Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Beads, Crappy Photos

I tried my striking glass last night and put it directly into the kiln, hot. The rubino oro kept it's beautiful transparency, the opaline rose stayed a bit darker, but one of them turned a different color. I SWEAR I used the same rod for all of them, maybe I let it cool too much before putting it away in the kiln. Who knows. I can use it somewhere.

I wanted badly to make dark ivory curdle or "crackle". I wasn't incredibly successful, now I have just a plain set of ivory dotted lentil beads that I think I will etch.

These beads are all still on the mandrels, pic's of them later.

I put a whole bunch of new beads finally up on Etsy. What a chore!

Lapis Blue Lentil Set

This set is such a pretty blue. This pic will likely look lighter than the real thing. I tried everything I could to capture the likeness of the deep royal blue of this set. The color is a medium lapis/lapiz blue which in certain light is almost a purple because of the red undertones (that seem to have been stripped out in the photography process). So while this pic is still pretty, it doesn't do it justice. Or, more likely, I just take crappy pictures.
The greenish band around the middle is an iris orange raku frit blend that I got in San Antonio. I really like the way it spread and bloomed over the petroleum green strip I placed around the middle of the lentil bead.
The lentil in the picture looks large, but in reality it is only the size of a dime. Small beads are cool!

Strange Purple Passion Lentil Set
I love to encase colors with clear. It seems to take forever though. A layer of clear shines up and magnifies everything underneath. The opaque colors are forever encased in a glass bubble and the effect is striking!
This bead has a base of ivory that looks more white than anything now that it's encased. The light purples are Moretti/Effetre "special" purple #254, otherwise known as EDP or "Evil Devitrifying Purple". It can do evil things to clear if allowed to spread but I was lucky...this time.

Frosty Red Heart Set

I was trying to roll a disk or a small bead and did something dumb that was going to mess the whole thing up. I stared at the pathetic football-shaped lump on my mandrel and realized that I could add some clear glass and make a heart. Then it looked boring where I added the clear glass because the red was only at the bottom half of the bead. I know, I'll make little flowers and tie it all in! Great idea, but I could have picked up a contrasting color at least. So to make the flower "show up" i coated it with white glue before I etched the entire bead. The heart came out frosty, and when I removed the glue, the flower was still shiny and shows up a lot better. I was lazy and didn't put flowers on the accent rondelles.

Copper Canyon Set
I wanted to make an "earthy" bead, but I feel challenged when it comes to mixing organic and earthy colors. I started with a ball of ivory. Ivory is a good basic earthy color, kind of fluffy and off-white. Then a light brown. What's more earthy than brown? In fact, this pic looks a little lighter than the actual brown which really is an earth brown, like dirt. I couldn't resist playing in the dirt so I added a transparent topaz color to add depth and bring luminance to the dirt. It didn't turn out too bad. The blue stripe or "river" around the center is copper green. Well, it's a green with copper in it anyway. It reacted and spread nicely when I applied it to the ivory. I was hoping for something a little more spectacular but rivers in the desert southwest are often not much more than a trickle most of the time anyway.
I etched the beads because "shiny" and "earthy" were just not going to go together in this set. The etching left a nice satin surface and the beads remind me of tiny Native American clay pots, you know, the kitschy, trashy ones found in tourist spots, not the real ones, the colors are too bright. The colors are superb with copper so I threw on some copper spacer beads for effect. A pretty nice set if I do say so myself. Now I just want a set like this with a crackle surface. Back to the torch, I guess.

Itty-Bitty Etched Yellow Beads

This color was supposed to be a light lemon yellow. Well, I guess it is. I was hoping for more of a light buttery pastel yellow. That's what color the rod was. Of course the finished product doesn't always resemble the rod color.

Also, Moretti/Effetre yellows are know to be kind of poopy. The yellow colors just don't pop like they should (that's pop, not poop). Yellow is a special hand-mixed and hand-pulled color that is often different from batch-to-batch. I ordered another brand/color. We'll see what happens then.

Itty-Bitty Etched Blue Beads
These beads are truly robin's egg blue, but without the speckles. Speckles could be fun. This pretty much completes the spring colored rondelles that I just HAD to make for some reason. The blue and yellow beads were last. They kept breaking and splitting on me from cooling too fast, it is just the type of glass they're made from. Batch annealing wasn't good to these colors. They didn't like cooling off too quickly, like in an hour or so snuggled into a fiber blanket. I think I lost six of the blue ones and, I think, six of the yellow ones before I could properly kiln-anneal them. They just shocked and split. The surviving beads are nice and durable. They can survive a fall to the tile floor from the countertop. THAT'S why beads are annealed for "strength and durability".

Whew! Is that all of it? Hmmmm, seemed like I did so much more. It's a lot of work! Creating the beads, annealing them, removing them from the mandrels, cleaning the bead holes with a rotary tool, etching some of them, measuring and grouping them, stringing them together and photographing them, fixing the #$@&(#* photographs the best I can, signing on and plodding through the screens to post them...I'm brain-dead now. Bleah.

1 comment: