New Messy Colors (1-9-13)
|Sprout Ltd Run (511411)||Bloodstone Ltd Run (511110)|
Laguna Ltd Run (511514)
I became aware of the existence of a type of Italian decorative cane called “Zanfirico” the first time I visited Murano back in the early 1990’s. It is stored in the same warehouse at Effetre with the murrini cane and was a titillating eye candy experience.
Zanfirico is a hand pulled cane style that requires a lot of skill to produce and is very popular with the traditional glass blowers on Murano, who do beautiful blown glass pieces with ribbons of fine twisting colors in stunning vases, bowls and other glass objects.
Frantz Art Glass has had Zanfirico cane available for many years, but it was marketed as “Marble Stock” in our catalog and on our website. The colors of Zanfirico that Frantz had in the past was not as delightful as the new batch that is now available and there is a better selection of cane sizes to pick from with this new shipment.
Since there are all these new styles and colors of Zanfirico, I decided to see what I could do using this cane style to make beads. I had a lot of fun seeing how I could make fancy 2 mm stringers out of 15 to 20 mm thick pieces that were 2 – 2 ½ inch long of zanfirico cane. I heat these short thick pieces of zanfirico cane in my annealing kiln at 1000F and then pick them up out of the kiln with a glass punty that is heated at the pick-up end to sticky hot. I then transfer the zanfirico chunk to the torch flame and start warming it and add a glass punty to the other end. When the zanfirico chunk starts to get soft, I start to introduce more twists into the cane and when it is ready to pull out, I continue to add more twists to make them compact enough to look good in a bead. This treatment takes a little practice, but is well worth it.
While I was experimenting with the zanfirico cane, I discovered that some of the cane patterns actually looked better when I applied a 5 to 6 mm cane directly to a thin bead cylinder on a mandrel and heated and twisted the cane down as I melted it around the bead. This technique allowed me to use the cane in its’ full size which made the cane pattern larger and more visible and I really liked the results. Instead of wispy twisted patterns of color, I got beefy twists that were more dramatic.
If you like exotic stringers, I highly recommend trying some of this new shipment of zanfirico cane. It saves you from having to make it from scratch and it allows you to introduce details into your beads that are difficult to produce and very lovely to see.
|Blue spiral zanfirico over base of CiM Creamsicle with Peace and Cornflower dots||Blue spiral zanfirico over base of CiM Rose Quartz with an accent stringer of goldstone.|
|Pink spiral zanfirico stringer over bead made from Intense Blue.||Bead made with 6 mm zanfirico cane with multiple threads of blue and yellow that was warped around the mandrel and tips of Intense Blue were added for accents.|
|Blue spiral zanfirico stringer warped around a round bead made with CiM Pumpkin.||Round bead wrapped with 6 mm cane line zanfirico in black and white over a core of CiM Chalcedony.|
|Yellow line zanfirico over core of Intense Blue with dots of CiM Pumpkin and Cornflower, made with a 6 mm cane.||Pink line zanfirico over core of CiM Cornflower, made with a 6 mm cane.|
|Pink spiral zanfirico stringer over CiM Poison Apple.||Goldstone zanfirico with black line over a core of CiM Great Bluedini.|
|White line zanfirico stringer over CiM Tuxedo. When line zanfirico is pulled down to stringer size, the zanfirico can become very wispy.||Small round bead made with a 6 mm rod of blue spiral zanfirico.|
Oh Boy, its spring and Messy Color has come out with some wonderful new colors to add to their palette. There are two transparent and two opal colors and they are call Rainforest, Azure, Atlantis and Appletini.
- Rainforest – 511499
- Appletini – 511497
- Atlantis – 511598
- Azure – 511500
These new colors are yummy, yummy, yummy and I had a blast melting them to find out how they work when I made them into beads.
I made beads with silver foil cores that were encased with the two transparent colors Azure and Appletini and they came out great. I discovered that if you apply the encasement gather when it is too hot, it will yellow your foil. All I had to do to correct this problem was to apply the encasement gather just a little cooler than white hot and it didn’t yellow the silver foil.
Rainforest and Atlantis are both opal colors and I have to say that Messy Color has the nicest and easiest opal colors I have ever used to lampwork beads. These two new opals are succulent and I couldn’t help myself and I mixed dichroic into three of the beads I made with these new opal colors with good results.
Check out the beads I made out of these new Messy Colors and decide for yourselves, but I give them a huge thumbs up!
I have heard some talk on the beadmakers grapevine about problems keeping some of the beautiful opal colors that are available through CiM/Messy Color translucent and I decided to run some tests to see if I could find a resolution to this problem. If you don’t already know, to call a glass color “opal”, means that the glass has a translucent quality rather than being transparent or opaque.
I tested nine (9) of the opal colors from the CiM/Messy Color palette and got some interesting results. I tested Rose Quartz – 511907, Crocus – 511660, Chalcedony –511550, Ghee – 511346, Plum – 511658, Kyptonite – 511449, Poison Apple – 511487, Ming – 511562 and Electric Avenue – 511547.
To retain the translucent quality of these opal colors, I made clear beads and placed a very thin skin (less than 1mm thick) of the opal colors over the clear bead. I did this by melting a gather of an opal color and used the press and smear technique to spread the color over the clear bead, as many times as it took to cover the clear bead. I then marvered the bead smooth and used a mounted razor blade tool to create the final melon shape.
Out of the nine (9) colors that I tested, five (5) of them remained translucent and they were Plum, Rose Quartz, Ghee, Chalcedony and Crocus. The other four (4) colors that I tested went into the annealing kiln as translucent beads, but opacified slightly during the annealing cycle and they were only translucent in the grooves of the melon shape. The four (4) colors that opacified were Ming, Poison Apple, Electric Avenue and Kryptonite.
I am going to do further testing to see if I can come up with a way to keep the four colors that opacified, more translucent by blowing shards and covering the clear core bead with these to achieve a very thin layer of color.
I have seen different glass colors, both transparent and translucent from all the different glass factories manifest this characteristic of opacifiying in the flame or the annealing kiln, so it is not a problem that happens exclusively with CiM/Messy Colors. CiM/Messy Color has been the first company to carry a line of opal colors that are easier to use without all the scumming and black marks that I have experienced with the Italian opalino’s and I think they are great!
There have been some new interesting 104 C.O.E.glass colors coming from Troutman Art Glass lately and a new batch of one that is different than the original batches I used, which rocks! Read more
I have been experimenting for a while with using some of the denser Messy Color/CiM transparents as shards over clear beads to create brighter, lighter versions of these beautiful colors. Read more
In spring 2010, CiM began producing stringers of some of their more popular colors that would translate well to smaller diameters. Read more
Spring has brought an amazing number of new glass colors from the three big glass factories that supply Frantz Art Glass & Supply. Read more