Friday, 6 September 2013

Cake Batter, Mushroom Melon, Absinthe.......lots of new glass to play with

So earlier this week I had a message from Martin at asking me if I would have a play with the new release colours from CIM Glass.    Well what should a girl say???    YES PLEASE!   Two days later I had 17 shiny new rods of glass to stroke arrive in my mail box.

My colour palette normally is bright and on first glance this glass all looked autumnal and once again out side my comfort zone but who knows what they are gonna do till you melt them.   The rods are from the left : Alley Cat, Daffodil, Cake Batter, Mushroom Melon, Antique Lace, Mint Chip, Shrubbery, Goblin, Radio Flyer, Tandoori, Bing LTD, Weimarner, Neon Blue, Trade Winds, Tuscan Teal, Absinthe and Aloe Juice.   My initial response was I love the depth to Trade Winds a real yummy deep cobalt opaque and the Tuscan Teal which reminded me of Caribbean Seas a beautiful deep transparent Teal.  The Absinthe a smokey water colour and the Radio Flyer an incredible scarlet colour also got my glassy antenae wiggling!!

So the first thing to do was to make some small spacer beads and see what they looked like melted down.  Starting with the transparent orange colour centre front and working right they are Tandoori, Bing Ltd, Weimeraner, Neon Blue, Trade Winds, Tuscan Teal, Absinthe, Aloe Juice, Alley Cat, Daffodil, Cake Batter, Mushroom Melon, Antique Lace, Mint Chip, Shrubbery, Goblin, Radio Flyer...

Here are the blues close up from the left Tuscan Teal, Trade Winds and Neon Blue.....

And at the front here from the left Alley Cat, Daffodil, Cake Batter, Mushroom Melon, Antique Lace, Mint Chip and Shrubbery just slipping out of shot.....

The first thing I did was to test how they all sat together so I made a big bead with lots of dots and a busy design.  Without exception they all behaved perfectly no bleeding, no bubbling and no devitrification (crystal forming) just lovely clean lines......ten out of ten for that and I used most of the glasses in this bead apart from the reds

Then it was the turn for the Reds and what better than a swirly bead encased to test those colours out

This bead was tricky to photograph but the blends of the light ochres Alley Cat and Daffodil with the reds and a touch of Mushroom Melon and the orange Tandoori created this beautiful shading.  I used Effetre 006 as the clear and all in all I was really pleased with how they performed.  Bead is in one piece so no compatiblity issues that I can see.

So then  I did this swirly pleated lentil....The main yellow in the centre is Daffodil with Alley Cat topping and tailing it.  That lovely dove grey is the Weimeraner and the red is Radio Flyer.  The dark colour is the Tuscan Teal giving it some depth.  As you can see no bleeding at all and again I was really pleased with how they performed.  Not sure about the bead though!! Looks like a Toucan!

Now I found out a while ago from a friend that silver glass tends to like the opal colours so I thought perfect lets try the Absinthe with some DH Kalypso and Oxalis on that little flower.  Guess what! I think Kalypso liked a tipple of Absinthe!!  

Now for the blue lovers! This is a mix of Neon Blue, and Trade Winds with some Mushroom Melon in a ring Topper.  Again lovely crisp finish no bleeding and it encased with 006 no problem.

Now this just blew me away I do alot of these beads and it is usually the outside layer that smudges but this just stayed so crisp right through the design.  Base is  Mint Chip then Wiemeraner then Tuscan Teal topped with my NEW FAVOURITE glass Cake Batter this glass Rocks!!

So all in all I had a lovely play day and all in all the glass behaved well the Radio Flyer was a wee bit shocky but apart from that they all melted well and Thank you Tuffnell Glass for letting me test them for you :)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

CIM - Sepia and two Limited runs Raindrop and Fiddlehead - Playing for :)

So on Friday unexpectedly I found a tube of glass awaiting me when I came back from walking my furgals.   I had read on the Tuffnell Page on Facebook that there where a couple of new CIM colours arriving but wasn't sure what they were so I ripped the package open on the you do!!

I have to confess the excitement dwindled slightly when I upwrapped the parcel....expect for the Refresher Sweetie which was nommy!  I love my colours and obviously, as you can see, this was not a colourful batch of inspiring glass but I headed over to the studio and started by making some small test beads to have a closer look at the colours

So here they are....from the left Fiddlehead, Raindrop and Sepia.  My first observation was that the Raindrop boiled on me even when I turned the torch right down and was as a consequence  a 'bubbly' finish.   Now the challenge with what to do with them, obviously I had to add other glass so I started with the Fiddlehead. 

