5 New colors from Effetre.
With this new Shipment, here are 3 new variations of classics.
I like shooting beads on a white background. It provides a uniformed look with other photos, background colors don’t interfere and it allows me to easily isolate the the bead in Photoshop for compositions like ads or banners. But one problem I come across from time to time is losing the details in the edge of the bead. This usually happens because the bead itself is pale and it looks like the white is swallowing the bead.
After some experimenting I came across a simple solution. I place a large piece of black cardboard behind it out or frame. By doing this it ads enough dark reflection to define the edges on the light background.
As you can see in these examples the edges are more defined. Which makes it easier to adjust the contrast with out losing detail.
After photographing some Dichroic Scraps and I discovered something I wanted to share.
The Dichroic Scraps will be on sale in the Fun House so they needed some photos. The scarps were of dichroic on clear. I had a problem was when I was photographing them on white I was loosing all detail.
So what I did was place a black piece of foam-core out of frame to see if I could get a little contrast and something really cool happened. The color on the Dichroic Scraps jumps out.
Here is what append when I placed a black piece of foam-core behind it.
As you can see it made an amazing difference. So if you’re having problems photographing dichroic beads try putting something dark next to it out of frame.
One of our customers, Joy Munshower, posted some wonderful torso beads made with the Effetre glass rod colors ( Sunset, Alexandrite, Green Tea, Earth, Dark Ivory, and Neptune) and Vetrofond glass rod ( Topaz ODD ). They were such great examples of these colors I thought I would share them in this blog.
The murrini used were by Donna Millard
I would like to see this bead in person because Effetre Alexandrite shifts hue slightly with different light.
This Green Tea bead looks like it was sculpted out of a Marble.
For more images check out her Facebook page.
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.|
What is a Cotisso? Having never heard the name Cotisso before, I had to do some research to find out what they were talking about at the Effetre factory. It seems that this is the name they use to refer to a chunk of glass that here in the U.S is called glass cullet.
So why am I talking about cotisso’s (A.K.A. cullet)? Because when Mike went over to Europe last October, he got the factory to let him pick out a bunch of different colors of these intriguing chunks of glass and Frantz Art Glass is now offering some of them up for sale.
I think cotisso’s are fabulous looking and look like surreal chunks of precious minerals. I got a big batch of cotisso’s a decade ago after pestering the factory manager endlessly to let me pick out some chunks to include in the glass shipment we were working on at that time while we were on Murano, Italy.
I love the cotisso’s that I have and I set them on my worktables, in windows in my studio and house. I also manicured several choice chunks by smoothing the sharp edges with a handheld dremel and I use them in my booth display when I sell my beads because the cotisso’s add such a delicious splash of glistening color to my bead display.
You may ask why I smooth the edges of the glass chunks I have in my bead display and it is because they are so beautiful, people want to touch them. To prevent anyone accidentally cutting themselves on a shape edge, I took a grinding tip mounted in a dremel tool and smoothed the less friendly edges off the glass chunks.
Another question I kept asking the manager at the Effetre factory is what do they keep them for? The answer turned out to be very interesting! When they measure out a new, from scratch batch of glass ingredients, it is all in powder form and is very slow to warm and melt into glass. They introduce a few chunks of cotisso’s of the color that is being melted and the solid mass of the cotisso heats up much faster than the powder and speeds up the entire melt.
When the factory is done pulling rods from a new batch of glass in one of their furnaces, they move the last of the glass batch to a shallow cast iron bowl while it is molten hot and they set it outside on their patio and let the glass air cool. The glass naturally fractures while it is cooling in the iron bowls and when it is completely cool, their turn the bowl over and dump the chunks of glass out onto the concrete patio.
Sometimes, the piles of cullet are very tall and they look especially beautiful when they are transparent and the sun shines through the glass sitting in the sun.
Don’t miss this chance to get a beautiful unique cotisso for yourself.
There are a number of gorgeous glass colors made by Effetre that have an annoying tendency to devitrify while you are working them in a torch flame. I had been plagued with this problem for years and was so frustrated by it that I avoided using any of the devitrifying colors. 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
Frantz Art Glass & Supply currently has a sale going on for a bunch of glass colors in conical form. Any glass color that has conical rods in the batch is indicative that the glass color was handpulled and not machine made. The conical rods are the part of the glass pull that is closest to the punty, thus the strange shape. Read more
I recently paid a visit to Double Helix Glassworks to ask Jed (glass maker extraordinaire) some questions on how to get good color out of some of his more challenging palette.
I bet I am not the only person who finds using the new silvered glass colors a little frustrating sometimes. I look online and see fabulous beads that some people managed to make out of the silvered glass colors and say to myself, I ought to try that. It is a bummer when I do try colors like Luna, Pandora and Khaos, to mention a few and all I manage to make is poop colored beads with no flashing colors of blue, teal, ruby and purple.
When I asked Jed what I was doing wrong, I got a lecture on how the crystal growth manifests in the heated glass. What it boiled down to was that I was over working the glass when I made a bead. Apparently if you take a bead that has transitioned into the tan – poop brown color range, you should heat it all the way to clear and take it out of the flame and cool it until it is not glowing and then just kiss the bead with the edge of the flame way out on the tip to bring out the desired colors.
I think a beadmakers working style and the type of torch and fuel they use has some major effects on the out come, but I have seen beautiful silvered glass beads made on all types of torches. Jed also suggested that turning up the oxygen when I work silvered glass colors could produce better results.
I have better luck with the silvered glass colors that you reduce to bring up the metals to the surface like Triton and Aurae. It took me awhile to figure out how to get good results with Psyche and I made a major breakthrough when I discovered that Psyche worked really well when it was used over Opal Yellow, Dark Ivory and a new Vetrofond “Odd” color called ELO. Dark Ivory gives a more organic look to the beads when used with the silver colors because it produces heavy webbing with black lines in it. I have become an avid fan of ELO since it arrived from Italy because many of the silvered glass colors look fabulous when you use ELO as the base for the bead. Instead of the heavy webbing that Dark Ivory produces, ELO gets warm sepia fuming on the surface of the bead that is just plain yummy and the silvered glass colors glow on this particular “odd” glass.
Double Helix Glassworks has been producing more new glass colors of late like Clio and Ekho that start out looking like a transparent lavender glass and change tobeautiful lustered ruby colors – yum!