Zephyr, 006 and making florals...

Just recently I've been on a floral kick, I've always wanted to make beads that are like bottled gardens with layers and layers of prettiness to explore inside them. As you can imagine, with two preschool age children and my partner who works shifts, that my studio time is very limited. I could never quite justify to myself investing an hour or more on every bead which (at least in the early stages of the sharp learning curve) would very likely turn out to be for the fugly jar (or my daughters pocketses).

I found myself waxing lyrical to a bead making chum t'other day about my bead making daydreams and she told me just to do it! I suddenly realised that I have spent the first 4 years of my lampworking journey teaching myself how to make the beautiful preparatory elements I need for making the wistful cottage garden beads of my imagination and it was good time to get brave and start to put it all together. That evening I spent a fair bit of time playing about at the torch, making a series of beads that increased in complexity.

These are my favourites of the night

The orange blossom vessel bead is my favourite I've made to date and I accidentally stayed up torching til 2am without even realising the time!

Anyway, to the main point of this blog post, Zephyr and Effetre 006, Double Helix Glassworks just recently manufactured and release a super douper clear glass. It was said to be scum free, optically brilliant and completely compatible with all of the DH silverglass range. At nearly 6 times the price (in the UK) of standard Effetre 006 I did my best to resist temptation until the very first discussion thread started about Zephyr on Frit Happens Forum where Julie Fountain of Lush Lampwork shared her discovery that Zephyr doesn't etch.

It just sent my brain fizzing and popping with possibilities of selective acid etching and I just had to try it out with some floral bead sets I had been planning to make.

Unetched 006 floral cane beds over CiM Khaki and fine silver leaf

Etched beads, floral canes encased with Effetre 006 over Zephyr encased Effetre Dark Turquoise.

Etched beads, Zephyr encased canes over a base of beautiful CiM Commando.

I am so thrilled with the results, matt beads with glossy detail and glossy beads with soft powder toned petals, I am so glad I bit the bullet and bought some Zephyr in now. It's FAB.