Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I love spacers & a goddess bead

Look how bright this photo is. It so nice to see the sunshine but I find it makes taking photos challenging.

I've decided I am going to make some spacer beads each time I do some torching. It is a good way to test colours and I think they will make some lovely bracelets with some little silver spacer beads.

From the left, one shiney and one etched (except the eggplant one)
CIM Egglplant
CIM Plum
CIM Plum Unique 658-1
CIM Olive
CIM Elphalba
Effetre Cool Green Tea 680
CIM Sepia

The three beads on the left were made after a discovery of a reaction between CIM Peace and Reichenbach Iris Blue. The white turns a yellowy green. The 3rd bead from the left was etched.

The next bead is a base of CIM Chai unq 765-2 encased with Lauscha Peah 608 and then dots of the same Chai.

Next to that the bead is a base of Effetre Lt Sky Blue 224 encased with Effetre Baby Blue 038 and dots of CIM Lapis.

The last bead was a bit of a play. I made a bead a while ago which was a lovely purple but couldn't remember what glass I used to make it, that was before my blog diary. I also wanted to practice my light encasing and play with some stainless steel sculpting tools I'd bought. So this is CIM Peace lightly encased with Effetre Ink Blue 058. A lovely yummy purple.

I finally had a play with one of my new bead presses from Bavarian Beads. It's the Bavarian 3D Female XL.

This is a four sided shot of the resulting goddess bead that I made.

The glass is Effetre Pale Emerald 031 with Raisa frit from Frit-en-glas.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Enjoying the sunshine

Ok, I admit, I have been neglecting my blog in favour of the sunshine. Mostly working on our allotment. However I did some torch time in.

I got to finish off some sets.

In fact I decided to combine them together and make one big set which I will probably add to Etsy at a later date.

This is another of the sets I have been working on.

I've also been making some spacers using some new glass I have.

From the left CIM Canyon de Chelly, CIM Electric Avenue, CIM Glacier (a lovely pale blue), CIM Maraschino, CIM Maple and Lauscha Peach 608.

These two are CIM Butter Pecan on the top and first four on the left the bottom and last 5 on the right is CIM Ginger. I couldn't really see much difference between them although the last one on the right is a bit darker. Perhaps they like to be worked cool, I do tend to melt my spacers into submission.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Yeah, torch time.

I managed to get to the torch twice this weekend. Todays is in the kiln as I type. This was yesterdays.

It turned out rather purpley.

Some more deeply encased beads and some spacers to go the with the others I made last week, making up this set

These I made using Purple Rose Powder from Cheeky Cherub Designs.

Left is Reichenbach Opq Purple, Middle Effetre Baby Pink 256 and on the right Effetre Dark Periwinkle 222.

These are yummy, think I will make some more and make them into a set.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Unwanted shine

Can you see the difference between the two rows of beads? They are CIM Lapis, which go silvery on me, which I don't like. I have read on the Frit Happens forum said that the silver can be removed with limescale remover. 

I had some Limelight under the sink so I soaked the beads for 3 minutes and they came out great.

Not enough time

I only managed to get one torching session in this last week. Too many interferences on my time and health. Still that's the way it goes, I always knew that this would be more of a winter hobby. Unfortunately I torch in the conservatory, so it's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. If the sun is shining I can't see the flame so torching is out then. Anyway.......

I'm finally managing to get to grips with my stringer work, but I would still like to get my scrolls as fine as Laura Sparling does and many of you who have seen her work will recognise these beads as similar to hers. I have been aspiring to make beads like hers as I admire them very much and made a point of having a lesson with her earlier on in the year.

These are CIM Dirty Martini and CIM Lapis. I have wondered if I have picked up a rod of CIM Peace instead of the Dirty Martini as they seem more white than the pale green.

Effetre Rubino Ora spacers. Don't they look yummy.

Does anyone know why the two on the right have stayed transluscent? I can't think that I made them any differently to the rest.

Lastly I made a couple of hollows that collapsed on me again.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Yesterdays beads

This is the first time I have felt up to or had time to torch since I made the penguin last week.

I've got a commission! My Sister Dianne would like some clear hollow beads with a 3mm hole, so it's back to hollows for me.

It was like I hadn't made a hollow before, they kept collapsing on me. It may have been that I was using mandrels dipped in old bead release. I dipped some fresh ones and did have some better results. She would like 6 or 7 so looks like I will be making these for a while until I get enough perfect ones.

This is Effetre Copper Green on 006 clear. I was just practicing some stringer work and the copper green was the nearest thing to hand. It has gone a bit grungy, could be an interesting look. I might etch it to see what happens.

These are some disc beads made with CIM Chalcedony and are to go with some other beads that I have made.

More practising of my stringer work. I didn't choose these colours in particular, just crabbed something random.
I had an interesting conversation with my Sister who has been making jewellery for some years. We met up at a family get together on Sunday and I took along my beads for her to see. I showed her some of the sets that I had made that I have for sale on Etsy. Interestingly enough she said that they wouldn't appeal to her and they look 'already done'. So I either need to spilt the sets or make them into jewellery.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Percy the Penguin

I was lucky enough to be chosen to test a new tutorial being written by Izzybeads. She makes the most adorable creatures, look at this cute dragon

Isn't he fantastic. You can buy him from her Etsy store.

