View Single Post
Old 2009-02-07, 12:41pm
DesertDreamer's Avatar
DesertDreamer DesertDreamer is offline
Ad astra per aspera
Join Date: Jun 15, 2005
Location: Apache Junction AZ
Posts: 7,324

Here's my post from the other thread.

I'm done with my testing and all the beads are either cleaned or in the kiln. I didn't get as many colors in my assortment as I'd hoped, but they're very interesting colors. Overall, I'd give my particular bundle a B-/C+. Some of it is lovely but there's definitely room for improvement. I'll post pix of my little test beads on Sunday (heading to Tucson tomorrow).

First, here's how "I roll" at the torch. I'm more than willing to gently heat a rod to get it going, especially if I can see a flaw in the glass like a sudden bump or bubbles. I ALWAYS heat and pinch off the first little gather, and I always make allowances for some spitting and cracking on a cut end because some glass will just get micro-cracks from the cutting. I take that all in stride. I also work rather HOT, on a Midrange, but for these tests I set a smaller, cooler flame than usual (at least for me LOL).

Bad news first: I got a short rod of opalescent/opaque medium gray that's shocky to the point of not being useable under my normal working conditions. Every time I'd start to get the next bit warm, it would crackle and shock and blow apart rather violently. After I lost the third inch, I gave up. I garaged it in the kiln for 20 minutes and tried again, and just managed to blow off another 1/2 inch. Into the trash can with that one! Pity, cuz it's a nice shade of gray.

I was also disappointed that I got several doubled colors, i.e. two rods of the same color, instead of a true assortment.

Better news: I got a nice range of pastel blue-greens, from a sky blue to an ocean blue (there was a Vetro color like this a while back) to an ocean green to a pea green. I made small, plain test beads of each, and then a center-wrapped bead using Vetro clear. No cracking so far. The sky blue is really wonderful because it's very close to the Moretti sky blue, but doesn't haze up at all. That and the ocean blue-green color are my favorites. The ocean blue-green looks more translucent on the rod, but goes opaque and stays that way. The paler blue-green had a weird rod shape, like a 3-dimensional C. I was concerned about bubbles, but I kept the concave part at the top, and it all melted down very nicely.

Not so great news: I got a nice-looking transparent green, very pretty color. However, it crackles a lot, and gets this very weird, almost devit-like finish on one side that turns into micro-bubbles as it's being wound on. I fiddled with my flame (and my patience) and couldn't get rid of it. Hmmm

I got a dark transparent olive that's bubbly and not very exciting as a color. I got a medium transparent amethyst that's also bubbly but a prettier color. I got a pale pinkish transparent that reminds of of the pale rose Moretti (looks more peach than pink to me), also quite bubbly. They behave, though, so if you like the seeded glass look, it could be a good thing. Also, an opaque dark brown that's so dark it's really hard to tell that it's brown, and it looks greyish when encased. (All of the blue-greens were also paler when encased, but that's normal with many pastels, no biggie.)

I'm insanely in love with the transparent yellow. It's bright, strong, melts great, not as many bubbles and looks terrific over white (I used CIM Peace). Same with the transparent red. VERY easy to strike, looks like a cherry cough drop, also looks good over white.

Presently in the kiln there's a transparent black/deep gray that reminds me a LOT of Val Cox's veiled Gaffer canes. Nice! Also an opaque olive green that's not my favorite color (in general) but could be fun. The rod I got had a bump with some impurities in it (looked like a small piece of gravel, I swear) but I just heated around it and pulled it off. It seemed a little shocky at first, but settled down okay. There's also a color which looked salmon-y on the rod, but I'm not sure what it will be out of the kiln. The rod cooled more brownish.

I had one issue with two of the blue-greens and the salmon color. The rods had "nicks" in them, almost as if they caught on something as they were being pulled, like a "bump---bump---bump." They bubble at this point, a LOT.

The rods are, in general, somewhat irregularly shaped both in diameter and straightness. Mostly it wasn't a problem, though sudden bumps make me nervous. (Thar she blows!)

I want more yellow. Period. Probably more red, too. I want to try the transparent orange and the pastel orange, and some of the pastel reds.

Overall, I like this stuff (especially the price). It seems to play well with some of my favorite mixers (more testing, though, before I'm sure), and the colors are nifty.
Karen Sherwood

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.