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May 28, 2014

Test Results :: Clockwork

CiM Clockwork (229) is a vibrant, happy orange transparent.  It is not as easy to strike as Effetre Striking Orange (072), but it is not difficult either, once you get the hang of it.  It's easier for me to strike this colour in larger beads than smaller ones.

The colour of Clockwork is richer and more vibrant than Striking Orange, and is possibly the most vivid orange in our 104 COE palette, but it is also denser and cloudier, so there is a comfortable place for both colours in my glass stash.  One of the big advantages that Clockwork has over Effetre Striking Orange is that you can tell what colour it is by looking at the unmelted rod.  In the rod, Striking Orange looks like a pale yellow, so it is easy to get it mixed up with other pale yellow rods of glass (including Striking Red, Yellow, and Electric Yellow) if you aren't careful. Clockwork screams 'ORANGE' at you without any ambiguity whatsoever.  

1 - Plain, 2 - Plain (reduced), 3 - Over Clear, 4 - w/ Silver Leaf, 5 - w/ Silver Leaf (reduced & encased), 6 - w/ Silver Glass Frit (reduced), 7 - w/ TerraNova2 Frit, 8 & 9 - w/ Tuxedo, Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory, Peace

What I am waiting for these glass companies to make is a light orange. I would really like to have a light orange transparent glass that is lighter in colour and less dense than either Clockwork or Striking Orange but darker than CiM Peachy Keen or Lauscha Peach.  Not instead of these colours, but in addition to them. Please? I'll put it on my wish list underneath 'Transparent Coral'.

You can see the richness of this colour in the left-most spacer bead.  Clockwork is a JUICY colour, oranger (this is a word, right?) than anything I've ever seen in nature.

Ignore the weird mark that looks like a crack in the right-most bead.  That is a stupid kiln bead-sticking accident, and not something you need to worry about, unless you want to spend time worrying about how competent I am.

On top of Clockwork, silver leaf turns brown and more or less stays the way you melt it in.  When the silver is reduced and encased, some blue fuming can be seen on the Clockwork under the clear. This is most visible above in the far right-hand side of the right-most bead.  You can also see from this picture that I was able to successfully encase Clockwork without any issues.

Reducing silver glass is really beautiful on top of Clockwork. I like the light edging the fritty bits get around them, and the contrast of the blue over orange. My striking silver glass got ok colour in the bead on the right, but it is nowhere near as appealing because it is dark and the contrast is not as vivid.

I didn't notice any particular reactions between Tuxedo and Clockwork.

You can't really get the full effect from it in the picture, but Copper Green over Clockwork is really interesting. It gets a dark line around it, which is interesting enough on its own, but the Copper Green also gets a faint mirror shine to it, which really sets it off. I often talk about how Copper Green darkens or 'shmutzes up' on top of some other colours, and this is different from that because the Copper Green doesn't really discolour or darken in this combination, it just gets shiny.

I would have expected to see the same reaction only in reverse when I used Clockwork on top of Copper Green, but glass likes to surprise me. There is a faint darkness around the edges of the Clockwork stringer and dots, but not a pronounced black line the way there is when the Copper Green is on top. Also surprisingly, there is a definite pale line around the Clockwork stringer lines and dots in the bead on the left, which I was in no way expecting.

Opal Yellow, Ivory, and Peace all separate over top of Clockwork.  The effect with Opal Yellow is very subtle, the dots and lines developing a faint inner halo and looking vaguely three-dimensional.  The effect is a little more pronounced but a little less structured with ivory, the dots and lines taking on a creamy, creased appearance. And then the Peace dots and lines, depending on how much they are heated, separate so dramatically that a very dark 'chasmy' line can be seen in the middle of the stringer lines I put on the right-most bead, above.  At first, I thought this was Peace misbehaving and turning black on me, because I have had that happen in the past when my propane tank level is getting low, but that is not what happened here at all.

Nothing much interesting happened when Striking Orange was used over Opal Yellow, Ivory, or Peace, apart from a little trouble getting it to strike to Orange on top of Ivory or Peace.  I'm not sure if this was a colour thing or a stupid user error, though, so before you take that to the bank you might want to do a little playing around.

I will add some additional beads with Clockwork as I make them. It gets an interesting cloudiness to it when it is used in sculptural pieces, and I love it for making striped ribbon cane for flower petals.

May 9, 2014

Test Results :: Isar Blue

Kugler Isar Blue is a really beautiful blueish teal opaque glass. This particular batch is a hair bluer and a hair darker than it was when it was marketed by Arrow Springs as ASK Aloe Vera, but that may just be a batch variation thing with the particular rods that I have purchased, because it is meant to be the same colour.

1 - Plain, 2 - Plain (reduced), 3 - w/ Silver Leaf, 4 - w/ Silver Leaf (reduced & encased), 5 - w/ Reducing Silver Glass Frit, 
6 - w/ TerraNova2 Frit, 7 & 8 - w/ Tuxedo, Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory, and Peace

I see ASK glass being sold for more than $80/lb, and I don't really understand why people would want to spend that when they can buy the new batches of the same colour numbers for less than $50/lb. I hope it is because those older batches have something really special and not that it is being sold to newer beadmakers who just don't know any better.

Anyway, I suppose I should just try to focus on the glass.

When you reduce Isar Blue, it develops a schmutzy, unbeautiful, greyish film. This is the same kind of film that develops on top of Copper Green and Dark Turquoise, except that it only happened with this colour when I reduced the glass. Normal working conditions don't seem to produce this effect.

Isar Blue is a fairly streaky colour, so if you're looking for perfect uniformity, you should find something else to melt.

