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Thursday, 15 July 2010

New lampies

Not content to tumble just my porcelain beads - I have been tumbling glass beads as well. I know a few lampworkers use this techinque instead of etching to create beads with a 'sea glass' effect, but I wanted more of and 'etched' effect - without the chemicals.
I put them in with the porcelain beads, together with some tumbled stones and some polishing compound as an experiment and I am very pleased with the result. You can see that the 'shine' has been taken off and the beads have a very pleasing matt surface now. I think it makes the details and delineation between the colours and the reaction lines much crisper. The are a few nooks and crannies that the polishing compound just doesn't get to, but overall a success I think.

I also managed some torch time this week. I got hold of some CIM Sangre and gave it a go. A very nice red, but I think I need to practise 'stricking' it a bit more - you can still see some orangy/yellow on some of the red beads. For those that don't know what stricking is - some glasses only form their colour if they are worked then cooled and then heated again. Perhaps after they have been annealled they colour will improve. I will certainly be making some more with this lovely glass.
Also been playing with pinks and mauves. Practising encasing and inclusions. I have created champange bubbles in the two beads with murrini and the mauve lentil next to them. The results are still a bit hit and miss - but at least they didn't crack.
I also used my own 'home made' bead release for these beads and I am very pleased with the results. The beads came off the mandrels very easily, and the holes cleaned up a treat with a run under the cold tap and a gentle scrub with pipe cleaner. There are a couple of bits that need a bit of a scrap at or a soak perhaps and they should then be as clean as a whistle. I flame dried the release without any problems, after double dipping the mandrels. Got a few cracks, but not near where I was working - may try a slightly modified recipe to see if I can stop the cracking.

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