Flutterby Sky - Fremen

The question is - Have I ever experienced Fremen pitting? The answer, for me at least is no. In the course of experimenting though I did fall in love with how soft and beautiful Fremen looks when encased with Messy Clear and then acid etched.

This bead is etched encased Freeman tab with butterfly Murrini by Ryan Turner.

I found that I had to treat Fremen very harshly by superheating for a prolonged period of time to get any sign of the surface sparkles and fizz that tells me the glass is boiling. Unlike with Pulsar though, there is no sign of surface pitting on my beads once they have cooled. Fremen is a wonderfully well behaved glass when I work it in a cool flame.

Tab focal with moth murrini by Charlotte Dakin-Norris.

Fremen is described as an opaque sky blue - perhaps this is why I couldn't resist teaming it with fluterby murrini. The dreamy look of these beads means that encasing and etching Fremen is a combination I am sure to come back to over and over again.

Jolene x

Messy testing - a few bit-some thoughts on Pulsar

My daughter Ruby says bit-some a lot at the minute, a bit-some Peppa Pig, a bit-some cuppee tea.....here are my bit-some thoughts on Pulsar.

Pulsar has a reputation for pitting. I have tested glass from two different batches and found that both did pit when I worked with them.

I tend to work fairly hot and it seems that Pulsar cannot stand up to prolonged heating in an intense flame without it boiling and bubbling up. This is what causes the pitting and tiny holes on the surface of some of my beads. To get the best from this beautiful transparent blue glass I found that I needed to melt Pulsar more slowly, turning my torch down a bit and working in the cooler tip of the flame. I think that Pulsar looks beautiful with blue highlight mica.

Pulsar also seems to be sensitive to a slightly reducing (propane rich) flame. This little spacer bead has a rusty/terracotta surface discoloration. I normally associate this sort of reaction to the chemistry of the flame to opaque rather than transparent colours.

Mostly though I think that Pulsar is made to be etched - it puts me in mind of tumbled seaglass and the ground surface of antique cobalt glass apothecary jar stoppers.

Jolene x

Blue Sangre

I have tested glass from three different batches of CiM Sangre, making a series of rough spacer beads in various different flame chemistry conditions, oxygen rich, neutral, slightly reducing and a strong orange reduction flame. The spacers formed in the reduction flame are the only ones to show any signs of turning blue at all – and then only in small patches.

None of these spacers have been struck, you can clearly see the transparent yellow areas on many of these beads which is what Sangre looks like before you reheat it to strike to red. I find though that Sangre does strike for me fully and evenly the first time that I bring it back to the flame. The picture to the left was taken indoors under artificial lighting and the glass looks darker, like toffee apple caramel rather than the vibrant and juicy red that it's true transparent shade. The image below was taken indoors also but is lit with a daylight lamp (10,000 lux) and looks much closer to true colour.

Next I made a large focal sized bead, using just Sangre, in a strong reduction flame. The results were very interesting; streaks of light grey/blue are clearly visible on the bead after kiln annealing. This bead is also totally opaque, the longer working and repeated striking has taken Sangre from unstruck two tone transparent and on to fully opaque which personally I like. It gives Sangre working properties unique in the 104 palette and is a very versatile glass

Jolene x