So back to the tutorial. It's for a penguin bead. As readers of this blog will know I've only occasionally dabbled in scultural work so yesterday I had a go.

This is Percy, he's only 2cm high. He was made using CIM Tuxedo, CIM Peace and Efftre Dark Yellow 412 and Effetre clear 006. I used the Tuxedo black stringer for the eyes but it came out a dark navy to need to investrigate the blacks so that I get a true black dot.

I don't think I did too badly for my first attempt. The instructions were clear and the pictures easy to follow. I was able to help with a few tips and hopefully the tutorial will be for sale soon. I will post a link here when it is.

The tutorial is now up for sale on Etsy Penguin Tutorial.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

A new toy - Loop Nippers

I bought a new tool to play with when I was at the workshop with Sally Carver Otherwise known as Redhotsal. she has had made a handy tool for making holes in glass. Here are some pictures of it.

She used it to make the hole in this fish so that it can be hung.

I thought it might come in useful and I wasn't wrong.

I made these leaves and not a mandrel in sight! I used it to make the holes to string them. I think a nice bunch of these will make a lovely necklace.

You can buy Sally's lovely tool here: Loop Nippers a bargain at £7.99

Testing DH and TAG

Yesterdays bead session was mostly about testing Double Helix and TAG glasses. I in no way attempted to make these beads too neat and tidy it was just about the effect of these silver glasses on Effetre Dark Ivory, reduced and then encased in Effetre 006 clear.

Top to bottom.
DH Elektra.
DH Gaia
DH Aurae
DH Aion 2

There was a slight reduction on the Aurae, I have used this glass before and it shows up better under Effetre Dk Lavender 081. Both the Aurae and Aion2 had more effect on the Dark Ivory and most of the colours produced dark rings around the dots.

This was my favourite colours of the ones I tested.
From the top:
DH Nyx
DH Kalypso
DH Fire Lotus
DH Terra

Interesting reactions here. Look at the white keyline reaction around the Nyx, Kalypso and Terra. The Nyx and the Terra had the best reduction. Lots to play with here.

I went on to make this bead with the Terra.

From the top:
DH Triton
DH Psyche
ASK Silver Brown
DH Helios
TAG Taxo

Of these Triton and Helioe were the only colours to keep their reduction although I am sure I have reduced Psyche before with no problem. Interesting keyline reaction around the Silver Brown and Helios.

From the top:
TAG Golden Emerald
TAG Lake Geneva
TAG Tibet
TAG Montreux
TAG Cezanne

Nothing exciting to report about any of these really. None of them reduced although all except Tibet have some white keyline reaction.

I had an instruction sheet that came with the TAG glass so I had a quick shufty through it and had a play.

First up TAG Tibet dots over Effetre Copper Green.

The copper green devit really badly and I wasn't that impressed with the results. Not sure I'll bother with that again.

TAG Zeus stringer over Effetre Black (reduced but not encased)

Some lovely shades of blue showed in this bead so I went on to make this

I had to use a really heavy reduction in a high propane flame to get this reaction, which is only really on one side of the bead, although the bead is blue all round, no sign of the black. Unfortunately the clear has gone really yellowy. According to the instructions the reduction should be struck. Didn't really try that so might have another go.

This was TAG Zeus again over CIM Clockwork and then encased.

Supposed to be a great electric purple when put over oranges and reds. Obviously need some more work on this combination.

Lastly TAG Golden Emerald. This glass is supposed to take on a golden metallic sheen over it's transparent golden green. I reduced it really heavily with little or no oxygen and couldn't really see any sign of the reduction. There was a little bit present when I took it out of the kiln this morning.

More of this session in the next posting.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Weekend workshop at Diana Easts

It's taken me a while to catch up after my weekend away as my printing work seems to be particularly busy at the moment - lots of spring babies.

Saturday was "Cool Reactions" at Diana East's studio in Leicester.

This is Di demonstating:

Di showed us lots of reactions between glasses some of which are examples below.

I didn't have much of a play but this bead was one I was reasonably happy with.

Sunday was Blossoms, Bottles and Blown Baubles with Sally Carver.

This is Sally, well the side of her head anyway.

Sally started with showing us how to make her gorgeous blossom beads.

I struggled with these despite having successfully made them before so I won't bother showing you my attempts.

You can buy her tutorial on how to make these beads here: Blossom Implosion Beads

Next up was baubles.

 I have to say I didn't attempt to make one of these, one day maybe.....

...and lastly vessels.

Now this I did have a go at, and I was so pleased with the results, this was my first attempt.

Sally also has a tutorial on how to make these: Simple Hollow Glass Vessels

As I couldn't come to the recent skulptural class that Sally held I asked her if she would show me how to do a fishy.

Here it is, isn't it great? and not a mandrel in sight.

Sally bought some of her beads to show us and everyone raved over these.

so a promptu demonstration ensued.

Checking out Sally's Flickr album I spotted these, aren't they stunning?


A great time was had by all and I can't wait until the next time I can get on the torch to have a play.
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