Monday, December 3, 2018

Glass Testing: CiM 630 Your Majesty, 628 Wisteria and 488 Peppermint Cream

Okay, everyone - I know it's been like 7 billion years since I have last posted a glass test, but here I am! Creation is Messy sent out a really large batch of new colors this time, too.

First off, not all the colors in the package are completely new; CiM has remade or reformulated a bunch of colors, and created two new sub-sections of glass they are calling Misty Opals and Sparkles. Misty Opals are a bit like the old Moonstone shades, in that they are somewhat more translucent than regular Opals. The Sparkles are transparent colors mixed with goldstone. I'll get to those in a later post.

Now, I personally do not have a ton of experience with opals in general, so my testing of these (and there are a lot of them) will be somewhat limited to my own skill-set and style. I may not test every one - mostly because there are, like, 8 different shades of green opal, and I imagine they are all pretty similar. But I will try to get to as many was I can.

Almost all of the colors sent with this batch are Limited Runs, so assume the colors are not part of their main color line unless otherwise indicated. This is because CiM is not certain they can remake a lot of their new colors, and when they try to remake a color that doesn't have an established recipe and production, it's often just different enough to warrant its own name and number.

For this first session, I tested three colors - one opaque, one transparent and one of the Misty Opals.

The opaque is an off-white shade with just the teeniest hint of a greenish cast, and it's called Peppermint Cream. One major thing to begin with is that the rods of this color I was given were extremely shocky. Now, I am not sure if this is just a problem with these first rods, or if they have a whole batch like that. But I ended up wasting a lot of what I had just trying to get a flame environment right enough to melt a few gathers and pull stringers. I ended up having to heat the ends of the rods in the kiln for a bit before melting. The shockiness returned after the rod cooled, so I had to do this several times. This frustrates me to no end! These days, pale opaque rods are more often than not really shocky. Hopefully they can fix this, because if it can't be fixed, I won't be buying this color, even though it is very pretty. I have let Kathy of CiM know about this and hope for a response soon.

Beyond the shockiness, Peppermint Cream is a nice, opaque neutral color that I mostly just used as a base. I wasn't able to encase it for stringer because the rod kept shattering, but I was able to make some spacers and a couple of beads with it. Once it is hot, it has a nice consistency and stays opaque. I did notice some specks of what might be dirt or something in the petal I pulled, which may account for the shocky nature. You can see this if you look closely at the picture above.

I don't have much else to say about Peppermint Cream - but if they end up reformulating it to remove the fragility, I will gladly test it again. I'd like to have this shade in my arsenal - it's nice to have a cooler off-white color as a base.

Next, we have Your Majesty, a medium transparent plum/purple. It seems to be a lighter version of Simply Berry, CiM's dark amethyst shade. I would say that even though Your Majesty has less of a brownish cast than its Effetre cousins, it is still much more plum than purple. I do like that it's not too dark - this will make it a nice color to layer with light purple and blue opaques.

In the beads below, I layered it on top of Evil Queen, and it worked nicely. I can't say this is the most exciting purple in the world, but it's better than some of the alternatives. I would love it if CiM could recreate the Simply Berry Unique one-off that was similar to this, but much less plum and more orchid in color.

Your Majesty was a tiny bit stiffer than usual, but not enough to keep it from layering well. It didn't have any reactive properties, and didn't spread, bleed or scum. It's got great clarity as well. 

Last, we have Wisteria, a Misty Opaque that is a remake of Crocus that is supposed to have more translucency after annealing. I would say it does succeed in that regard, lending an almost pinkish cast to the glowy lavender shade that is Crocus, because more light is getting though.

This glass was not too stiff, and melted nicely. I was able to use it as encased stringer - I layered it on top of Rapunzel (CiM's opaque pale lavender) and pulled a stringer that worked well for scrolling. It held up well when used that way - which is a nice change from the usually persnickety opals, which tended to pop off and crack when used as encased stringer for scrollwork.

In the beads below, I used it as my transparent when layering, and Rapunzel as the opaque. As you can see, these lighter purples faded into the background behind the darker plum. It's just visible enough to lighten the plum dots and ads a little dimension. I think Misty Opals would probably be better used as a base, or as raised decoration, rather than as layered dots.

Wisteria, like almost every other lavender glass on the planet, is a color shifter; it goes bluer under fluorescent lighting, and fades out under some of the new energy efficient bulbs. Under my Reveal bulbs, it stays true glowy lavender with a pinkish cast.

Again, I don't tend to work with opals, so I don't have a lot more to say, except it is very pretty!  Here are a couple of beads with all three colors (along with Evil Queen and clear).

I have not included links to colors in this post because they are not up on CiM's website yet. When they go up, I will edit them in. More colors to come soon!

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!