Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Glass Testing: CiM 555 Sacre Bleu Ltd. Run

Hey, everyone! Today's new color test is of Creation is Messy's latest blue - a transparent bright cobalt called Sacre Bleu. This vivid shade is actually a very easy glass to work with, if a bit tough to capture in a picture. It's very intense - even more so than Effetre Intense Blue or CiM's other cobalt blues called Neon Blue and Royal.

Sacre Bleu is probably closest to Royal, in my opinion, but if you put all four rod colors together, you might have a hard time telling the difference. It's a bit lighter and less intense than Effetre's long-standing basic Cobalt glass.

Sacre Bleu was very easy to use - only slightly stiff, but melts smoothly and evenly. It layers extremely well, with no feathering, bleeding, spreading, pitting, etc. I also didn't have any problems with the rods shocking.

I had fun layering this gorgeous blue on top of Effetre Periwinkle, thus lightening it up a bit while keeping the lovely saturation of color. Layering was easy, since Periwinkle is not as stiff as it's CiM counterpart Grumpy Bear. But you can probably use that in place of Periwinkle and not see much difference.

Sacre Bleu is an easy glass to use and love, but it is a bit hard to photograph. Like all cobalt shades, this one shows up lighter and less intense in pictures, and it takes some photo-editing to get it even close to the vivid deep shade of blue it is in real life. This is as close as I could get!

Here's a set of big hole beads I made with these colors, paired up with some saturated purples for an intense, summery effect. 

These beads are now available in my newly re-opened Etsy store!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Glass Testing: CiM 912 Lilac and 557 Serenity

Happy weekend, everyone! Next on the docket we have two new CiM colors that I really loved.

First up is Lilac, a pale opaque lavender-pink. When I saw these rods I have to admit I wasn't all that impressed. After all, we have lots and lots of too-pale pinks and lavenders in the color palette, and one more wasn't going to do much for me. This is for two reasons - one is that most of these pale colors are just too pale for me when worked alone - especially when you don't layer them. Second is that the majority of the really pale pinks and lavenders are not as opaque as I need them to be - they're opalescent, which makes them hard to layer because they don't keep what little color they do have.

If it sounds like I'm picky - well, I am. Pinks and purples are tough cookies in the glass world!

Lilac is very, very pale - almost icy - and not really pink or lavender, but somewhere in between. However, it makes up for those things by being quite opaque and just a dream to melt. It's not as stiff as more opal glass, and doesn't lost it's opacity when layered. That means you can put darker transparent colors over it and it won't wash out or go see-through. When encasing it in clear, it does go lighter, as you might expect.

So for me, Lilac is a perfect color to layer with things like Rubino, Double Helix Rhea (as seen here), transparent Dark Violet and other saturated pinks and purples. Lilac holds its cool, icy tone well, shifting the reddish fuchsia in the Rhea to a colder hot pink fuchsia - perfect!

Lilac melts really nicely - I didn't have any shocking, which is a relief, since lots of glass seems shocky these days. There also wasn't any pitting or spreading or bleeding - just nice, smooth, opaque, pale color. The viscosity is pretty nice - not too soupy or too stiff.

Tiny little purple striations appeared in the pulled sampler of this color, but no striations appeared in the spacers or in the beads where the color is left bare. I imagine that using this color for sculptural work will lead to some striations.

(Below: Lilac is covered in Rhea on these beads - you can see that it holds its opacity well, even in the encased stringer.)

Next we have Serenity - a medium transparent teal. Now, CiM has done a lot of batches of transparent glass in the blue-green spectrum. Like, a lot. But I'm not mad at that. I love the variety of color. This particular shade sits right in the middle - it's bluer than both Aegean and Poolside, and greener than Zoe, Pulsar, Blue-yah! and Birthstone. It's medium in saturation, making it a lovely color to layer - my favorite thing to do!

There's not much to say about the workability of Serenity - I experienced no bubbles or scum (a nice departure from most transparent blues and greens), no shocking, no spreading or bleeding and no pitting. It's not too stiff, and doesn't seem to react to much - it's just your basic, easy glass.

In these beads, I layered it on top of Fremen, which is a light sky blue. I thought the outcome would be lighter, but I was pleasantly surprised at the lovely, vibrant shade of turquoise-teal that I got.

Serenity fits right into its own spot in the kind of crowded palette of blue-greens, but for me - the more the merrier, because I adore these colors!

**One note on the photography - the lighter the color, the tougher it was to photograph, and Lilac was one of those colors that my camera just hated.  Also, Serenity appears slightly washed out to me on camera - but all blue-greens do to me. They never, ever look the same in real life as they do on the screen - even in anyone else's pics. What I see is always more brilliant and multi-dimensional in real life than in a picture. My husband and I both think I can see these colors differently than other people, so I try to get the pics to be as close to what I think everyone else sees as I can. It's possible that I am a tetrachromat, but who really knows. Please do let me know if my pics ever seem way off - thanks!

