Monday, July 31, 2017

Getting a Lot of Spam Comments, and Other News

Hey everyone - just a quick post to let people know I am turning on the "moderation-all" for comments on this blog. This means that all comments must be approved by me before they are posted. This is because almost all the comments I am getting these days are spam.  If that changes, I will turn off moderation again.

Yes, I know I haven't written in awhile - this summer has been hectic! I've been sick a few times, and haven't had much time to test colors or write blog posts. Luckily I am doing better now, so I am hoping to have some more posts for you soon.

CiM usually comes out with new colors in the fall, so I look forward to new glass to try out and share with you soon. In  the meantime, there are several colors I have played with but haven't written about yet, so you might see those relatively soon.

Have a great summer, all!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Glass Testing: CiM 551 Prussian Blue & 442 Prairie Grass Ltd. Runs

 New colors today! I have one brand new color in this post and one that was in the batch from last year that I hadn't had a chance to test until now.

First off, we have the new color, called Prussian Blue. This pretty deep opaque color is a kind of midnight blue in the rod, but because it has a lot of silver in it, Prussian Blue is reactive.  When left as a base, uncovered, Prussian Blue is very dark blue with some streaks of greyish green. This is a lot like Class M Planet, which does the same thing but is lighter in tone.

L- Class M Planet, R-Prussian Blue
When you encase or layer Prussian Blue, the blue tones become brighter and the greens all but disappear. This color makes an excellent layering glass if you want some rich midnight, navy or cobalt blues.

Because this is a silver glass, it's not as smooth in consistency (it's slightly bumpy when pulled into stringer), and is slightly stiff, but seems to be able to take a good amount of heat. When left plain, Prussian Blue has lots of striations and streaks - some blue, some grey-green. But that goes away when you encase it.

I had no shocking issues with this color, and it didn't bleed or spread when encased or layered. Using it with a medium or light transparent blue will give you a gorgeous rich midnight blue.

Next we have Prairie Grass, a light opaque spring green that came out late last year. This pretty shade is really close to Elphaba - just a little bit lighter and a little bit more yellow (but not much!). I would say that both these colors can be used as a substitute for each-other.

Prairie Grass is really buttery and nice to work with. It does get striations when left as a base, and can bleed a tiny bit when encased, but not nearly as much as the Effetre greens do. It doesn't seem to spread much at all when layered. This color didn't shock when heated, and had no pitting or boiling issues.

Like most opaque greens, Prairie Grass lightens up a lot when encased in clear, and goes a little more yellowish. I loved using this color with just a bit of Effetre Light Emerald - makes a cheerful spring green.

The beads below were made with Prussian Blue and Prairie Grass, paired with Effetre Light Emerald and Effetre Light Blue.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Glass Testing: CiM 824 Pachyderm Ltd. Run

One more color for today - a soft shade of grey-ish tan called Pachyderm. As a rod, this glass looks like a medium grey. When melted it lightens and warms up into a sort of fawn grey - not completely brown and not completely grey. The CiM page says Pachyderm contains a lot of silver, but I didn't notice that when I used it, since I didn't test it with any other silver glass.

Pachyderm does tend to strike softly as you work it, warming up a little more the longer it's worked. They grey spots seem to disappear after a short while, leaving it a light tan.

I had no problems with shocking, pitting, spreading or bleeding. It does get somewhat streaky as you melt it in.

I paired Pachyderm with Eventide (a light neutral grey) to keep it from going too brown. It makes pretty encased stringer, but you can see where the Pachyderm tends to strike in some spots lighter than others, so the color is kind of spotty. Which can be lovely when used in organic and nature-based designs. I think this color would be fantastic as a sculptural glass for animals and skin tones as well as anything food-related. 

In the beads below, Pachyderm and Eventide are used alongside pinks and a little black for contrast. The beige quality of Pachyderm really shows up well next to black.

More colors to come soon!

Glass Testing: CiM 456 Eel Grass and 455 Troll Limited Runs.

A few new colors to blog about today!

The first two are muted green shades - one transparent and one opaque, and they pair perfectly together!

First up is the opaque, called Troll. This is a medium green that is a little grey-ish in tone, without the yellow undertones that would make it more of an olive. There's no other color like it in the 104 coe palette that I know of, which makes me happy.

Troll behaves nicely - no shocking in my experience, and not a lot of spreading or bleeding. It does, however, go quite streaky when left alone in a base. Once you encase it in clear, though, the streaks fade, and the color actually lightens up a bit.

I found this glass to be not too stiff and not too soupy, and easy to layer with. It doesn't overtake other colors when layered, and has no issues with pitting or discoloration. There's quite a bit of grey in it, making it a bit like Dirty Martini, only much darker.  It's a pretty shade alone, but really sings when paired with Eel Grass, which I will talk about next.

Eel Grass is a light but muted forest green shade that is just lovely. I am excited about this green because it is really understated and quite removed from the bright, grassy greens available.

There's a bit of grey in this shade as well, and like it's partner above, there aren't any yellow tones to push it into the olive green area. This makes it unique in the 104 palette.

Eel Grass, (which is an interesting name - I had to look it up!) has great consistency. It is just ever-so-slightly stiff. I had some small amounts of scumming when heated too quickly, but was able to gently burn that off. Stringer will scum up if you heat it too fast, so be careful of that.

