Thursday, February 22

Prussian Blue - A Bit of Trivia and Beautiful Beads!

I wanted to share a special post about a beautiful blue glass from CiM - Creation Is Messy called Prussian Blue.

I loved the look of the glass when I picked it on my recent visit to Nortel in Toronto.

The name of the glass intrigued me as I know many artists that have this colour in their paint palette.

Wikipedia describes this colour as:
"Prussian blue, also known as Berlin blue, is a dark blue colour that is artificially made. 
It is one of the first pigments made synthetically. It was accidentally found in 1704 by two chemists in Berlin. The dark blue uniforms of the Prussian army were dyed this colour.

Apparently it is also used as a medicine "that is sometimes given by doctors to help remove certain radioactive materials from people’s bodies. It has been used this way since the 1960s".

Now that I have shared some trivia, let's look at some beads!

The CiM website states that this is a silver laden blue and I paired it with even various Double Helix silver glass stringers, frit and powders. 

Each bead shows a different technique and result based on multiple cycles of reduction creating a truly one of a kind set of beads.

The photos below are shots from various perspectives to show off each bead in the set.

Wednesday, February 21

Beads Created in Honour of Bella!

Last weekend, I was honoured to be asked to create some memory beads for a friend in honour of a dear pet that had passed away. 

The process of including a pet's ashes in a handmade bead allows the wearer to hold the memory of their pet near as a touchstone in a piece of jewelry.

A small amount of cremated remains are infused into the molten glass as it is wound on the mandrel creating a beautiful piece of art.

I wanted to share some photos of this beautiful creature and the beads that were created for her dear family. 

Thank you Matt for allowing me to write this post and I am happy to say that in exchange for my time and materials, the family has made donation to the local SPCA in memory of beautiful Bella.

CiM Earth Sampler - Last Few Color Results

This post is a follow-up on the results of remaining rods in the CiM - Creation is Messy Earth rod sampler from Nortel.

As I mentioned in my last post, I had set of beads in the tumbler made with CiM's Painted Hills, Autumn and Pistachio Ice Cream

The color hues in these 3 glass are quite subtle so tumbling the beads created a "pottery" look to the beads with the shades of light green, yellow and peachy brown.

Notice that these glasses also produce striations in the glass that is also enhanced when tumbled to a smooth matte finish.

I also finished testing the last 2 colours and can share these sets as well

CiM Mink is a gray opal brown. The beads remind me of a translucent chocolate or coffee. In this set, I used a silvered ivory stringer to create dots and surface lines and the effect is quite pretty.

CiM Dirty Laundry is an opalescent off white. In the focal bead, I added handblown silver glass shards made from Double Helix Clio. This silver glass turns to an amber pink and fumed the surface of the base glass with a golden surface. 

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

Til next time,

Sunday, February 18

Earth Sampler - New Testing of a Nortel Sampler pack!

This week I am sharing the results of the testing of the glass colors contained in the Sampler pack of Earth colors by CiM - Creation is Messy. 

As I mentioned in my last post, 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.

The second sampler that has Earth based hues contains the following colors:

As I love using silver glass in my testing, this post shares some big hole bead sets using silver glass frit and some handmade shards.

First up is CiM Allspice - an opal brown. Although this glass is showing as Sold Out on the CiM- Creation Is Messy website, it is readily available through Nortel.

Within this set I paired Allspice with Double Helix Helios silver glass. It is a great base glass with little to no shockiness when melting. The reduction of the silver glass did produce an interesting fuming on the surface with a blue hue.

Next up is CiM Maple, a transparent warm golden brown just like the yummy rich dark syrup. The spacers show the rich brown that is quite unique for glass bead makers.
The focal bead is a bubble bead with layers of Helios silver glass over the base of Maple. The dots of glass were reduced, encased in clear and then pierced and encased again to capture the bubbles. 

CiM Ecru is an off-white opal glass. It melted smoothly and much easier than the Effetre opalinos that tend to shock and explode in the flame if not treated gingerly. The focal bead in this set used encased dots of a Double Helix silver “mystery” glass that produced blues and green reactions when encased. This glass was easy to shape and this set contains 2 round and 2 cube spacers.

