Posts Tagged vetrofond

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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Hearts and more

[end of Oct 2010]

I got back from Venice and the first thing I tried out was using my Carlo Dona press.

Purple tornado heart

On a hot head it takes a long time to get enough glass on your mandrel to fill this press! He makes them in different sizes – I forget the measurements, but mine’s medium-to-large and the whole thing is a fairly puffy 3D heart. The tornado bead above I didn’t quite fill it fully and it’s a bit uneven, but I like the effect. I used transparent dark purple for the tornado so it was saturated enough that it would show up.

Ivory heart front

I made one in light ivory next so it would be faster to melt down. There was something of a washing machine disaster halfway through, which meant I had to stick it in the kiln when I was still building up enough glass. Washing machines are scary when the drum axle breaks when the machine is still on and has a spin cycle to go through… It was leaping about and shaking the entire room! I was rather shaken after that and just made a couple of fairly plain beads to calm down, so in the morning I still had my large ivory blob on a stick. Pat from FH reminded me that I could bring it up to temperature again in the kiln the next day, introduce it to the flame carefully and keep working on it, so I did just that. I messed it up a bit by using dark turquoise and getting the dots on the front too hot so they reacted messily, but I am pleased I rescued it! The back’s a bit neater.

Ivory heart back

I made an end-of-day heart next, using bits and pieces of green shorts I had lying around.

Green heart

It has a SIS shard on top. I did make the mistake of making one of the central colours be CiM kryptonite and it didn’t like being encased so deeply by the others. So this has a crack down the centre that only goes through the kryptonite and doesn’t reach the surface. I do like this bead and I like the slightly random way of using up shorts. You’re not going to get the same thing twice!

Here are some of the other things I made (the hearts do take a long time so I didn’t make very many at this point):

Sangre kalera

CiM sangre, encased and with murrini on top. This was going to be a tornado, but I made the wraps too thick and then when I pressed it the effect got too squished.

Red snake kalera

More sangre. This has a black, white and red murrini from Kaz, and a MCD + hades twistie design that looks like a snake.

Electric avenue tornado

Tornado lentil with CiM electric avenue and murrini.

Dizzy martini

A small set with a CiM dirty martini base and a Cheeky Frit Blend called Dizzy. Dirty martini works well as a base for all kinds of things.

Cool Colours and odds

Lastly, some spacers in a number of Cool Colours and odds. Back: blueberry marble, Vetro cosmic storm, Vetro purple plum with dirty martini dots. Front: kiwi. Cosmic storm is lovely and has little sparkles in it. Purple plum is incredibly soft and soupy. Blueberry marble and kiwi are two of the Effetre Cool Colours – pretty striations when you just use them on their own.

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Eyes and Vetro odd topaz

[Sept 2010]

Eyes around!

A little something that came out unexpectedly! It’s dark ivory, CiM sangre and Reichenbach silver brown for the dots (with clear on top). I ended up with a slit-pupil gap in the centre of each dot and I have no idea how I did it.

Vetro odd topaz

This is Vetrofond odd topaz 791989, as far as I can tell (the one with a blue centre). All just the one colour, raked and smooshed about. I seem to recall this is a colour that doesn’t take kindly to encasing, but I really like it on its own. May have to chase some down eventually, since it’s still available here and there.

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Lampwork: week 23-24

[Aug 1 – 8]

August’s colour of the month was 060 cobalt, and the theme of the month was Flower Power.

Here are two sangre rounds rolled in pearl mica, a lentil made of my attempt to make honey crunch (amber/topaz over ivory) over clear. And a lentil made of Vetrofond odd light red jasper.

Week 23 reddish

Gravity swirl beads: lilac, white and ink blue, 1 lentil, 2 rounds.

Lilac swirls

This was my mystery this week. I was sold the below as EDP, and thought it was because it behaved more or less as expected with periwinkle or dragonscale beads. I got the beads below out of it and boggled because they’re transparent – I’d just wound them on, kept them hot to avoid devit and straight into the kiln. Now, it turns out there was a mix-up at the vendor – they’d ordered both EDP and striped pink, only got one unlabelled and thought it was EDP. (Striped pink is EDP with a core of rubino). I still don’t know why my beads are transparent – Julie of Lush Lampwork did a lovely colour test of striped pink alongside EDP and sedona and hers comes out opaque purple…

Here’s two rounds, the rods, and a stringer I pulled.

Not EDP - striped pink

Gravity swirl beads: pale emerald, white and CiM sherwood, 3 lentils.

Emerald swirls

A big hole bead in dark turquoise and ivory.

BHB dark turquoise and ivory

A BHB in Reichenbach multicolour dark (over black) with melted in clear dots.

BHB in MCD with clear

Magdalena Ruiz multitool beads, made with the smallest cavity, in CiM poison apple. On the end is a nugget in amethyst and BeadySam’s gem surprise frit (was also encased in amethyst).

Poison apple and a fritty nugget

BHB in cobalt and white.

Cobalt and white BHB

Two beads with cobalt: one is a cobalt base with light pink and mid purple, the other is a light pink base with cobalt dots.

Cobalt and light pink

BHB in cobalt, copper green and opal yellow. The copper green reduced in the kiln, so I soaked it in grime&lime to remove that and it came out a bit odd…

BHB cobalt and copper green

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Lampwork: weeks 19-21

[July 3 – 18]

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

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

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

Brown and coral

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

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

Zachary blues

Beachy beads

Tide coming in

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


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

Beachy shard

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

More dragonscales

More dragonscales – magic and petrol green dots.

Etched amethyst

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

Ocean and sherwood 1

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

Pulsar kitty

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


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

Zachary and amethyst kitties

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

Ocean and sherwood 2

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

More ocean beads, with a BHB

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

Sangre kitty

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

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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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