A few days ago I managed to finish this for a customer:
I used Effetre 221 as core, covered one end with Cim Lapis, the other with Effetre 081. Swirled some SI stringer around the center, pressed and made spirals.
Silverwork, sterling, by yours truely.
It was recieved well!
I got hit by the murrini bug a little while ago, and have had loads of fun (and frustrations) construction murrini canes. I find using cutters for cutting murrini slices difficult and was advised to use a glass cutting machine in stead, but I wanted a less costly solution. Here is the result:
This is a 2.3 mm shaft diamond cutter, in a flexi-shaft mounted in an old hanging dentist drill. Available online at goldsmith suppliers, or google “mini diamond cutting disc”. Choose the fine grate type. Price about $20
You might be able to use a Dreml or similar machine, if it runs slow enough. My Dreml can’t go slower than 5.000 rpm, and that is too fast for this!!!
then it would be better with a flexi-shaft mounted in a household (battery) drill.
Holding my hands over a pot of water and keeping my left hand wet allowing enough water to run and keep the cutting place wet. Otherwise stop the cutter and dip.
Close up of the cutting – it is extremely important you hold the handle with the cutter as shown. If you hold it like a pencil, you have no control of it and you risk injuring yourself badly. Both wrists must rest on something steady (here the edge of the pot), and you need to tighten your hands and press your right thumb agains the glass rod to press agains the rotation of the cutter.
A nice thin slice – can be thinner still. They all land in the pot, in stead of flying all over the place.
All glass dust is wet and therefore harmless.
I was so inspiret by a bracelet made my Corina Tettinger here (scroll down till you find Etched Batique Mini Orrbs), and wanted to try making that particular colour combination/reaction, so I set out to play:
Some of the dots are made with a homemade blend of 1 part Cim Leaky pen and Effetre Petrol 218 – refered to as mix in the following recipes. E is short for effetre:
1: E-224 + Cim leaky ink
2: E-244 + E-036
3: E-224 + Kugler Silver Blue
4: E-224 + mix
5: Cim Fremen + E-218
6: E-232 + Leaky Pen
7: Cim Fremen + Mix
8: E-228 + E-218
9: E-236 + Leaky Pen
10: Kugler turqoise + Mix
11: Kugler turqoise + Kugler Silver Blue
12: E-228 + Kugler Silver Blue
13: Cim Electric Avenue + E-218
14: E-228 + Mix
15: E-218 + Kugler Silver Blue
16: E-218 + E-036
17: E-224 + E-218
18: Cim Celadon + mix
Maybe I need to put a name on the Effetre numbers?
Here they are:
E-217…………..Light Copper Green
E-224…………….Light Sky Blue
E-228…………….Dark Sky Blue
Actually, I have been active for a while now, after my hand operation, just couldn’t figure out what subject to blog first….so I start with the last, which is a bracelet I finished today.
It is made of Effetre Black, Ivory, SI and Intense black stringer. Wrapped in Sterling and Fine silver. The size is adjustable, and the price is 450 DKK (€ 60). First come, first served:
Picture is a bit blurred, will take a better one tomorrow in daylight!
I also made a necklace as a present for a friends birthday, that was my first encounter on greens – now I know what you mean by stiff, bleeding colours! That takes some getting used to I guess, for now the greens have been put back in line, back where I can’t see them…
It came out quite nice I think, with my own fine silver findings on a rubber string. Not for sale, of course!
There has been a lot of experimenting going on as well, I’ll just have to sort my notes and pictures so I can post – will try to do it soon. Real soon!
I was challenged to try this special glass from Devardi, and was lucky to find another Danish beadmaker who could spare me some samples, thanks Marianne!
First I couldn’t get the metallic sheen at all, but after an evenings experiments and kind advice from Natasha at Devardi, I got it!
See for yourself…..
This was done on my GOLDSMITH TORCH, with the biggest nozzle – lots of air,not full gas, a hissing flame, and I turned the air-intake a bit down for the final reduction.
I found the bigger beads (which have a clear core) easier to handle, as they don’t heat up and cool down as fast as the small one – and the trick for me, besides finding the right balance and the right spot in the flame, was to cool down the bead a lot longer between each flick in the flame, as I normally would.
