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April 24, 2015

Test Results :: Kalypso

1 - Plain, 2 - Plain (reduced), 3 - Over Peace (reduced & encased), 4 - Over Ink Blue Violet (reduced & encased), 3 - Over Copper Green (reduced & encased), 6 & 7 - w/ Peace, Ivory, Opal Yellow, Copper Green, and Tuxedo

Before I say anything, I want to write myself a great, big disclaimer. I am not a silver glass expert, and it has been pretty close to two years since I made anything nice with silver glass. I know for sure I have not figured this one out yet, and I am certainly not getting the beautiful colours out of it that other people are getting.

However, none of that is going to stop me from telling you what I think I learned about Kalypso while I was making these beads.

The flame of my Minor is almost reducing enough to fully reduce Kalypso without even turning down my oxygen, but it doesn't do this with any other silver glass, so from that I conclude that Kalypso is particularly sensitive to a reduction atmostphere in the flame.

To get a good shiny reduction film on the surface of Kalypso, all I need to do on my Minor is take Kalypso out of the flame until it is cool, and then gently reintroduce it. If I do turn down my oxy, it is super easy to over-reduce Kalypso and get browns and yellows instead of pinks and blues.

All of these beads are reduced and encased, and I got blues with overtones of pink in most of them. From left to right, the Kalypso is over Peace, Ink Blue Violet, and Copper Green. The one over Copper Green is the one with the least amount of pink, but it was also the smallest bead because I got sort of lazy.

On top of Kalypso, Tuxedo spreads, You can see how the actual Tuxedo dots are much smaller than the hole they've made for themselves in the Kalypso surface reduction. I'm not sure how to exploit this reaction in a design, so I need to think about that a little bit. You can't really see Kalypso when it's used on top of Tuxedo, so it's sort of hard to tell if there's any reaction that way or not :)

Copper Green on top of Kalypso separates, going a concentrated dark turquoise in the center of dots and stringer lines, and looking almost yellowish in the outer band where it touches the Kalypso. When Kalypso is on top of Copper Green, there might be just the faintest light outline around it, but not much else. It does help keep Copper Green from going grey though, and that's a good thing!

Opal Yellow is extra neat on top of Kalypso because it separates so that there is a lighter band in the centre with its own outline, giving an almost ripple effect due to the extra demarcation line. On top of Opal Yellow, Kalypso spreads a little and there is no real point where the Kalypso stops and the Opal Yellow starts - it's a very gradual transition.

Ivory on top of Kalypso goes dark and dingy, but develops a really interesting pale outline. When Kalypso is used on top of Ivory, a dark line forms around the Kalypso, followed by an immediate inner light line and then finally the pink of the Kalypso for an interesting three-dimensional effect. Also, the Ivory all around the Kalypso fumes a dark greyish brown colour.

Peace on top of Kalypso goes yellow and separates in the same way as Opal Yellow but with less interesting detail visible because the reaction is more subtle. There's no real reaction visible between Peace and Kalypso when Kalypso is on top except that Peace fumes very yellow.

These fun beads all contain Kalypso. In a few of the beads it is sort of over-reduced, but I think that gives its own interesting effects.


April 19, 2015

Winter Colour Diet :: Session #5

It is like a switch got flipped in Session #4, and now this palette and I are friends. Suddenly, these colours and I understand each other a little better and good things are starting to happen with greater regularity. I think some of these need etching to remove some of the muddy reduction that Copper Green is sharing with my other colours, but once that is accomplished I think I will be pretty happy with these beads.

I am pretty sure that what I did here was wrap the wigwag around a big blob of Ink Blue Violet and use gravity to lengthen it into a cone shape and then flattened it and drew Mint Lozenge wings up the side. I added some dots in Ink Blue Violet, Evil Queen, and Copper Green.

I kept going along this organic track for the next bead, this time letting Wood and the wigwag do all the work. I used some frit on one end of the bead that has a purple in it that devitrifies when you get it hot, and so now I am going to have to either etch or sandblast this bead in order to fix the weirdness that caused.

This is a base of Opal Yellow, with the wigwag up diagonally around the bead (I wrapped it around before I flattened it, which is why I got such a nice, wide stripe) and then painted up the sides of the flattened bead. I used Intense Black and Opal Yellow for surface dots, and used murrini that I cut from an untwisted end of the wigwag cane.

This bead is a base of Mint Lozenge with wigwag up the sides. I used Hades this time instead of Intense Black to do the leaves and stems, with much less crazy webbing and travelling across the bead. I used a piece of murrini cut from my wigwag cane to make the flower.

This is the best bead I've made in a year or more. I did this one on a base of Tuxedo, and I used Peace and Tuxedo for the dots on the surface. The bead's edges are done in Shrubbery with Opal Yellow edging, and the ends are lined with Copper Green.

First set with the new press. This press is a GIANT PAIN IN THE ASS.

The Cleopatra press makes pretty nice beads so I will keep going with it. To be fair, it wasn't as hard to use as I suspected it would be when I bought it... so I guess I more or less signed up for the annoyance it's causing and so I deserve it :)

April 14, 2015

Winter Colour Diet :: Session #4

This session was sort of half struggle, half epiphany but helped me feel like this palette exercise is really starting to work for me again. It usually takes me three or four dedicated sessions to really settle into a new palette, and this time was no exception. It's nice to be seeing some progress!

This bead is just a blob made from my wigwag cane, flattened. I am sort of hooked on how the colours bleed together when I use the cane this way, so I will no doubt do some more of this.

This is really not a very attractive bead, but I really like the way the wigwag looks on top of it, and I love the separation lines I got in the Wood flowers, even if I feel that I should not have done them on this bead. The cane I used to make the base bead is a fun combination of Mint Lozenge, Shrubbery, and Slytherin.

I cannot for the life of me remember what colours I used here, but I got such interesting, organic effects that I really wish I'd written it down.

Here I used a core of Opal Yellow with the wigwag wrapped on it to make the base bead, using gravity to lengthen the blob of glass. I wish there was more contrast between the flowers and the background, but apart from that, I am pleased with how this one came out.

I just can't figure out what to do with Apple Blush other than hide it under and around other colours in ways such that it can barely be seen. It totally engulfed this poor bead.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this bead, and am still trying to decide what I would do differently next time. I sort of like the 3D-ness of the wigwag on the right, and I like the effect of swirling it where I've raked it out. I made the base bead out of at least three colours here (Opal Yellow, Evil Queen, Mint Lozenge) and then applied the wig-wag. Once I had it all melted in, I raked it out and did the swirls and the edge shaping.

Here's how the rainbow wig-wag looks heated like crazy and gravity-slumped. I wrapped it in Spanish Leather and decorated it with dots.

Looking back over the last few sessions, I can definitely see some big improvements in the beads which is great and sort of the whole point. I can't wait to show you the next beads :)