny ones, so they got a bit fuzzy round the edges) and some little rounds.

Cobalt BHBs

Used some fine silver wire for the first time on one of these. Then I tidied it away and seem to have forgotten about it – should unearth it again…

Small cobalts

My persistent mostly-unsuccessful experiments with Reichenbach silver brown continue, and I got this, which I actually like! At this point I mostly got nothing out of silver brown if it wasn’t in dots, with the exception of a single odd spacer that turned purple in the kiln (I’m getting some better results now). The dots could still be better, but I like the haziness in them. The base is avocado and the little silver dots are Plowden & Thompson black.


I was then out of gas for the best part of two weeks, which was very irritating!

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Lampwork: week 15

[June 1 – 6]

The two on the right are CiM dirty martini bases, with a twistie of magic and hades on the rightmost, and MCD and hades on the other, then encased. The magic didn’t strike. (The MCD developed brighter colour after annealing). The other two are a white latticino twistie wrapped round a black base.

Twistie rounds

This one didn’t work very well, but it does show my rainbow murrini. It is a mid amber lentil with a couple of green twisties on top.

Rainbow murrini on lentil

I am really pleased with the way this one came out. It is a clear core encased in CiM khaki, with Kugler silver green frit that I reduced, then a bit of clear striped over the top, and some of my complex green murrini. I love the way it looks like it has water washing over it.

Khaki and silver green lentil

The Theme of the Month Challenge was June Bug this month, so I tried making ladybird murrini. I had to fight a bit with a huge gather, and I now know why people like stainless steel punties for pulling larger amounts of glass. The ends warped, so the ladybirds from there have no heads! They can be added onto a bead anyway, so they can still be used, but I would rather like some proper punties… (I have had no luck trying to use other glass rods as punties. Something always gets too cold and falls off/shatters exactly when I don’t want it to. I have been pulling my murrini using stainless steel chopsticks, which works well if they’re bullseye-style and you make a relatively small amount at once).

Ladybird murrini

And the colour of the month was Effetre 026 teal. I’ve included in the picture the teal hollow I made a while ago to show the batch variation you can get – it’s much bluer than the (probably older) batch I have more of. There’s a spacer, the hollow, three bases with different twisties wrapped round, and two with teal bases, white dots, more teal on top.


This is a periwinkle opalino lentil with trails of teal on top. It has a watery effect (looks better in person – in the photo the periwinkle seems to come more to the front).

Watery lentil

A ladybird bead: I made a core of lime green, added bome very fine black stringer lines and mostly encased it in dark grass green. Then I added my ladybird murrini, capped with clear and patted in a bit. (There’s one on the back I melted in flat and didn’t cap. It didn’t come out well). Then there’s a 3D ladybird I made in situ on a base of dark grass green. Finally there’s the METAtropolis bead take 1, with a P&T black oblong, white and mid amber dots and ladybird murrini.

Ladybird beads

Teal and CiM kryptonite lentil, with a twisted line of SIS around the centre and complex green murrini.

Teal and kryptonite lentil

METAtropolis bead take 2. P&T black tab shape, fine clear stringer for the brickwork and two handmade ladybirds. (P&T black will stay black under transparents).

METAtropolis bead take 2

P&T black lentil with vine cane and ladybird murrini that have been capped with clear.

Ladybirds with vine

Dark lavender and CiM kryptonite lentil, with SIS swirl and Jolene’s purple murrini. Dark lavender is a lovely colour, though it colour changes to blue under incandescent light (as here).

Dark lavender and kryptonite lentil

A sandy, beachy lentil. Ivory, silver foil and Jolene’s orange murrini.

Sandy beach lentil

Reichenbach caramel and flamingo testing. I did these because Melanie of MindMelt did some colour testing of flamingo, and her description of the rods she had sounded a lot more like the caramel I had. Since I had a rod of each, I thought I’d compare them.

Caramel and flamingo testing

L to R:
1. Clear lentil part encased in copper green, with flamingo trails. The copper green reduced a fair amount.
2. Caramel round (did this previously).
3. Caramel reduced.
4. Flamingo reduced – both these go metallic.
5. Copper green on caramel.
6. Copper green on flamingo.
7. Silver foil on caramel.
8. Silver foil on flamingo.
9. Clear, encased in copper green, caramel on left, flamingo on right.
I didn’t get such impressive results as Melanie, and the colours on top of copper green didn’t get the outlines hers did, but I have an idea why not. It has happened before for me that colours you would expect to get large reaction lines with (and which do when they are rounds) don’t do it nearly so much when I press them as lentils. I am suspecting that when I add the surface decoration to the lentil, the base isn’t getting hot enough for the glasses to react together properly. On the lentils here you can see some pitting on the top colour where the raised parts got too hot when I was melting them in, but they still haven’t properly sunk in to the base. Need to adjust my technique, I think. Possibly the copper green layer was also too thin in this case.

Anyway, my results do show that caramel and flamingo react in exactly the same ways in these tests. Caramel is just always browner and flamingo is always pinker. They both reduce to metallic like Reichenbach’s iris colours, and are very pretty doing so.

Ivory lentil with orange twisties from Jolene wrapped around. Thermal shocked, so it has a crack down the centre.

Orange twistie lentil

Reichenbach silver brown again: tiny cores and Laura Sparling’s thick encasing method. They’re better than my previous efforts, but I was still getting the inside too hot.

Silver brown

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