July 31, 2019

Test Results :: Strawberry Sweet


Vetrofond Strawberry Sweet (VET994) is no longer in production, but it is still available at many vendors. You could also try Effetre Spanish Leather if you are looking for something similar but can't find this particular colour. Strawberry Sweet's main advantage over Spanish Leather is that it is less shocky, but Spanish Leather is also a lovely colour and very close to it in hue.



Strawberry Sweet does not noticeably change colour when it is reduced.


Like many other colours in the Red-Orange-Yellow-Ivory colour family, this colour turns dark with the addition of silver, and silver turns beige and blue on top of it. Encasing this reaction darkens it slightly.


Strawberry Sweet makes an average base colour for silver glass. My reducing silver glass frit popped on it better than my TerraNova2 frit did.


Here, you can see that Strawberry Sweet and Copper Green have a reciprocal dark line reaction. Also, Strawberry Sweet separates a little on top of Opal Yellow and Ivory thins out at its edges when it is used on top of this colour. Apart from that, nothing really odd reactionwise happened in this colour test set.

Here are some other beads that include Strawberry Sweet.


July 18, 2019

Test Results :: Wisteria


Wisteria (CiM628) from Creation is Messy is a misty opal version of Crocus, and is officially the prettiest lavender that I've ever used. Because it is a limited run, maybe you didn't get any. I'm sorry about that - I didn't get very much either, but I will hope that it gets remade so that we can all have more. I have been thinking about whether or not I would still need Crocus if this colour were made more regularly, and decided that I wouldn't want to have to choose. I hope CiM produces more batches of both colours.


I got a few bubbles in these initial beads that I made, but Wisteria is not a bubbly colour. It works up with minimal fuss, and its colour stays true whether your flame is oxidizing or reducing.


Silver affects the colour, though, and you can see here how the application of silver leaf made the colour greyer. In the bead where I reduced and encased the silver, a lot of the grey was transformed into the silvery coating you can see under my clear layer.


Silver glass is pretty on top of Crocus.


And finally, Crocus is not very reactive with other colours. None of my usual combinations provoked any reactions from it, and the only thing worth noting here is how dull Copper Green looks on top of it.

Here are some beads I made with this pretty colour.


July 9, 2019

Test Results :: Eclectus Parrot


CiM Eclectus Parrot (CiM473) is a vibrant green opal. It's the juicy shade of lime Jell-o and completely fuss-free to work with.


The smaller bead looks darker here only because more of the dark background is showing through. Reducing Eclectus Parrot does not alter its colour.


Eclectus Parrot is not very reactive with silver. Silver stays silver underneath it, and when reduced and encased on top of it, the silver turns a whiteish colour with blue streaks through it.


Eclectus Parrot is a good base colour for striking silver glass.


Copper Green separates on top of Eclectus Parrot, and there is also a slight amount of separation in Opal Yellow, Ivory, and Peace when used on top of this colour.

I don't seem to have any other pictures of beads made with Eclectus Parrot. If I make more, or I find some pictures, I'll come back and update this.

July 5, 2019

Limited Palette Colour Challenge (June 2019)

I kicked off this summer with a challenge to myself and other lampworkers in the Limited Palette Challenge group on Facebook.  The premise of the challenge was simple. We could use only Black, White, and Light Turquoise in our beads, and the only tools we could use were mandrels and a graphite marver.  Our job was to create whatever beauty we could from three starkly different colours.


This is how I started. The colour I was allowed to use was laid out and ready - some for putting directly on the beads, and some, weighed and pre-cut, waiting for me to blend them.

Note the sad lack of clutter on my bench. No enameled stringer available, no stamps, no presses, not even a tweezer. The tweezer shortage was periodically a big bummer, but this was the start of quite a lot of fun.

Each session at the torch multiplied my palette as I mixed 3-4 new colours  from the three challenge colours at the start of every torching session:


The mixing has become a bit of a fetish, and I can't seem to stop. Here are all the colours I mixed as I moved through my 6 torching sessions. Some of these got mixed more than once, I liked them so much.


I'm particularly fond of the Dark Blue transparent I got by mixing Black and Dark Turquoise in a 1:1 ratio and the pinkish purple I got from mixing Black and White in a 1:8 ratio.

I made a video to help other challenge participants with colour mixing. If you are interested in seeing how I mix colours, you can find it at this link:
https://www.facebook.com/mecagra/videos/10156417219278697/
(sorry, for this one you will need to join the Limited Palette Challenge group on Facebook. Next time I make a video I'll post it on YouTube, but I'm still getting the hang of this.)

Here are the beads I made, grouped by the week I made them in:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Group Shot (All 4 weeks together)



I learned a lot about mixing colour, and had some neat design ideas for beads, but the most important things I learned last month doing this challenge were about myself.

I learned that:
  • I prefer to make beads with a really minimal set of tools, but a marver just isn't enough. Out of everything else I have sitting around, the only things I really missed all month long were my tweezers (serrated and tungsten types), my beading awl, my brass knife, my mini-mashers, and my jumbo roll-about mashers. All my other tools are just taking up space.
  • I really like mixing colours. A lot.
  • I'm slowly transforming from a big bead person to a small bead person.
  • It's not necessary to have a lot of colours, and I have more fun when I have fewer choices in front of me.
Anyway, that's what I've been up to.  If you feel like playing next time, join our Facebook Group :)