Saturday, May 16, 2009

Studio Time: French Country - CiM Sapphire

Although I have been working with the theme, "Urban Primrose" for the last month, serendipity sometimes takes over. I have been getting to know my new lampwork setup and renewing my knowledge of the individual glass colors and ended up with a kiln full of blue and yellow beads.

How can you NOT do French Country?

Only this is French Country Kanna style: the blue is a deep Creation is Messy Sapphire that glints and glimmers and is achingly beautiful. These are the organic, faceted beads I call Glibble Berries. The yellow is a beautiful, earthy yellow, reminiscent of buttery yellow color-washed walls. It's an odd lot of Vetrofond Banana with a reactive core that gives it the summery earthiness. Together they become French Country.


For other lampworkers, I am working through my glass stash and getting to know individual colors. I will be building up a library on my website of how I interpret the glass. While this is probably mostly just a library for me, I'll go ahead and post my findings, just in case anyone else can find it useful. Thanks!

Manufacturer: Creation is Messy

Color: Sapphire - this is an achingly beautiful, vivid, blue sapphire. I have done an encased version and done plain spacers. Encasing dulls the blue. The plain color is dramatic. My opinion is that this color should never be's too pretty. Also, this color looks great as nuggets or with facets. This is a standard color for CiM.

Rod Size: 6 mm

How the glass feels to me: I have been finding CiM colors to be a bit stiffer in the flame. The good part of this is that the stiffness gives you a little more working time for shaping. The challenge is switching between opaques that are softer and back to CiM colors that are generally stiffer. Once your mind assimilates the differences, you get some beautiful effects with CiM colors. Warm the glass slowly in the flame. When you work it slow, the way it wants to be worked, the resulting beads are crystal clear.

A surprising effect: I had been working this glass faster because of working with other opaques and discovered a fun little effect. If I warmed it too quickly, I could feel the rod pop and see shattering through the glass, although the glass didn't actually splinter off. I would warm the glass again and still form a bead which would then include hundreds of bubbles and created a look similar to seeded glass.

How to work to achieve various results:

Basic clear: warm the glass slowly in the flame and wind slowly

Seeded look: to get all over bubble inclusions (similar to seeded glass), waft the glass quickly and closely to the flame until you feel the rod shattering at the end. Once it shatters, slow down (so it doesn't pop off) and let the glass melt back together then begin winding onto the mandrel. Continue winding slowly and forming the bead as desired. I found this easier to repeat with a rod that had been warmed and set aside aside, then re-warmed.

1 comment:

  1. Ooohhh-- love the tips about the glass! I have a tip about some glass that I will send you soon. I need to try that CIM Sapphire!