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June 30, 2012

Test Results :: Coconut Milk

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

CiM Coconut Milk is billed as a 'Non-Reactive' White. When I first looked at the rods next to Peace, I couldn't really see any difference between the two colours. However, after making my test beads and seeing the other beads posted on the CiM site, it's clear that there are some differences. Coconut Milk is ever-so-slightly off-white, and the reactions that it has with other colours are much different from those I got with Peace.

When Silver Leaf is used on top of Coconut Milk, the Coconut Milk fumes a tawny brown colour. The Silver Leaf takes on a patchy, bluish hue. When the Silver Leaf is subsequently reduced and encased, it looks very blue and shiny under the layer of Clear and the Coconut Milk remains a warm tan colour.

In the bead on the right, I got some crazy cracking... cracks every which way through the bead that appeared a day or so after the bead had been annealed. However, I'm not sure that we can blame this on the Coconut Milk, because I have had the same problem with other encased beads I have made with the batch of Effetre Clear I'm currently working with. I am going to try this again with Reichenbach Clear as the encasement layer to see if that makes a difference and I'll let you know what I find out. Maybe Coconut Milk is a colour that would rather not be encased.

Reducing silver glass looks beautiful on top of Coconut Milk - my frit has turned beautiful shades of turquoise and has an attractive, caramel-coloured dark line surrounding the frit pieces on the bead. I didn't get such pretty results from the TerraNova2 frit here, so my tentative conclusion is that Coconut Milk is nicer under reducing silver glass than it is under the striking colours.

Coconut Milk thins out slightly and loses some of its opacity over Tuxedo, however it does not take on the bluish hue that Peace did in the same test. Similarly, in the bead on the right you can see that Tuxedo has bled into the Coconut milk slightly but that the resulting halo of pale colour is grey rather than blue.

Coconut Milk seems to not have Peace's tendency to separate, because it has not done that with any of these colours, however when Opal Yellow is used on top of Coconut Milk it seems to be floating just above the surface of the bead due to a faint halo effect underneath in the Coconut Milk.

June 27, 2012

Test Results :: Peace

Finally, I'm getting around to testing some of the staple colours that I test with everything else. This should probably have occurred to me at the beginning, before I tested so many colours, however we learn as we go in this life. Looking back at the early posts I made on this blog makes me laugh sometimes, and no doubt what I'm writing today will seem hilarious to me a couple of years from now. Hopefully, you're reading it all without judging me. lol.

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

CiM Peace has been one of my staple colours for quite a while now. I like it because it is a true White. Vetrofond White, while beautiful, has a slightly bluish cast to it. Effetre White is also nice, however some batches of it seem to be slightly translucent in thin layers.

I only have two complaints about CiM Peace. First, it has the same tendency as Rubino Oro to 'soot up' in the flame if you are using a little too much propane. Since I'm on a Minor with a 5lpm Oxycon, my neutral flame is probably a little reducing, so I find this occasionally frustrating. Second, I've found that when I use Peace in flower cane, if I repeatedly heat and cool the flowers, Peace will devitrify a little bit. However, both of these scenarios are avoidable so I still find Peace to be a very nice White.

Update - April 2020
More recent batches of Peace do not seem to do this 'sooting up' thing. My setup and habit of working too hot are still the same, so I can only conclude that Peace has gotten less finicky. If you were afraid of it because of the sooting problem and are still looking for a nice white, give it another try :)

Reducing Peace by itself makes it look sort of yellowish.

Silver Leaf over top of Peace forms a greyish blanket, and fumes the surface of the Peace to a rich caramel colour. When the Peace is reduced and encased, the grey colour lightens significantly, most of the caramel colour disappears and the edges of the silver look pink through the Clear.

Reducing silver glass does pretty things on top of Peace. And the surface of the Peace, around the frit, turns a gentle yellow colour. I didn't have a whole lot of luck with Peace and my TerraNova2 frit.

