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!


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!


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 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!


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:


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.


Monday, May 14

Playground Fun Sampler - Limelight and Frozen

In this post, I concentrating on testing CiM - Creation is Messy's pale green transparent named Limelight.

Described as "a clean, cool green with no hints of yellow with a tendency to develop micro bubbles". I did see this in the plain spacers, but when I used it to encase, the bubbling was not as noticeable.

It is a beautiful pale tint to encase silver glass reactions. 

In these beads below, I used Limelight as a base and an encasement for Double Helix's Psyche, it's newer Skiron and rare Aurae Light.

First up, the "recipe" was Limelight base, layer of silver glass, encase with more Limelight and scrolls/dots of Aurae Light. 
This green is pure and clean, I really like the result!

Next up, a simpler look of the encased silver glass reaction. The Double Helix Psyche glass was reduced and then encased with Limelight to capture the blues/ pinks and amber hues.

Last but not least, Limelight was tested with Double Helix's newer Skiron which is a silver striking rainbow glass. 
I am always challenged with striking glasses versus those that react with a reduction flame.  I may be due to the fact that I tend to work in a cooler flame, but I thought I would try the same test with Limelight as I did with the results already described above.

So same recipe as the other beads above, but I substituted Skiron for Psyche.
I got more amber than rainbow, so I definitely will need more practice with this new glass.

I paired with bead with Aurae Light spacers and a CiM Frozen bead with dots of Aurae Light
Frozen is a opal white that when silver glass is applied turns the surface a pretty golden tint that compliments the silver glass droplets.

Til next post, have a great day!

Sunday, May 13

Playground Fun Sampler - Rainforest & Ocher

This week I am sharing the results of the testing of the 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

First up for testing, this set of silver wrapped barrels made with a combination of Rainforest and Ocher

Rainforest is a greenish teal opal and Ocher is a opaque yellow with a mustard seed undertone.

These two glasses kept their true color with no change in reaction to silver creating a earth based set of beads. Both glasses melt smoothly with no stockiness.

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

More color results from this sampler coming up in new posts this week!
Stay Tuned.

Thursday, April 12

New Spring 2018 CiM Colors - Camouflage and Amphibian

CiM's Camouflage Ltd Run is an opaque olive green with a hint of gray.

Personally I am not a big fan of gray greens as I struggle to choose coordinating colors to try against is as a base.

In this test, I decided to continue to test these new spring glasses with silver and chose to use silver foil and a glass frit from Val Cox named Victoria in this set of test beads.

Camouflage did well with silver foil and the micro dots of frit scattered around the glass frit patterns.

I am pleased with the results!

CiM's Amphibian Ltd Run is another gray green as part of the new spring 2018 color offerings.

On the CiM - Creation is Messy website, it is described as an opaque pale slate green that I thought would have more striations based on the color page.

I found it to be more green than gray the beads that I created.
I used some handmade Raku shards that I placed in an "armor" pattern and reduced them to a dull bronze like metal.
The base glass may have gotten a bit of fuming from the shards but the green really is predominant in the plain spacer beads as well.

So this brings us to the end of the CiM 2018 new colors. They have arrived at Nortel and Jean is ready to take your requests. Give her a shout and grab up some of these colors soon as they are limited editions.



Wednesday, April 11

New CiM Color for Spring 2018 - Sacre Bleu Ltd Run

This post is devoted to one of the CiM-Creation is Messy colors for Spring 2018!

It is another beautiful transparent blue aptly named as Sacre Bleu Ltd Run described as a bright luminous blue and it is does not disappoint!

If you like this color, I suggest that you order some quickly before it sells out!

I tested it with lots of 99% fine silver wire and Double Helix silver infused Kronos frit. The encasing to capture the silver glass reactions was done with Double Helix Aether clear glass.

This set of beads are one of kind, each unique in its look and combinations. To see the true hue of the Sacre Bleu Ltd Run, check out the spacers.

Tuesday, April 10

New Spring 2018 CiM Colors - Cotswald Blue and Serengeti

CiM's Serengeti Ltd Run is described as opaque earthy brown with red undertones.

I found that it started as a caramel brown but works to darker tones as it is lightly heated (so lightly that you are really just wafting it in the back of the flame).

