flameworking glass review
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!
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.
For all those flameworkers out there who bemoan the absences of the handpulled color from Moretti/Effetre called “Dark Teal”, rejoice! Dark Teal has not been available for some time now, but one of the new CiM Unique “Great Bluedini” colors is a dead ringer for the long lost Dark Teal. 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
When you click on the Web Gallery, a web page appears that shows links for the three different sections of the web gallery that are Focal Beads, Spacer Beads and Strands. Click on one of the choices and you will be taken to a page of thumb (small images) to pick from. When you click on a thumb image, a large image will appear with a list of the different glass colors that were used in that bead and the glass colors are linked to the Frantz Art Glass web page for easy purchase, plus pertinent information on how the bead was made. Read more
Zachary is what some people call baby blue, but it can also be called a very pale periwinkle. When you compare regular Periwinkle with Zachary, Zachary is 50% lighter than Periwinkle. I like the results I got by pairing Zachary with Cranberry Pink (used in the form of a rose cane), with a little goldstone ribbon thrown in the mix for some flash.
The Great Bluedini kind of looks like a transparent version of Mermaid and could be describe as a rich dense blue-green. In fact when you pair Great Bluedini with Mermaid, it makes both colors pop. I made a white heart out of Great Bluedini and decorated it with roses out of Cranberry Pink and some goldstone ribbon, with good results.
To see how Great Bluedini worked as a core color, I made a dichroic covered heart pendant with a core of Great Bluedini and I really like how it came out. I tried several more beads out of Zachary and Great Bluedini to show how these colors look in different arrangements and you can view them below.
I am writing about the Effetre Silver and Zucca Glass for Lampworkers colors named “The Silver Challenge 7 Rod Assortment”, which were given out or sold with orders placed in mid-November. I am urging everyone who got this glass to please send in photos of their results (good or bad), so that they can be entered into the raffle for a box of rare glass from Mike’s vault.
A beadmaking friend, Sue Stewart and I both did test beads and I am posting different examples of what we got from these new colors. We want to see what everyone else made out of these new colors.
I liked the Silver #4 the best out of the four silver colors and I really like the yellow and orange colors from this group. Listed below are the names and reference numbers for the “Silver Challenge 7 Rod Assortment”.
- Silver #1 – 591718
- Silver #2 – 591719
- Silver #3 – 591720
- Silver #4 – 591721
- Yellow Ocra – 591411
- Lt. Zucca – 591425
- Dark Zucca – 592426
BTW Sue Stewart is teaching several different classes at Frantz Art Glass focusing on techniques for using silver glass in beadmaking.
Aventurine Marron is the Italian name for a specialty glass the Americans call Goldstone. Before I got into lampworking I would see cut stones and beads made out of goldstone in lapidary shops and I have always thought it was really cool looking glass.
Frantz Art Glass buys its goldstone/aventurine from Effetre, but on one trip to Murano, Italy we found out that Effetre didn’t actually make the goldstone, but instead was a middle man for another glass company. This lead us on an adventure to find out where and how it was made because we were looking for a source for larger chunks (fist size boulders), so that we could offer a larger range of goldstone piece sizes.
The formula for making adventurine /goldstone has been a much guarded secret through the ages in Europe. The story goes that it was originally developed by glass making monks, but I can’t say how accurate this charming tale is. I know for sure that the goldstone we buy from Effetre is made in a glass factory in Northern Italy.
One of the reasons that this particular type of glass is so expensive is the fact that when they make a crucible of goldstone, only one third of the batch is “A” quality with the familiar bright flakes in it. The other two parts of the batch are “B” quality that has a lot of veins of brown in it and the last third is waste and they have to break the crucible off the glass when it has cooled, so they lose the crucible ever time they make a batch and crucibles are expensive.
You can get goldstone/aventurine to use in five sizes from powder to large chunks that you can use as is or process into what ever stringer or cane you like. Last year we were fortunate to obtain a batch of specially made goldstone ribbon cane that was made by a glass artist that we know on Murano. Recently we received another batch of ribbon cane and this batch is really great! It is thicker, brighter and easier to use than the last batch and I have been enjoying using it.
The ribbon cane is really nice to use because it has a very thin coat of clear glass over the goldstone which keeps the ribbon cane looking brilliant even when exposed to high heat. I learned the hard way that to get goldstone from pieces to look bright after being torched, it is best to have a thin layer of clear glass over it. When I first started messing around with goldstone, I would have the raw goldstone in the flame and it would turn kind of khaki brown-green with almost no sparkle to it – very disappointing!
Aventurine/goldstone comes in a few other colors which the most common are blue and green, though I have seen red goldstone in the past. You have to be careful with the really rare colors of goldstone because sometimes it is not compatible.
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.
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.