In terms of reactions:
  • Peace separates when used with Tuxedo. You can see in the bead on the left how the Peace has gone a bluish purple colour on top of the Tuxedo and has separated pretty dramatically. In the bead on the right, the Peace has Risen up around the Tuxedo in halos, and the Tuxedo has bled into the Peace fairly dramatically, turning it a light bluish purple.
  • Opal Yellow spreads out on top of Peace. When Peace is used on top of Opal Yellow, the edges of it turn a pinkish colour. When Opal Yellow is used on top of Peace, in additon to the spreading an interesting translucent outline and white line effect appears around the Opal Yellow stringer lines and dots. Opal Yellow seems to cause Peace to separate slightly.

Here's a fun bead with Peace - I used it in the flower cane and as the base glass for the flower petals.

June 23, 2012

Test Results :: Gooseberry

1 - w/ Silver Leaf, 2 - w/ Silver Leaf (reduced & encased), 3 - Over Silver Foil, 4 - w/ Silver Glass Frit (reduced), 5 - w/ TerraNova2 Frit, 6 - w/ Silver Glass Frit Stringer, 7 - Plain, 8 - Plain (reduced), 9 & 10 - w/ Tuxedo, Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory, Peace

CiM Gooseberry is a yellowish green moonstone colour. It is very similar to Mojito in hue, but is milkier. Its reactions are also fairly similar to the reactions I observed when I tested Mojito, however they are more intense... Gooseberry is a very reactive colour.

Gooseberry doesn't boil, bubble or do any other annoying things while you're melting it. I like this in a transparent.

Other testers have reported that striking Gooseberry makes it milkier, and I experienced that as well. The other thing I noticed is that striking it (in the case of the bead on the right, above, in a reducing flame) also makes it less yellow.

Silver leaf melted into the surface of Gooseberry (left, above) makes the Gooseberry turn a dark brownish burgundy colour. The silver itself turns a bluish green. This is a pretty neat effect.  When the silver is reduced and encased, most of that neat effect disappears, but it does turn a goldish green in places and form a reflective 'blanket'.

When Gooseberry is used over Silver Foil, the Silver Foil turns a deep, rich, coppery colour.

Reducing silver glass frit over Gooseberry is beautiful. In the bead on the left, above, I really like the odd webbing that developed in the middle of the pieces of frit, the outline that developed around it and the gorgeous colours I got. We can't say the same thing about the gross, dull mess my TerraNova2 frit turned. So, my tentative hypothesis is that Gooseberry is a better base for reducing silver glass than it is for the striking colours. You can see in the bead on the right that my futile attempts to strike the TerraNova2 frit have made the Gooseberry go a little milky.

This is silver glass frit stringer made with Gooseberry and my reducing silver glass frit blend, applied over a core of Gooseberry and then encased with Effetre Clear. I got great streaky striping from the frit when used with Gooseberry, although the effect is a little dark.

The reactions here are dramatic, but simple to talk about.

Gooseberry has made Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory and Peace all separate, both when it is used on top of the colours and when those colours are used on top of it. This effect is particularly dramatic with Copper Green and Opal Yellow.

June 19, 2012

Test Results :: Striking Orange

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

Effetre Striking Orange is a medium orange transparent colour with reddish overtones.

Striking Orange goes clear when it's hot, and only after heating and cooling it does the orange colour reappear. That said, it's not difficult to strike this colour - it happens naturally as you work it. My spacer beads were cooled and reintroduced to the flame before popping them into the kiln, but I didn't intentionally try to NOT get the colour so I'm not sure what would have happened if I just wound them onto the mandrel, melted them out and then garaged them.

On the whole, I found this colour easier to strike than the Striking (Electric) Yellow, because I used the same approach with the spacers I made for that colour's test results with much less impressive results.

Silver is very interesting with Striking Orange. First, the addition of silver seems to have significantly darkened its colour. Second, the silver has gone navy blue in both of these test beads. Where the silver is reduced and encased, the blue is a little more obvious and a little softer, but it is definitely pronounced on both beads.