I need more practice in this, it is not easy, and the beads are not perfect, but that I put on my lack of experience!
The colour is more coppery than golden, but maybe that is the light? or perhaps this particular batch of glass?
I made a special piece for a very dear friend of mine, for a delayed christmas present – it has been ready for a while, but I couldn’t show and tell before she recieved it, so here it is:
I had seen some beautiful beads with a similar effect, halfway covered in smooth silver – little did I know, I thought metallic silver was used for this, so I did just that. Bent fine silver plate bits over the bead and melted it in, using flux on both silver and glass.
Little did I know that the beads I had seen was made using silver glass like for instance Triton….
These beads were polished in my polishing drum, I will describe the process in another post.
Oh, and the design is not entirely mine – I was heavily inspired by other heart fibulas I found on the net. Try google for “hear fibula glass”, and ask for images….
Today is a big day, I hear the first lark singing over the fields…it is really heartwarming and very welcome after such a long, cold winter. I haven’t seen him yet, so no pictures.
I find as I get older I appreciate things like this more and more, small everyday stuff, but still a confirmation that the cycle of nature and life carries on.
Now to some glass:
My first clear glass was Effetre 004, scummy and not very good, but it might as well be me, what did I know. I read about Lauscha and got some of that, much much better – and more expesive.
So I was recommended the Vetrofond clear, and bought a load with my first order at Tuffnell in UK.
That was acting really, really strange, sooty, brownish and stripey – besides very shocky. Still, I had more confident in the glass than my own skills, so spend a while testing, adsjusting flame, and among other things learned how to avoid impurities in the flame by always keeping the gas hose ABOVE the top of the gass bottle, to ensure impurities to run back down in the bottle rather than collect in a coil of the hose.
Got the whole lot cleaned out, hose, burner, nozzles – didn’t help.
Then I read about pickling the glass, and being a goldsmith I always have a sulphuric acid bath for pickling soldered metals, so tried that.
Okay, it was dawning on me that metalwork and glasswork has a lot in common – so tried to use some soldering flux normally used with silver, painted it on the glass rod and warmed up, paint again so the entire surface is covered in white flux.
That worked! It also worked on other colours, that I at the time couldn’t control so they came out in some form of grey…and rubino oro stayed lovely clear ruby coloured as well.
Only drawback of this is that the surface of the melted glass acts differently, so if you want to use another colour for decoration that has to be fluxed too, otherwise you cant get it to stick on your bed.
I dug out some leftovers of Effetre clear and Lauscha, and made some beads in one go for comparison:
These are not fluxed, but they are all pickled.
From left you have Lauscha, Vetrofond and Effetre.
The big bead in front is Vetrofond made by my friend who has a minor oxy-torch setup. On that it wasn’t very clear either, very bubbly (builds big bubbles), and has some faint streaks, hard to catch with my camera.
The big question is, if Vetrofond clear is simply not suitable for a single fuel torch??? I of course contacted Tuffnell, they hadn’t heard of any problems with this particular batch but offered a replacement – what I would like to know is if Vetrofond clear per definition is something I should avoid.
Anybody out there who can tell?
After a long time of silence I decided to start fresh – this time with my own site.
At the moment making glass beads, flamework, has caught my interest, so other things have been pushed aside for the time being.
Here is my work place:
The torch is my goldsmith single fuel burner fastened in a vise – It is not as big as a Hothead, but works the same way, only more adjustable.
On both sides I have raised the table 10 cm, to give more elbow/wrist support, as a goldsmith I am used to work in this position. The rounds thingies are soft leather cushions filled with sand.
In the background left is an electric slow-cooker with vermicullite, I have no oven, and this way the beads don’t crack so easily.
A closeup of the burner:
There is a selection of nozzles to change the size of the flame, this is the second largest and the one I find easiest to control. The bigger one gets very hot and is also quite bushy, good for melting larger quantities like when blending colours. But difficult to control, so I don’t use it much.
On this one I can make a nice neutral flame, even a slightly oxidizing (though small) flame.
I find it challenging to use this setup, as I can’t spend lots on equipment, and though it has taken me a while to really learn to judge and control the flame, it was well worth it!
Here are some of my beads, made for colour samples:
More to come, stay tuned!