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January 27, 2010

Test Results :: Fossil Dark

I lost my test bead wire again... that pesky thing hides in the stupidest places. These are all on a mandrel, instead, but I miss my piece of wire. Now, I know what you're thinking. "Cutting a piece of wire isn't all that difficult, is it?"

Well sure... I could have cut another one, but the reason I can't find the curvy test bead wire is because the light bulb blew out in the laundry room where I keep all my beady stuff -- including curvy test bead wire AND all of the pristine uncut wire. I've also lost track of a number of socks and a container of shards, but a new lightbulb is coming to save the day sometime soon.  In the meantime, I'm making do.

1 - Plain, 2 - Plain - reduced, 3 - w/ Silver leaf, 4 - w/ Silver leaf - reduced & encased, 5 - w/ Khaos frit, 6 - w/ Frit blend (Gaia, Nyx, Elektra) - reduced, 7 - w/ Black, 8 - w/ Ivory, 9 - w/ Copper Green

Unsolicited Advice
If you're new to lampworking, RESIST the temptation to buy large quantities of any colour you don't already know for sure that you love. For the first year or so after I started torching regularly, I -needed- to buy glass. It was compulsive, like a crack habit. I was absurdly concerned that if I didn't at least try every single colour I could get my hands on, I would probably be missing out on something fantastic.

Who knows... maybe that was a necessary part of my experience, but seriously, if I'd known how much glass I'd accumulate and had any kind of realistic understanding of how little of that glass it takes to make a single bead and the YEARS of annoyed slogging through glass I'd be facing to get rid of it all, I might have slowed down or at least bought far smaller quantities of everything. My new policy is to buy the smallest quantity I can get away with (3-4 rods seems ideal) of anything I haven't already tried myself, no matter how appealing it might seem.

Boy, am I ever chatty today.  I don't really feel like it, but we should probably talk about Fossil Dark.

General Impressions
Fossil Dark might as well be Dark Ivory with dark streaks built right into it, and I'll be frank... I prefer the original. I'm not really feeling this colour yet, which is going to make it difficult to get through almost eight more rods of it. And even after I finish that, I think I have more than 1/2# of Fossil Medium to deal with at some future date.

It's soft like Dark Ivory, and shockier. It's not unusable-shocky, but it is unpleasant when the rod keeps popping off just as you have a decent gather built up, and that's what my Fossil Dark has been doing to me.  Fossil Dark doesn't seem to craze and marble the way Dark Ivory does, which might be why I'm not really enjoying it.

I guess Fossil Dark would be good to use if you wanted the streakiness but you didn't feel like doing any super-heating or using any silver... I can't imagine ever being in that frame of mind, but if you sometimes are, you just might like this colour.

Fossil Dark reacts with silver similarly to how Dark Ivory reacts with it -- it turns black. (Beads #3 & #4) I haven't yet made any silvered Fossil Dark stringer, but it's the next thing on my list to try because that might be the only way I can happily use this stuff up. If that works, and I get a new-look silvered stringer out of it, I'll be much happier with this colour.

The reactions with silver glass are also similar to what Ivory does.  (Bead #5 & Bead #6) The silver glass fumed the surface of the Fossil Dark a little bit, and the reduced silver glass looks far prettier on it than the struck silver glass does, which is exactly how I'm accustomed to feeling about Dark Ivory.

This was a little weird. Copper Green in Bead #9 got so dark that it's almost not recognizable as itself. Fossil Dark forms the same dark line reaction with Copper Green that Ivory or Dark Ivory would.

... and that's all. I debated saving these results until I had more to say, but then I realized that I might never have more to say about this colour, so I decided to just post it.

I have one bead using Fossil Dark, and I'll post some more as I trudge through my bundle of it.

Please excuse the nasty picture... I usually take my pictures in the laundry room, too, and sometimes I even remember to wipe the fingerprints off of the beads.  The mental conversation went like this "Mel... that picture sucks.  Go take another one."  and then, "Are you kidding?  That's just the stupid Fossil bead.  Take it yourself."  So, here we are.

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