I used some silver foil and a sprinkling of my own hand blended Pendragonfyre frit. My frit contains some rare purple rose glass and raku as 2 of the ingredients. It creates some beautiful patterning with the micro-dots of silver framing the bits of colored glass.

The result is the base glass makes the frit really sing! 

I definitely need to do more experimentation with this glass as the levels of tone provides lots of option for bead making.

CiM's Cotswold Blue Ltd Run is a muted opaque teal.
I used the same silver foil and frit glass mix and the result is also very pretty.

I was concerned that other beadmakers had reported striations in the glass once it was worked, but I saw only minimal striations so I suggest working it in a cooler flame to keep these under control.

Til next time,

Monday, April 9

Spring 2018 - New CiM- Creation is Messy Colors - Merryweather

A beautiful new blue glass!

CiM's Merryweather is a blue opal that just seems to glow from within.

Here in this bead set, I simply used 99% fine silver wire to decorate the surface of the focal beads. As I wanted to make a full set of barrel beads, I paired Merryweather (right hand side of each bead) with an existing CiM glass called Pulsar, a transparent aqua blue.

The combination is stunning and the silver wire wrapped on the surface completes the set.

These blues melted smoothly with no bubbling.

Please note that Merryweather is a limited run color, so get it while is it available. You will not want ot miss out on this one!

Contact Jean at Nortel for Canadian supplies of CiM Glass!


Sunday, April 8

Spring 2018 - New CiM- Creation is Messy Colors - Lilac & Banana Cream

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Just a quick post with 2 more new spring colors!

CiM's Lilac is a pale purple/pink opaque glass that melts beautifully and is not reactive to silver. As a result, no fuming or disclosure keeping the clean beautiful color it was intended to be.
Here in this bead set, I simply used 99% fine silver wire to decorate the surface of the focal beads. As you can see as compare to the spacers, the color is beautiful for spring.

CiM's Banana Cream is a light non reactive off white. Some testers have mentioned that as the glass is worked longer, the result has a light yellow effect.

When I paired it with Double Helix silver infused Helios glass in dots, scrolls and lines, the silver glass fumed the Banana Cream a deep golden color. The spacers are quite light in comparison.

The set is beautiful in person, I had it on display yesterday with lots of attention.
It is very eye-catching!

Enjoy your day and stay tuned for more new colors!

Friday, April 6

Spring 2018 - New CiM- Creation is Messy Color - Oobleck

It has been a long time since I picked up a children's book as my adult kids well over the voting age now.

So when I saw the reference to Dr Suess on the CiM - Creation is Messy website, I had to pull up a Google search for more details.

If you are interested, there is an Instructable that provides steps on how to create this gooey green stuff. Click Here.

But on to the results of this new CiM glass color, glorious Oobleck!

Described as an opaque neon lime green, it is definitely just that!

As I love to pair new colors with some of my stash of silver infused glass to test reactions, I used a Double Helix rare test glass from 2010 coded as OX376 which is a silver infused yellow green tourmaline super luster jewel tone!

The two hues of color worked very well together, if I do say so myself, and I encased some of the reaction under Double Helix Aether and left some other areas to show their shiny goodness.

I hope these beads brighten your weekend and definitely stay tuned for daily updates of more new Spring colors!


Spring 2018 - New CiM- Creation is Messy Color - Serenity

Over the next few posts, I will share more info about the new CiM - Creation is Messy glass colors for Spring 2018!

These glasses were released in March and are now arriving at the various glass suppliers. Here in Canada, my go to supplier is Nortel, so definitely contact Jean to order your supply.

This post's focus is on Serenity. This is a beautiful transparent teal in the medium scale of saturation.

In these big hole beads, I wanted to see how it would pair with silver glass and encasement.
I used Double Helix Psyche in dots and stripes encased with Double Helix Aether clear using Serenity as the canvas.

Aether brings out more green in the silver glass under reduction so next time I will also try it with Double Helix Zephyr to see if the color stays more blue under the encasement.

Simply beautiful!
Til next time,


Monday, April 2

CiM - Creation is Messy Spring 2018 New Colors

Just a quick post of some eye candy of the new CiM-Creation is Messy Spring 2018 new release colors.
Over the next week I will post the testing details of each color, but here is a teaser of the photos!

Merryweather paired with Pulsar

Stay Tuned for details