I made a base bead of Cim Dirty Martini and used the Fiddlehead for the larger dots and interspersed with small white CIM Peace dots.  The Fiddlehead behaved well and is less streaky than other greens I have used.  I made the dots more interesting by using my knife to flatten the top of each one.

 This next bead was made using Raindrop, Fiddlehead and Cim Peace.   The Raindrop makes a great 'shadow' glass for adding depth to your bead and although it did bubble a wee bit the bumps on this one look like raindrops in the flesh and I am sure it would look great on a turquoise and would make a bead look like it had been splashed in water........hmmmmm!  Theres a thought!

So firstly excuse the fingerprints on these ones!  I liked that raindrop look so I made a base bead of CIM Dirty Martini and encased it in Double Helix Oxalis then added dots of Dirty Martini randomly around the bead and melted flat.  I then took my  tungsten pick and pierced the centre of each of these dots then added a drop of Raindrop over each of these dots and melted flat capturing that little air bubble.  Finally I reduced the Oxalis heavily till it created this shiny finish with hints of pink and blue and green that you probably can't see in the photo but is very pretty.   Again the Raindrop boiled and the resulting dots where 'bubbly' but treated with care this is a very useful colour for your palette.


Last but not least the Sepia combined with the Fiddlehead green.  I made a base bead of the Fiddlehead and combined CIM Peace with the Sepia to create layers and light and shade.  Again a great shading colour although I think I prefer the raindrop it has a cleaner look to it.

And then Sepia.  Well this bead below is made on a black base with CIM Peace providing the white.  The outside smaller bumps are dots of Raindrop.  Those lovely large bumps are a base of Peace dotted with a small amount of DH Kalypso then flashed in a reduction flame and topped with Sepia....Yummy!!
 This one is a hollow base pod of the Sepia, I love this colour it really is like that sepia colour in old photos not really brown, more like a very deep gold.  Again I have used the DH Kalypso and Sepia for the larger spots as above and then the smaller dots are all Sepia on its own.  Pretty Pretty!!

And altogether :

So the verdict from here for what its worth is Sepia gets a big thumbs up.  If you like green then the Fiddlehead is another useful shade to your palette.  The Raindrop......yep I like it but treat with care or it will boil all over the place.

As a note CIM  Peace is a great white for layering spots and fine in small bumps but hates being fully encased and in my experience always cracks.....just so you know!! 

Thats all for now!!  Happy Melting Folks :) is the web address for our friends at Tuffnells :)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Not So Secret Testing for Tuffnel Glass!

So this morning an exciting little package arrived from Tuffnell Glass with the new colours from Effetre from the left above : Green Cave, Light Umber, Yellow Barlotti, Turq. Grey Pastille, Moss Green, Antique Green Pastille.  I was so busy making the larger beads I  ran out of mandrels so there are the two rods infront as well, Marc Pastille that beautiful mocha colour and Wood so 8 new colours in total.  You will be able to see those in action in the beads below!  My first observation was that the Turq Grey Pastille is a fabulous colour but it reduces quite heavily, personally I liked the slightly antique shiny finish that appeared but might not be for everyone and the Antique Green Pastille also reduced slightly too.

I usually use much brighter colours so to play the game, I limited myself to the 8 new colours and added white and clear to complete the palatte. I then created a range of beads with this restricted colour range.  I work quite hot and I was looking for crisp lines and in this instance all the glass passed that test apart from the Yellow Barlotti which had a tendancy to go blurry if used for small detail, but it is a fab egg yolk colour and you can see on the other beads where the  Yellow Barlotti is used to create lines and shading it behaves beautifully.  It was only as small dots like the ones on the wheel that blur but it was in the flame for a long time!   I loved the greens and the 5th bead in the row below was my favourite the colours all blend so beautifully together….You have a touch of the Light Umber then Moss Green, Antique Green Pastille, Green Cave and Wood, the base of the bead is Wood as are the bumps, Wood is a great cream colour and a lovely alternative to white.

All in all lovely colours and the Light Umber is a great addition to the brown palette as is the Mark Pastille both are rich tones and great to work with.   I will be updating on new glass that arrives at Tuffnell as and when they ask me to to show what they look like within designs so exciting.  Thank you for reading my blog and if you want to find out more about me do join my Facebook Page the link is on the right of the page.