Last color to share in this post is CiM Adamantium. This opaque warm dark grey is one of my favourite neutrals and In previous tests it never disappointed. Click Here for some of my previous creations with this glass.
This set used Double Helix Helios handmade shards. When reduced, lots of blue was revealed in the shards which is a beautiful contrast to the grey base glass.

Stay tuned this week for the remainder of this sampler packs testing. I have a set of beads in the tumbler right now that I am looking forward to sharing made with CiM's Painted Hills, Autumn and Pistachio Ice Cream. Until then, click the links below to see some of the other beads made with these glass. 

I still have a rod of CiM Mink and CiM Dirty Laundry waiting on the bench to be tested later today.

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

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Wednesday, February 7

Testing a CiM - Creation is Messy Color Rod Sampler# 1 from Nortel

On my visit to Nortel in January, I was lucky to grab up some CiM- Creation is Messy color sampler packs.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be creating and sharing some bead creations. 
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.

First sampler that I tried contained the following colors:
Poolside 511553
Bone 511826
Desert Pink 511957
Rapunzel 511627
Enchanted 511626
Venus 511911

As I love using silver glass in my testing, I created some big hole bead sets using silver glass frit and some handmade shards.

The following sets uses Double Helix Triton fine frit. 
Triton is an extra strength super luster on a cobalt blue base that produces a satin iridescence bling when reduced. Fine graded frit is the size of salt grains and as a result needs to be treated very lightly to keep it from melting completely into the surface of the bead.

With Poolside, the silver glass frit provided a golden sugar effect with no impact on the base glass.

With Rapunzel, the frit held it's blue in the reduction flame and also fumed the base glass to a slight golden tint.

With Enchanted, the golden sugar was more evident but there is a slight blue back tint at the surface of the bead.

With Bone, I created two silver frit beads to demonstrate that when it was quickly reduced, the gold/ blue sugar shine comes forward, but the neutral base was greatly fumed to a golden ivory. Once the frit was melted in to the surface, Triton's true blue returns to the metallic shine's surface.

For Bone, silver glass definitely fumes the surface, so if you are looking for it to stay as a whiter neutral, keep it away from silver glass.

The last 2 CIM Sampler colors were matched with handmade shards created from Double Helix Helios silver glass. This glass is a golden-yellow citrine, jewel tone super luster that gleams of gold shine!

With Desert Pink, there was a definite golden fuming when the Helios silver glass shards were added. The true color of the pink rod is the color in the spacer beads.

With Venus, there was little golden fuming and it retained the peachy pink hues of the base glass.

The photo below shows the beads together to show how the fumed Desert Pink bead looks so lovely coordinates with Venus beads.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these bead sets. I encourage you to contact Jean at Nortel to pick up a sampler pack and try these colors soon!

Til next time,

Monday, February 5

Pendragonfyre is featured in BeadFX Inspiration Page!

So excited to share this news with you!

If you have been following my blog you have no doubt seen my Carole big hole bead necklaces. The design was created and named after a dear friend.
Many clients have embraced the design as a way to display their big hole beads in a simple yet elegant way with the option of switching up their bead selection in a quick and easy way.

On my recent visit to Toronto, I was introduced to a fellow lamp work artist, Dwyn Tomlinson and she asked about the design and whether I was willing to share the "secret". In the spirit of all I do through this blog, I always believe "sharing" is better than waiting for it to be "picked up" by another artist or website.

Dwyn was very gracious to highlight my design on the BeadFX website's Inspiration pages this past weekend. Please check it out along with lots of other bead related inspiration ideas!

If you are looking to purchase a necklace or some spare beads, please contact me through my Facebook page. 

Carole Collection Necklaces currently available can be viewed here!

Stay Tuned this week for new glass testing I am doing for Nortel, as they have created new sampler kits of CiM-Creation Is Messy glasses. These samplers are perfect for trying out a group of colors without having to commit to the usual quarter of a pound.

Happy Monday!