(Below: Serenity is layered over Fremen, yielding a gorgeous turquoise)

More to come!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Glass Testing: CiM 554 Cotswold Blue and 465 Oobleck

Aaaand we're back! It's been, yes, months since the last blog post, but I am finally back with the new batch of glass color from Creation is Messy. I got the sampler rods several weeks ago, but it's taken me some time to get testing this go-around due to some illness and medical issues. The good news is I have lots to tell you about the new colors.

It's a somewhat smaller batch this year so far, but these new shades have a lot of potential. All of the new colors are limited runs.

First I'm going to start with Oobleck, which CiM calls a neon green. I agree with the description - this color is a very vivid opaque yellow-green, kind of a chartreuse color. Oobleck is the perfect name for this fun shade that puts me in the mind of the slime from the children's book.

Oobleck is very opaque - not at all opal like other neon colors in the CiM line. This makes it pretty easy to layer. In fact, unlike any other bright green, Oobleck does not spread, bleed, separate or even create striations much. I had no issues with shocking, bubbling or pitting, either. Surprisingly, Oobleck works up like a dream. I say this only because the closest color I can come up with to Oobleck is Effetre Pea Green, which is pretty reactive, spreads, bleeds, separates, pits, etc. Pea Green is slightly more green and not quite as saturated as Oobleck.

The one major drawback for me (and this is personal preference, of course) is that when encased in clear, Oobleck loses some of its effervescent green shade and goes slightly more acid-yellow in tone. You can see that in the beads I am showing below. One color scheme (the one with the magenta) has Oobleck layered with clear and one (the teal/lime) has the Oobleck layered with Appletini. I like the greener version better. All in all, this is a wonderful color for spring and summer - super bright and fun.

Next we have a soft opaque teal called Cotswold Blue. Cotswold is kind of a middle of the road color - it's hard to really pin down. It's more muted than a real teal - too green to be blue and too blue to be green. To dark to be turquoise and too bright to be slate blue. Soft teal would probably be my description. As for the glass palette - this one seems to be relatively unique - it's darker than Quetzal, bluer than Sherwood or Elf, more muted and slightly lighter than Mermaid.

While it does melt nicely without too much shocking, I got a lot of striations with this color. It separates a lot, even when encased. The larger the bead, the more striations under the encasing I saw. Left un-encased, there were lots of striation marks and lines as well. This can have design potential for some, but for me it's not as desirable. What I did like about it was that it went well with Siren - the pale teal green I reviewed last year. Cotswold also didn't bleed or spread a lot, which was nice. I had no problems encasing it. This means it will likely be a really nice color to use underneath bright transparent teal shades to deepen the color.

The beads below showcase Cotswold Blue with lime and aqua shades.
More colors coming soon!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Glass Color Testing: CiM 553 Poolside, 315 Buttermilk and Monarch 216

Three more CiM colors to chat about today! I used these three together, for a nice autumn contrast.

First up we have a pale, creamy opaque color called Buttermilk. This color is
so pale you might almost mistake it for white until you put it next to white. Then you can see the creamy yellow undertones. It's kind of like an eggshell with just a tiny hint of yellow if you strike it right.

Buttermilk is pretty well-behaved, but will spread a little bit if you don't cover it completely and carefully. It's not too stiff, but not at all soupy like other pale opaque cream colors tend to be. It also wasn't shocky, which was really nice.

Buttermilk might technically be a striking color - I did notice that it would blush slightly yellow when I pulled the sample petal, but honestly, that goes away when working the glass with other colors. I think it might streak a little when used as a sculptural base, but that's it as far as striking goes.

I like Buttermilk as a base for amber shades, but I probably will stick with the cooler/less yellow cream colors for layering browns and creams. Also, this color is too light to substitute for Opal Yellow or Painted Hills.

Next we have Monarch - a lovely striking yellow/orange opaque. Monarch is a striking color that goes a bit more yellow when worked - depending on whether it's encased or left as a base. In the rod, it's decidedly more orange and bright, but as you work it it transforms into a more subtle shade of orangy yellow. I just love how it brightened the amber I used with it.

Monarch is a really easy glass - no shocking, nice consistency.

 What I did notice was that I got a reaction when layering Monarch with Buttermilk and some transparent ambers (Indian Summer and Medium Topaz Effetre). I am unsure which color is responsible for the devit lines I got surrounding the melted in petals on some of these beads. I decided they were pretty, though.

When I encased Monarch it had no spreading issues, so I think any spreading would be more due to whatever transparent glass might react with it. This might be worth exploring a little further.

Last, we have a contrasting color - a gorgeous transparent medium teal called Poolside.

Poolside is a gorgeous shade that is lighter, greener and more vivid than the rest of the teals in the 104 palette. I think it goes perfectly on top of Quetzal, as it matches the tonality really well.

I had no bubbling issues with this color, but as usual if this shade of teal scums up on you, you can likely melt it off by gently continuing to heat your gather. The consistency of this glass is great - it melted smoothly and stayed stable.

The following beads were made with all three new colors, plus Quetzal, Indian Summer, Medium Topaz and Double Helix Helios.