Sunday, June 24

Double Helix silver glass - Rhea - A Ruby Gem!

Ruby, ruby ruby.... everyone loves the shade of pinky red for their jewelry designs!

In glass, this color is illusive and expensive to produce. In the past, Rubino Oro or Ruby Gold required gold to be added to the glass to create the ruby tones. Check out this article on the color elements in glass making.

As beadmakers, using the traditional formula restricted us in combining the glass with silver glass as the reactions resulted in muddy browns which basically defeated the purpose of using it in the first place.

For Double Helix, this recent offering called Rhea was a welcome addition to the beadmaker's palette. This glass was developed as a "lead free gold ruby that plays well with silver colors and survives a reduction flame without discoloration".

Jean at Nortel gifted me a couple of rods for testing and I am pleased to share the details of the results.

First up, this big hole bead has ends of Rhea with the centre  created with multiple layers of Psyche and Zephyr. Each layer was reduced and encased to create depth in the dots that almost seem to be floating around the centre of the barrel bead.

A few wraps of 99% fine silver wire finished off the bead ends.


As you can see, the ruby glass stayed true to color with no brown muddy reaction.

Below are a few more beads from the session.

Left Bead: Barrel BHB with a base of Rhea wrapped in silver foil and encased with another layer of Rhea. Melted ends with scroll and heart decorations of reduced Aurae Light.

Middle Bead: Alternate view of the bead described above.

Right Bead: Zephyr base with wrap of silver foil. Encased in Rhea with end cap wraps of 99% fine silver wire.


Based on these results, I suggest everyone try out a rod or two of this ruby color. 

Reach out to Jean at Nortel to order!

Happy Weekend!

D.


Friday, June 22

Silver Glassy Goodness - Double Helix Combinations

Several weeks ago, I cleared off my torch worktable and spent an afternoon revisiting some Double Helix glasses that I had ignored lately. The bead in this post was one of the results of the "without rules" torching session.

This Big Hole tab shaped bead has twisted combinations of reduced Double Helix Psyche silver infused glass encased with Zephyr clear.  

The shoulders of the bead were created with Clio and streams of 99% pure silver wire wraps completed the bead. 

The silver wire has melted into streamed droplets for a tactile feel.



The result was stunning when it emerged from the kiln the following morning!


In natural light, the bead shows it's true brilliance!


Happy Friday Everyone!

D.



Wednesday, June 20

CiM - Creation is Messy - Buttermilk


CiM - Creation is Messy Buttermilk is an creamy opaque ivory that I sometimes struggle to use with anything other than silver glass. Silver glass will tend to fume the base glass and the true color disappears.

This glass is classified as a yellow, but in the rod it is really a neutral ivory.

In the set below, I decided to go the glass frit testing route and paired it with Glass Diversions Himalayan Rose mix. 
This no mess glass frit is a mix of gold, pinks and purples that look great with the CiM Buttermilk base glass.


The base glass stayed true and you can see the comparison in the photo below where the spacer beads are visible.

I picked up this glass at Nortel back during my visit early this year and I look forward to trying it again in a few more sets. Reach out to Jean if you are interested in snatching some up before it is gone.





Tuesday, June 19

Catching Up on Posts! and CiM Bing Poppies!


Wow, where did the last month go?
My day-time role gets busy with projects from time to time, but this past year has been unusual. We are coming to the end of a 16 month project and I have to admit that I am really looking forward to an attempt to get back to a normal life routine.

As a result, my time at the torch has been greatly impacted, I have several hundred bead sets all strung and ready to post online, but no time to sit at my laptop after long days behind a work PC. 

Every bead artist knows that the fun time is at the torch trying new techniques, testing new glass color reactions. I am very disciplined when it comes to documenting results, cleaning my beads and photographing the sets. But when it comes to measuring each bead and writing up the descriptions and posting online I set them aside for when I can focus on the "marketing" side of the trade.

Those of you that are following my blog here and my Twitter and Facebook posts have been loyal followers and I thank you for that and I plan the following events for over the summer months getting ready for the fall:
1. The www.pendragonfyre.com website nears an overhaul - maybe even a move to a new provider. This will take much thought and hopefully will provide a better user experience.
2. A decision on where to post new sets for sale - Facebook, E-Bay or Artfire. Please provide me feedback on your preferred channel to buy as the marketplace has changed greatly over the past 2 years.

I posted a few quick photos on Facebook recently and promised to provide details so let's take a look at those beads today.

I had some additional CiM - Creation is Messy Bing red in my stash. This was a color included in the Playground Fun sampler that Nortel is offering. Bing is a very bright red that appears to be sold out on their website, but Nortel may still have some stashed away if you are interested.

I decided to make non-traditional beads for a change and create a set of poppies.
The poppy on the right is a 2 hole button that would look great on a sweater as a focal button. Metallic highlights are Double Helix Helios silver infused glass.


It was my first time trying out the button mandrel and I look forward to trying out making more buttons in future after more practice. In the photo below, the button is at the top.

I was pleased with the clean holes, as those of us that make buttons, this challenge is real!


Til next post, thank you for reading and following my posts. Please comment and let me know that you want to see in the future!

Smiles,
D.




Sunday, May 27

CiM - Creation is Messy - Sea Mist


Wow, where has the time gone this spring!

Although we had the typical spring snow and rain, my time was consumed by a project away from my studio.

As a part-time artist, I usually only get weekends to venture out to heat up the cold studio and get in some "kiln-time". These past 8 months have limited those days to 1 or 2 days each month. 
Between all my color testing and the glass I have stacked for new bead sets, I am looking forward to recapturing some lost time and stretching my creative skills again. 

I picked up some rod of CiM's Sea Mist on my last visit to Nortel and decided to see how it paired with some silver glass for my interchangeable beads. 

This glass is showing as Sold Out on the CiM website, so if you are interested in purchasing some, please reach out to Jean at Nortel soon before her stock is gone forever.

This glass was created in response to requests for a streaky blue. The rod itself is a core of clear glass, encased in transparent blue, encased in clear.

When making spacers, I did get the streaky look with a few bubbles which I thought kept within the sea mist theme. 

I tested it as a base and encasement of silver glass to see if it would fume or react.
I think the result is beautiful!

Here are photos of the two sets that I created:






Smiles,
D.

Saturday, May 26

Playground Fun Sampler - Orange Crush, Poison Apple and Blue Arrow Frog!


I am coming to the end of sharing results of three more glass colors contained in the Playground Fun Sampler pack of CiM - Creation is Messy colors from Nortel. 

These sampler packs are great for artists that:
- want to "try" a new color without the commitment of purchasing a minimum 1/4 pound of a specific color
- want to create multi-colour beads from a coordinated set of colors.

This CiM sample pack contains a spectrum of crayon-like colors:
- Poison Apple
- Limelight
- Frozen
- Bing
- Orange Crush
- Blue Arrow Frog
- Ocher
- Rainforest

I usually don't work with combinations of bright colors within one set, so I set out to create a set that used the same technique and switched in 3 of the main colors of the set.


I created surface "rivets" of Double Helix silver glass with Psyche and Aurae Light.

These beads are on bases of Blue Arrow Frog, Poison Apple and Orange Crush.


Just for fun, I made a few "playground" beads while testing some color mixing.


The tri-colored beads, made from FrozenBlue Arrow Frog and Bing reminded me of the ice-pops I would buy at the park for my kids. 

The other beads are my "caterpillar critter beads" created by mixing FrozenPoison Apple and Orange Crush with dots of Blue Arrow Frog
Those made me smile.

As always, I encourage you to reach our to Jean at Nortel to pick up a sampler or two.

Smiles,
D.