Archive for October 2009
here are three New Colors from CiM this week, that were made at the request of the lampworking community. The new colors are:
- Poison Apple
I have had the pleasure to make beads with these three new colors this week and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with the results of my experimenting.
In rod form, Poison Apple looks very translucent bright green, but as you work it in the heat it becomes denser and loses some of its translucent look. The first bead I made with it was a straight forward Sangre (red) and Poison Apple (green) short bicone with a band of goldstone ribbon cane and red opaque bumps. I got many comments that the bead looked very Christmassy. The next bead I made had a core of Poison Apple with a band of reduced Triton that was twisted into swirls around the bead and encased in Aether. That combination really popped and the bead was both simple and flashy at the same time. I made an even bigger Poison Apple bead with a spiral wrap of reduced Triton that was swirled and encased with Aether. I really like this bead, it made me a lover of Poison Apple and I have never liked any of the greens similar to Poison Apple before.
The next big surprise was the Mink which is a medium opal brown. I have never seen any color in soft glass that looks like Mink and that alone makes it an important addition to the available glass color palette. I was wowed when I paired the Mink with goldstone ribbon cane and Sangre, it looks so good I wanted to eat it. I also made another bead with goldstone ribbon cane and reduced Triton around the middle and was really pleased with the results.
The last color is Mermaid which kind of looks like a cross between Petroleum Green and Dark Turquoise. This color has received the strongest positive response from most beadmakers and rightly so because it is beautiful and fills an empty place in the present glass color palette. I have made several beads out of Mermaid and I like them all.
There is a fourth color that arrived this week that is a remake of a previously released green called Commando. I was told by CiM that too many beadmakers complained that Olive and Commando were too close in hue, so Commando was reformulated and the result is a drab camouflage green that looks a lot like what the plant “Green Sage” really looks like. The reformulation of Commando has given the lampworking community yet another green thathasn’t been available until now which I think is great.
There are a lot of different ways to deal with encasing a glass bead. If you are new to lampworking, to encase a glass bead means to apply a medium to thick layer of a transparent glass over a bead core to enhance the design or protect a color reaction.
Frequently beadmakers are on a difficult quest to find the perfect clear to encase their beads, but there are many alternatives to using clear. There are a number of very pale transparent glass colors that work extremely well for encasing a glass bead.
I have spoken to many beadmakers that like to use pale transparent colors for encasing because these glass rods don’t seem to have as many clarity issues like scumming or tiny bubbles and scratches that come with working in clear glass.
I like to use the pale transparent glass colors as a color enhancing tool. I frequently encase my patchwork dichroic beads with a pale transparent to unify all the sparkling dichroic colors and tone them down just a little. Using a pale transparent glass encasement over a simpler core design can be very powerful and enhance the over all look of the glass bead.
I have been thinking about the holidays lately because of the weather change and I thought I would talk about Great Christmas Colors for lampworkers that I like for Christmas projects.
If you have made beads for any time at all, you are probably familiar with how difficult it can be to get a great Christmas red to make all your Christmas projects out of. In my experience as a lampworker, I found it next to impossible to find a transparent red that wasn’t too orange or that didn’t turned kind of brown after you worked it in the flame for a while. Not to worry, CiM – Messy Color has a great transparent red called Sangre, which is a true Christmas red.
Another great Christmas color that was just recently introduced by CiM – Messy Color is a transparent green called “OZ”, which as it turns out is a perfect green to pair with Sangre to produce the green and red that is the hallmark of most Christmas themes.
I have been making some snowmen for the holidays out of glass, and I think CiM – Messy Color “Peace” is a perfect white for making anything that is snow orientated. The combination of “Peace” and “Sangre” is perfect for making glass candy canes and other white and red holiday objects.
I have noticed that there are a lot of people who like to use frit in their lampworking projects and custom frit blends have been really popular for a long time. If you are one of these folks that like to use frit in their hot glass projects but would like to try some unusual frit or personal blends, there is a simple way to make small amount of frit for your own personal use.
The things you need for Making Your Own Custom Frit :
- Pair of lampworking glasses
- Pair of big mashers
- Jar of cold water
- Small fine wire strainer
- Good size slab of graphite (optional but nice to have)
- Some really thick brown paper or thin cardboard
- Dust mask (always a good thing to have on hand)
This whole process is really neat because you can take glass rods that you really like the color of, but there is no frit available and you can make your own in no time.
Make sure before you start that you have really cold water ready at your work area. Take a rod of the glass color you want to make frit out of and heat it in your torch until you have as big a ball of hot glass on the end of the rod that you can handle ( it is different for everyone). Take your mashers and flatten the ball to make a paddle and then return the paddle to the flame to totally reheat it but not melt it, this gets the paddle ready for the next part of the process.
Take your red hot paddle over to your ice cold water and plunge the paddle into the water, making sure that you have glasses on in case the water splatters a little. It seems too simple, but the plunging process fills the paddle with tiny fractures that cause the paddle to turn to frit.
Once you have made enough paddles to make the amount of frit you want, the next thing you do is take your strainer ( never reuse the strainer for food after this process, it should be for glass work only – find them at the thrift shop) and pour the water into another container. Some people like to use coffee cans for this process, but they do rust after a while.
Let the frit drain for a little while to get most of the water off of it. I take a graphite pad and I dump the frit on to the pad (wear your dust mask when you do this, even though the glass is wet) and spread it out as thin as you can. At this point you can either place it in the sun (if you actually have warm sun) or you can place the graphite pad on top of your kiln and use the heat the kiln gives off to dry the frit. Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, the kiln drying method is the one I use most.
After your frit is dry, you can use it as is or you can put it between two pieces of heavy paper (I save really heavy brown shipping paper or thin brown cardboard for projects like this) and lightly hit it with a hammer (wear your dusk mask for this process also). You don’t have to go crazy with the hammer because the glass is already filled with tiny fractures and will break down to smaller pieces fairly easily. I typically save portions of the frit from each phase of the hammering, so that I have an assortment of frit sizes to use.
All you have to do now Making Your Own Custom Frit is label and store any frit you don’t use immediately.
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