Saturday, November 9, 2013

Color Testing - Gaffer Clear

A couple weeks ago the Gaffer Gals from Gaffer Glass USA had a booth at the Northwest Bead Society Bazaar and they brought samples of their new 104 COE Clear. They wanted us to check it out and I got to my torch is try it out. The striped beads above are CIM commando, peace and Effetre medium red cased in Gaffer Clear. It had a nice working consistency. It was butter soft and melts really smoothly. I didn't have any scumming, but did some little seed bubbles, but they seem to have disappeared once on the beads.It has nice optic clarity and depth.

I have to say that so many lampworkers use the silver glass from Double Helix, Precision, TAG, etc that I really wish that this clear worked better with the silver colors. It turned my Clio green.  I had very limited amount of sample, so I only used it over clio. I'm not sure how it reacts with other silver colors, but suspect will be similar given how silver colors are made. The beads below on the left side are the Gaffer clear over clio (which is over opal yellow). For some reason it was super hard to catch the green in the photo, but the bead on the top is even more green than on the photo. The larger bead on the bottom has significantly less green so much so that you can barely see it, but is over all "muddy" to my eyes, like there is a greenish tinge over the bead. If worked right, it could be ok if you could control the green.  The center of the large bead is partially the opal yellow showing through and is enhanced by the green tinge.  On the smaller bead the top has a green cast over the pink, which gives an OK color to the clio, but the bottom is full on chartreuse green (much more so in person) and it is metallic in real life as well. Really ugly, muddy and not sell-able. It is the same issue that Aether gives with clio, I hunted  for a photo and finally found one, on the right below. At the very bottom is Clio with Effetre clear or zephyr and it is the bright pink we know and love.

Finally thoughts: YAY nice clear over regular colors, NO over Clio. 

I don't know when this will be available nor the price, but if a decent price, will get for casing non silver colors.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

7.3 Bead Soup Blog Party

This is my soup for the 3rd reveal of the 7th Bead Soup Party Blog, well, most of it. I got my great soup from my partner, Brandy Thomason McNair of Bella Vita Jewelry. Click here to check out her jewelry with my beads. I say this is most of the soup as I was so in love with some of the beads I made my jewelry piece before I took the photo (bracelet below). The little green chips on the top are Kyanite. I think the green rounds are jade, maybe....they were in a baggie labeled "?" along with the lovely purple stones. The focal is a faceted bamboo agate. There are some handmade charms in copper and brass and some antique buttons.
Here is a close up of the handmade charms Brandy made. I haven't made anything with these yet; I'm ashamed to say. I will use them, I promise. I think I'll add the little WA charm to my bracelet, see below.

This necklace uses the rings that Brady labeled "Vintage". I think they maybe Lucite or Bakelite, I'm not sure. I usually like to make beads to use with my focal piece and that was an issue this year. The focal bead was a lovely large bamboo agate (see below). It is a lovely white stone, but with a lot of grey. I made at least three sets of lampwork beads to go with it and they did not match at all. The beads above were they 3rd set I made. I used silvered ivory glass to get the grey and yellow colors, but they were just too dark, but I thought they looked great with the warm yellow rings. Brandy also sent a copper clasp, so I wired wrapped the beads with copper wire and used a long copper chain. I added rings of coiled green wire to bring out the green in the beads. I think I should have either gone without the rings or more asymmetrical (but I have a really hard time making asymmetrical items).  The cain doubles through the rings so there is a length option. I used my torch to patina the copper with fire for blues and purple colors, but it didn't really stay on the wire when I manipulated it. I think I may patina with either LOS or vinegar. I'm not sure if the green/blue color made with the vinegar will clash with the green in the glass beads (I can always change out the green coils to match better or use a contrasting color or take them out all together).

Here are the stones and antique button I snatched out of the package and made into a wrap bracelet immediately. So quickly that I have misplaced the baggie that had the name of the stones. Brandy, little help with these? I just love them.

Here is my focal bead, the bamboo agate. It is so lovely and I'm not happy with what I have done. I focused so long on making matching beads, I kind of didn't come up with other ideas.  I have not done any wire wrapping before, so I took a shot. I think the shot missed by quite a bit. Oh boy, what a sad little pendant.....  Of course, I should have used the stones I used to make the bracelet, look how perfect they are together...

Many thanks to Lori for organizing the blog hop and CLICK HERE to find all the other blogs.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Honey Mustard vs Opal Yellow

Another color testing thread from me. I read a post by DragonJools about a newish color from CIM called Honey Mustard. As soon as I could get some I ordered it from Frantz. I was intrigued by her comments about Opal Yellow and this color having some of the similar properties, especially with EDP. I made some of these lentils that I last made in 2006. What I liked about these beads is that the EDP reacts with the Opal Yellow to form a bright orange color where they meet. In this set the center three beads are made with Opal Yellow and the three on the far left are Honey Mustard (the three on the right I can't remember). I think the bright yellow and orange color is similar in both, but a tad more orange on the Opal Yellow. The Honey Mustard didn't get as pink as the Opal Yellow, however, because I can't tell on the other three, it is really close.   Click on the photo to find these beads on Etsy.

Here is a focal on the left with the Honey Mustard (HM) and Intense Black IB) and the other two are some older Opal Yellow (OY) and Intense Black beads.  It is a little hard to compare these exactly as I find that Intense Black worked differently on my Hot Head torch that I know the 2004 bead was made on (can't remember on the 2007).  I found that the IB didn't web as much on the HM, but more like a spreading all over the bead. You can see some cool blue and green colors on the HM bead and I think that is worth trying to replicate. You can see similar colors on the top OY bead.  The yellow colors are very similar and I did get some pink blush on the HM bead, which is encouraging.

 I am not an official color testing for any glass companies, so my opinions are mine alone.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Color Comparasion

I bought a newish color from CIM called Laguana. I tested it against Mermaid. It is so smiliar, I'm not sure it is worth getting both colors (especially when the price at Frantz for the Laguana is more than the Mermaid)..  The mermaid is on the left on these beads and the Laguana is on the right. I would say that Lagunana is an odd lot of unique Mermaid . It is about 1/2 shade lighter than Mermaid. It is, as most of the CIM colors, nice and creamy and buttery soft.  It is a lovely color.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Aspire to Wire #14 Corralled Bangle

This is my "Corralled Bangle" from my Aspire to Wire course. I am way behind as I caught the crud last week. I finally got to this one. It is really cute and I just love it with my chevron necklace. I was worried that the bracelet would not fit my wrist, which I suspect is larger than the bracelet was designed for, but I wanted to make it to see how much larger I needed to go. I am out of 16 gauge wire so I used. 18 gauge. To my astonishment, the bracelet is PERFECT for my wrist. It is the most perfectly sized bracelet I have ever made (I typically make them too large). The only thing I don't like is that the support silver pieces are too long. I think next time I would use a shorter wire or larger loops (or try fine silver and ball the ends (which would be hard on the one side...)