Silver glass is also pretty interesting on top of Striking Orange. I got beautiful, vibrant blues out of my reduction frit on top of this colour. The TerraNova2 frit didn't strike to the vibrant blues and greens that I love so much, but it spread out beautifully on top of this colour and got some beautiful variegated colours in it. This is a win.

Striking Orange and Copper Green form a mutual dark line reaction. This is most evident in the bead on the left, where Striking Orange has been used on top of Copper Green. In the bead on the right, the Copper Green has a weird three-dimensional effect because of the dark line, and then the way the grey film has developed on top of the Copper Green with a slight gap between it and the dark line reaction. This is pretty cool.

The only other thing that's happened here is that on top of Striking Orange, a very slight amount of separation has occurred in the Opal Yellow, Ivory and Peace on top of Striking Orange. However, the amount of separation is barely worth mentioning except to point out that trying to use any of these colours to do stringer work over Striking Orange will result in some mottling that you may or may not want in your final result.

I really like the way Striking Orange looks over Ivory. I am going to try those colours together in an encased floral.

Here's a fun bead with Striking Orange. I used it in the flower cane.

June 15, 2012

Test Results :: Blue Moon

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 and Peace

CiM Blue Moon is a transparent blue limited run colour that is similar to Sapphire, although it is a little less saturated and quite a bit greyer. It is quite a bit darker than CiM Caribbean. Blue Moon is a very well-behaved transparent colour. I experienced no shocking, no splintering, no boiling and no scumming up while using it. What a treat!

The colour of Blue Moon in thin layers is a beautiful, greyish blue. In small, self-coloured spacers, Blue Moon is so dark that it looks almost black, however in thin layers over clear and other light colours it lightens up significantly. Blue moon is also barely reactive, meaning that it is a nice, stable WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) colour.

In the bead on the left, Silver Leaf on top of Blue Moon has spread a little, and has formed a greyish crust. When the silver is reduced and encased, it goes a blueish white colour.

Here, with silver glass, Blue Moon is not very remarkable. The reduction silver glass looks sort of flat on top of it (as it does on most blues) and the TerraNova2 frit didn't really get jump started.

I didn't really get any reactions at all between Blue Moon and the other colours I tested it with. I'm not sure this has ever happened to me before and I'm not really sure how to handle it.  lol.

Peace separated a little on top of Blue Moon, that's seriously the only thing I see here. And I don't know how remarkable it is because Peace seems to react with everything I test.

June 12, 2012

Test Results :: Light Turquoise

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

Effetre Light Turquoise is a medium turquoise opaque colour. It is very sensitive to flame chemistry, and is very reactive with Ivory and other sulfur colours.

Because I mainly make organic beads, this kind of opaque colour doesn't really do much for me. It's not neutral enough to use as a base colour in my organics, and it doesn't do enough fun streaky spready things to really be fun for me. My favourite things to do with Light Turquoise, at the moment, are to bury it as the core of my vine cane or in the middle of a big bead overlaid with a dark transparent. Both Effetre Light Turquoise and Dark Turquoise are especially annoying to me because of the grey film that develops on their surface. They are nice underneath other colours, and if you layer them under something else, they don't film up.

Here I have made two Light Turquoise spacers. The one on the left was made in a more or less neutral flame  (I'm on a Minor, with a 5lpm oxycon), and you can see how a greyish film has developed on most of the surface. This film can be removed in a number of ways - you will read in online forums about how it can be removed by soaking the beads in Coca Cola, by soaking them in CLR or Lime Away or any number of other household chemicals. I like CLR - an hour or so of soaking in that and the film is gone, but haven't had much luck with the Coca Cola method.

The bead on the right was reduced, and in addition to the greyish film, it has also developed a pinkish coating. This pinkish 'reduction' coating can't be removed by soaking in anything because it is the copper crystals in the turquoise rising to the surface. Once you've done this to your Light Turquoise, unless you get it nice and hot in an oxygenated flame and can burn the reduction film off, you're stuck with it.

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know that I always test with Copper Green, and that Copper Green also has this unfortunate habit of filming up, but that when it is used with some colours, that film doesn't appear. The same is likely true of Light Turquoise, although I didn't really do a lot to test that theory. If you are reading some of my other tests and come across a colour that seems to have kept Copper Green free of the blechy grey film, it is worth a try to combine that colour with Light Turquoise to see what happens. Copper Green has redeeming qualities that Light Turquoise does not, in spite of this unfortunate tendency. I will tell you all about them in a future blog post!

With silver, Light Turquoise is not very attractive. Both on the surface of the bead and under clear after reducing, the silver looks sort of a greyish greenish yellow colour. Where the silver was left on the surface, it does seem to have done some interesting things - you can see one area of the bead where there has been some darkening and veining of the Light Turquoise - however while it is a little odd and worth notice, I'm not sure I'd do it on purpose.

One of the nicer things that happens when you encase Light Turquoise is that the greyish film doesn't accumulate on its surface.

Silver glass is just 'ok' on Light Turquoise. Light Turquoise neither seems to do anything to help the colour along nor hurt it, but the colour of the Light Turquoise doesn't do anything for me when combined with either the reduction frit blend or the TerraNova2.

In terms of reactions, the most pronounced one in this set of results is the dark line that Light Turquoise develops when used with Ivory. Everyone already knows about this reaction, so I haven't exactly broken new ground here.

On top of Light Turquoise, Peace and Opal Yellow both separate slightly and the dots and stringer lines have a pronounced three-dimensional effect. This reaction is more evident with Opal Yellow than with Peace.

The only other thing worth pointing out is that Light Turquoise on top of Tuxedo and Light Turquoise on top of Peace look like two completely different colours. I'm not sure why this is the case, but when I look at the bead on the left, above, it is difficult for me to process the idea that I was using the same colour on both ends of the bead. I don't know if this is because of a reaction or if it's just what happens when you use Light Turquoise on top of a very light colour vs. a very dark colour.  You can decide.

I used Light Turquoise as the base colour in this bead, underneath a layer of CiM Midnight.

And this little set is Light Turquoise with Ivory and Tangerine Sparkle, a touch of SiS, and a smidgen of Light Teal.

June 8, 2012

Test Results :: Berry Punch

1 - Plain, 2 - Plain (reduced), 3 - Over Clear, 4 & 5 - w/ Tuxedo, Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory and Peace, 6 - w/ Silver Leaf, 7 - w/ Silver Leaf (reduced & encased), 8 - Over Silver Foil, 9 - w/ Silver Glass Frit (reduced), 10 - w/ TerraNova2 Frit

CiM Berry Punch is a Limited Run, and is a medium amethyst colour. I haven't tested CiM Simply Berry yet, but this colour seems somewhat lighter and pinker than that one. I haven't tested the Effetre Amethysts yet either, but in the rod, this colour seems less pink than those ones.

On top of Berry Punch, silver disperses and in some places takes on a blue colouration. When the silver is reduced an encased, it looks both blue and grey and sort of pretty.

Both reducing and striking silver glass do OK on top of Berry Punch. These results are not overwhelmingly beautiful, but they show that Berry Punch can hold and help both striking and reducing silver glasses. The results for the striking silver glass aren't as beautiful as with some other colours (e.g. Dark Grass Green) but they are significantly nicer than what I've managed on many of the other colours I've tried.

Berry Punch and Copper Green have a bit of a reaction. When Berry Punch is on top of Copper Green, it develops a light outline. When Copper Green is used on top of Berry Punch, it develops a thin, shiny outline. Copper Green gets a greyish sheen when used with Berry Punch -- or perhaps it is more accurate to say that Berry Punch is not one of the colours that seems to help stave this off.

Peace and Opal Yellow both separate on top of Berry Punch, developing a pronounced, textured outline. In the case of Peace, the outline is somewhat shiny.

I like this colour a lot. It's an airy purple, it's well behaved, and it has some fun reactions. The colour of it reminds me of purple Gatorade.