It makes lovely encased stringer when used with Troll. However, when applying the stringer as scroll work, I had some issues with it popping off if I didn't immediately heat it to melt it down just a bit. Normally I can let a scroll sit on top of the bead for a few seconds, but this didn't work as well with this stringer. However, I had no problems once I melted it in.

The beads below were made with the Eel Grass and Troll, along with black, clear and purple, with some metallic accents. You can see here how well these colors layered together and stood out on the black, and with the purple. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Glass Testing: CiM 823 Koala, CiM Aegean Limited Runs

Next in line today we have two colors - a brand new one called Koala, and one that came out last year (I think), called Aegean. Both are limited runs.

So when I got the new batch of glass last month, I thought for sure there were too many gray shades. However, when I actually melted each rod, most of the opaque gray rods struck to different shades of brown, green and golden. Koala was the one opaque that actually stayed gray to my eye!

I had no issues with shocking or pitting with this glass, and it wasn't too stiff or too soft. I also had no issues with this glass bleeding under encasement or spreading out when melted in.

Koala is a lovely true medium neutral grey - not too blue and not too brown. It's lighter and cooler than Adamantium. In rod form, it actually does have a bluish cast, but that goes away when melted, for the most part.  As a plain spacer, it retains much of its shade, but when encased in clear Koala lightens up quite a bit, as you can see here with the spacers I made.

When left alone as a base, Koala only streaks and separates a tiny bit - really nice for a layering color. After you layer it, the streaks pretty much go away completely. I liked the way it looked with the pale transparent color Bashful - it adds just a touch of warmth to Koala. It's a perfect neutral to add some interest to bright and/or dark color combinations.

In the same set of beads, I used Aegean, a gorgeous medium teal.  Since this is a color I hadn't yet blogged about I decided to test it, even though it came out a year or more ago. I was glad I did!

I love colors that sit between blue and green - and this one straddles those colors perfectly. It's not green or blue.  Aegean reminds me a bit of Effetre Light Teal - if perhaps a touch darker and a tiny bit bluer. It's so much more well-behaved, though!  Not much in the way of scumming or bubbling, and it isn't too stiff, which makes it nice for layering.

Speaking of layering, I did so with Aegean and Quetzal, the new turquoise I blogged about earlier. I think those two make a brilliant pair. Aegean and Quetzal make really lovely encased stringer and gorgeous flower petals, both raised and melted in. Together they make a vibrant medium teal that has a lot of depth and clarity.

The beads below are made with Quetzal, Aegean, Koala, Bashful, Lapis, Trapeze, and Effetre Ink Blue Violet, along with Zephyr clear and DH Triton for the metallic.

Glass Testing: CiM 425 Mint Chip and CiM 452 Peat Moss Limited Runs

Today I am blogging about my tests on a brand new CiM color and also on a CiM color that came out about a year ago (I think).  I liked how these two colors layered with eachother, so I decided to do them together.  Both are limited runs, as usual, so if you like them, get them soon!

First up is the older color (although still new enough to be in stock) Mint Chip. Boy does CiM like to make green! That's okay with me, because Effetre opaque greens are harder to work with, so I love a variety of nice, stable greens to choose from.

Mint Chip is a lovely shade of pale spring green that is less greyish than Dirty Martini, less bluish than It Ain't Easy Being, less yellowish than Primavera, and slightly less vivid than Cardamom. Here's a pic I took awhile back comparing some of the pale CiM green opaques.

This lovely shade of green is a joy to work with. No problems at all, and I have made several sets with it. It's not too soft, melts smoothly and doesn't shock (yey!!) I didn't notice any streaking, and it had no problems with bleeding and spreading when encased or layered. It's does lighten up a lot when encased in clear, which is why I primarily use this color to layer with medium and dark transparent greens. Using it with anything super light will wash the color out, so keep that in mind if you're going to make, say, flower petals that are melted in.
Mint Chip base is scrolled with encased stringer

Mint Chip does stay all the way opaque, so in that way it reminds me of Dirty Martini - nice and dense, even though it is very light. Also keep in mind that when this color is hot, it goes grey. It goes back to minty green when it cools off, so don't worry!

In my latest test, I used Mint Chip with the brand new medium transparent called Peat Moss.  It's really hard to classify this color - which is something I love, actually. I adore colors that sit between the norms - they excite me. Peat Moss is like a khaki mixed with olive - a pretty medium shade of green that has orange-y undertones. Layering it with Mint Chip brings out the green a bit more, making it more olive in tone.

I loved the clarity of this color. One thing to keep in mind though is that if you heat too fast, it might bubble a bit. Heat gently, and if haze or scum appears on your gather you can burn it off by gently heating more. That being said, I was able to make the sample and the spacers without much trouble. Once pulled into stringer, layering was simple.

You can see in the beads pictured below that Peat Moss appears much darker by itself than it does when layered with the Mint Chip. If you want a more vivid shade, I would recommend using a darker opaque to layer it with. This might be fun to use with Ogre or Dragon, since those two have the weird brown streaks that pop up.

Peat Moss is one of those shades that I think people are either going to love or hate - depending on how adventurous they are with color. I love how it looks by itself, personally. It's fun!

Beads below are made with Peat Moss, Mint Chip, Adobe and Sakura, with DH Zephyr Clear. More tests to come!