Last week a little parcel dropped on my doormat from Tuffnell Glass it was full of exciting glass from CIM. They are from top to bottom in the photo above : Gypsy, Cobblestone, Mahogany, Heartthrob, Tiger Lily, Poppy, Cinnamon, Mint Chip, Ginger (I think! The rod was broken and unlabelled so I will check but it looks like Ginger!) Whisper , Bubble Bath, Trapeze, Ice Floe, Corination Day and Primrose.
My first impression of the bundle was the beautiful opal colours of the Bubble Bath and Whisper. The fantastic light purple of Trapeze, the subtle pastels of the Mint Chip and Ginger and the vibrant red of Heartthrob.
Next step to melt them down into beads to see how they behaved (From the right to left below the same glass as the list above)
The first glass in the flame was Bubble Bath which was abit shocky and spat all over my bench but after a gentle introduction to the flame it was fine. This glass is opal in look and had a slightly mottled finish once it had been through the kiln process.
Whisper was another opal rod which produced a mottled finish once cool but with the same opal feel to it. Primrose was another shocky rod but what a pretty pastel pink, not quite as intense as Gelly but lovely, another bead that might look lovely etched or tumbled and it created an even colour once cool so I suspect it would be great in layered beads.
The Cinnamon Jelly also became streaky in the flame and has a streaky finish when cool. Some people like this organic feel, personally I like my opaques to stay solid and clean so this one is not for me! The other three red/orange colours were different, Heartthrob was slightly shocky but boy what a stunning red, a truly vibrant, rich colour my favourite red of the bunch and I will be needing more.
For those of you that like the oranges the Tiger Lily melted like a dream and has a very slight opal finish...I wonder what it would be like layerd, I suspect it would be slightly transparent. The last red was the Poppy this glass also melted like a dream and like the Tiger Lily has a slightly opal finish when cool. It is a shame I had no more time to test these glasses in layers but I will try and find time to do that and blog but Poppy I also suspect would be slightly transparent.
The brown glasses were all deep and rich, that is the Cobblestone, Gypsy, Mahogany and the glass I suspect is Ginger. They all melted like a dream and each rod produced a solid colour bead. I again want to experiment more particularly with the Gypsy which is an intense black which even under daylight lighting I can detect no blue or purple in there by eye. The Ginger if that is what it is and I promise I will find out after the Bank Holiday was a beautiful colour perfect for a base colour and that and the beautiful Mint would look just fabulous etched I suspect. The Mahogany made my mouth water it is almost the same colour as beautiful rich milk chocolate and created a lovely block colour once cooled in a bead. (as seen above)
Let me mention at this point the Coronation Day (above), I was excited to see such a deep purple, the rod has a slightly opal look to it and indeed when it was melted it became streaky and the bead created had a streaky look to it to. A shame for me as I had my eye on it for some of my big layered beads but it was not to be!
Lastly the transparent Trapeze....what a fabulous colour and the Ice Floe. Trapeze melts and stays as it is in the rod a beautiful very light mauve. Ice Floe was a fascinating glass it created a finish that reminded my for the Foxs Glacier Mints of my childhood! Lots of tiny bubbles within the bead almost like it has boiled....although usually I don't like rods that create an uneven finish when melted this one is an exception and I think it may have some use in my coastal beads as it does indeed remind me of ice/water.
Usually I would make a few beads layering the colours together to see how they behave when they are put together but I was very short on time and I thought I would do something different this time. Opal colours in my experience can sometimes do lovely things with silver glass and that Trapeze was just asking to be mixed with some silver glass!
So the first mix I tried was with my favourite Kalypso which I applied over a base bead of Ice, lightly reduced and encased with 006 Clear. The effect was not as dramatic as I was expecting....but that is the thing with glass isn't it when you expect something it doesn't happen and when you don't it does!!
Next I made a base bead of Whisper, this beautiful opal I was convinced would do something special, then I topped with Aion 2 and lightly reduced and encased in clear. I still think there is something happening with this glass mix as you can see in the photo below and I will be testing it with other DH glass soon.
Last the star of the show I wanted to use my favourite colour in this batch which was the Trapeze but from experience felt it was to light to use as a base so I picked the other opal colour in the batch the Bubble Bath and made a small base bead. I then encased it in Clio and very lightly reduced it.....rather than going for clear I used the Trapeze to encase the lightly reduced bead and then applied a layer of clear......006 which I now wish had been a DH clear but will do that next time! The result was amazing......and completely by accident
The real difference was the application of a coloured transparent to the mix but this bead just glows I took it out of my photo set up which is daylight bulbs and popped it beside me on a bead mat and look at this......very little light at all and it is still glowing!!
So that is what I have discovered so far. The Swirl Technique you see in all these last beads is available as a tutorial in my Etsy Shop
I will pop up any further findings once I continue to play with these glasses but in the meantime race you to Tuffnell Glass to stock up on those opals and the lovely Trapeze and some Ginger and Mint and Hearthrob maybe!
Thank you for reading my blog and if you do make beads using this recipe I would love to see them and hear your thoughts you can post me a photo on my FB Page