Silver doesn't do anything too weird when it is left on the surface of Isar Blue, but if you reduce it and encase it after adding the silver leaf, Isar Blue undergoes a pretty weird transformation to a yellowish, alien green.

Isar Blue is a gorgeous base for silver glass. I got brilliant colour out of my TerraNova2 frit.  Unfortunately, its blueish greenness doesn't do much for reduction colours -- at least not reduction colours of the blue and green-hued variety. There just isn't enough contrast.

As I mentioned, Isar Blue is a pretty streaky colour, and you can see that pretty clearly in these test beads.

On top of Tuxedo, Isar Blue develops a concentrated dark line in the centre of dots and stringer lines.  When Tuxedo is used on top of Isar Blue, the Isar Blue rises up arouond it in little halos.

Copper Green and Isar Blue have similar reactions - on top of Copper Green, Isar Blue separates and forms a concentration line, and when it is used on top of Copper Green, little halos of Copper Green pop up around it. On top of that, the Copper Green develops a pinkish hue and goes sort of shiny.

Isar Blue bleeds into Opal Yellow when used on top of it.  When Opal Yellow is used on top of Isar Blue, no real reaction is visible.

Isar Blue and Ivory form a dark line reaction.  When the Isar Blue is used on top of Ivory, the line is subtle and sticks close to the Isar Blue. When Ivory is used on top of Isar Blue, the line is wider and lighter in colour.

I didn't notice much of a reaction between Isar Blue and Peace in either bead.

Here is a Goddess Bead and an Organic Lentil using Isar Blue. I really enjoy this colour! Even by itself in the Goddess bead, you can see all kinds of fun streakiness and curdling.

April 29, 2014

Test Results :: Cranberry

CiM Cranberry is a deep, rich fuschia colour and a nice, dense transparent pink.  Deciding whether I prefer this colour or if I prefer Effetre Rubino Oro is sort of difficult, because I like them both for different reasons.  I will talk about some of the similarities and differences as we move down through my test beads.

1 - Plain, 2 - Plain (reduced), 3 - w/ Silver Leaf, 4 - w/ Silver Leaf (reduced & encased), 5 - w/ Silver Foil, 6 - w/ Silver Glass Frit (reduced), 7 - w/ TerraNova2 Frit, 8 & 9 - w/ Tuxedo, Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory, Peace

Cranberry is a deeper, richer colour than Rubino Oro -- or at least, this particular batch of Cranberry is/was deeper and richer in colour than the batch of Rubino Oro that I had back in 2012 when I made my Rubino Oro test beads.

Silver does fascinating things on top of Cranberry. You can see in the bead on the left how the silver has gone green and yellow and brown on top of it. In the right-most bead, you can see how the silver foil I sandwiched between two layers of cranberry has turned a vivid pinkish orange colour.

The first bead where I melted silver leaf into the surface resulted in the same green/yellow/brown reaction that I got with Rubino, but in the second bead where I reduced and encased the silver, the silver stayed much more 'silver' than it did when I performed the same test with Rubino.  It is possible that I may have used a different clear, though, so I will try to do a better job of keeping track of that in future. In the Rubino Oro bead, the silver turned pink and yellow under the encasement.

I don't think that encasing Cranberry is an especially good idea.  The bead in the middle has cranberry, then a layer of silver leaf, and then was reduced and encased with Clear. It has cracked right down the middle.

In these beads, you can see what an interesting base colour cranberry is for silver glass. Both my reducing and striking silver glass frit got all interesting on top of this colour. I got beautiful, vivid colour from the TerraNova2 frit in the bead on the right, and in the bead on the left, the reducing silver glass frit developed interesting separation lines and halos and also left some blue fume on the surface of the Cranberry.

When I did these tests with Rubino Oro, I got funny brownish gunkiness around the edges of my reduction frit, and the colours in both test beads were much more washed-out looking, although the TerraNova2 frit got good colour on top of Rubino as well.

So, this picture is a bit confusing because I stupidly put the colours on the bead in the wrong order in the bead on the right, mixing up the placement of Opal Yellow and Ivory. Since I made these beads and took these pictures sometime last year, I don't still have the beads lying around to take another picture, so you will need to use your imagination to see things in the right order. It is in the bead on the right that the order is screwed up.

Tuxedo didn't react with the Cranberry or vice versa.

Cranberry caused my Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory and Peace to separate when I used those colours on top of it to make stringer dots and lines.

In addition to separating Ivory, Cranberry also turns it brown, although sort of differently from how I experienced this reaction with Rubino Oro. While in my Rubino test results, Rubino turned brownish on top of Ivory, when I used Cranberry on top of Ivory I got dramatic dark, brownish black splotches that took over that part of the bead. In my Rubino test results, when I used Ivory on top of Rubino, the Ivory went completely brown. With Cranberry, only the edges of the Ivory turned brown, and in a kind've neat, fuzzy, watercolour way.

Using Copper Green and Opal Yellow underneath Cranberry stringer dots and lines caused the base glass to pop up in halos around the Cranberry. Like with Rubino, the Cranberry spreads out on top of these colours, however it does not thin out as much as Rubino so the effect is not as subtle.

I didn't get the same kind of popping halo effect with Peace, which would have surprised me more if I hadn't already had that same result with Rubino Oro.

This is an appalling bead, because it got stuck to something else in the kiln and has gouges in the belly, however it demonstrates very nicely the richness of this colour. You can sort of see in the breasts that the colour is blueish, and I'm not sure what caused this. It is more pronounced in person and has a weird, cloudy quality to it.  It happened on both the breasts and on her butt (not shown) and the only thing I can think of is that those places on her got a little less striking than the rest of the sculpture did.