Monday, May 6, 2013

CiM Glass Testing: 518 Blue Steel, 520 Raindrop Ltd. Run, 521 Eventide Ltd. Run and 611 Lavender Water Ltd. Run

Yep, it's been awhile, so here are a bunch of new colors to look at!  All four of these are brand new, and will be released for purchase this June.  I get my CiM from Frantz Art Glass.  However, all of them except Lavender Water are also going to be available at Tuffnell.

First of all, what these four colors have in common is that they are a bit brighter in rod form than they end up being after spending some time in the kiln. These colors are essentially shades of grey.  For me, this isn't a bad thing at all - I love muted colors.  These four are on the cool side of grey.

We'll start with the one opaque color in the bunch - Blue Steel.  I received a big batch of colors to test from CiM recently, and Blue Steel is the only selection that is not a Limited Run.  They are adding it to the regular production line, I am assuming, which is nice. It's a color we don't have, and I think it will make a nice base for any of the transparent greys and blues we have now. (**Note: as of 5/9/13, Blue Steel has been changed to a Ltd. Run, due to CiM not being able to recreate it right away.  Kathy from CiM has reported that until they are able to melt a consistent color, Blue Steel is only available at Frantz Art Glass.)
spacers, plain and encased with clear

The name of this color is slightly misleading, I think.  For me, this color reads grey - if a tiny bit on the cool side. In rod form, it certainly looks like a steel blue.  But after time in the kiln, the blue fades and you get a medium cool grey.

The consistency of this glass is really nice.  It does spread a little bit - but not enough to mess with your other colors.  I didn't have any problems with bleeding when encased in clear or any of the other three transparents I tested it with. Blue Steel isn't particularly stiff, either.

I did notice a little bit of a reaction when white stringer was melted into a base of Blue Steel - the white fades somewhat and you get the pretty little reaction lines around the scrollwork.  Not an unattractive feature to be sure. Striations in the color as a base go away when transparents are layered on top.

When encased in clear, the Blue Steel did lighten up quite a bit, as you can see in the spacer beads.  However, it's still a nice base for layering transparents onto - it doesn't fade out too much. 

All in all, I really like this color as a layering basic grey. It's much cooler and a bit lighter than the other CiM gray, Adamantium, so it's a nice edition to the line.

Next, we have Eventide, a medium transparent color that looks like a muted lavender in rod form.  However, this color essentially goes cool grey with just a tiny hint of cool lavender left over after it's annealed.  I love muted purples, so I was kind of disappointed that Eventide faded so much.  Still, it makes a nice layering transparent color if you want a cool grey. 
Eventide is your basic, consistent transparent color.  It's the stiffest of this bunch, but not too stiff.  It didn't react to anything.  It layered really well with Steel Blue, and together they *almost* make a color that approaches blueish grey rather than just neutral grey.  It's pretty, and reminds me a little of an older CiM color called Dusk - just lighter and with less of a tendency to go brown.

If we had an opaque navy blue in this line, Eventide would be the perfect complement to it. :)

Lavender Water
The next two colors, Raindrop and Lavender Water, are so completely close in hue and shade that they are almost interchangeable.  In fact, when I made spacers of these two colors, I could not tell them apart when I took them out of the kiln. Also, in the beads I am showing here, you can't really tell which color is used where.

Both colors are extremely light.  In rod form, and in the petals I pulled for these tests, Raindrop is the one that is slightly bluer, and Lavender Water was slighly pinker. But after annealing, the color fades a lot, and we are left with - you guessed it - a cool grey. A very, very pale cool grey.  Shown are three spacers - one of them is Lavender Water and the other two are Raindrop. I can't tell which is which - can you?  :)

Pale transparents are nice for layering, but are known for having a tendency to burn and scum really easily.  I had that problem with both of these. However, once I was careful not to overheat them, I was able to melt the colors without too much bubbling.  I turned my torch (a Nortel Minor) down and worked up a little higher in the flame to avoid the scum.

When used to layer the petals of raised flowers (with Blue Steel), the lighter transparents were only a bit lighter than when I used Eventide.  The effect was a little more pronounced when using them to encase a base of Steel Blue.  Eventide was the darkest, and the other two were much lighter.

When used in melted decoration, I couldn't tell much difference between the three transparents at all.

Soooo, what's the verdict? Well, I think all four colors are very pretty, for when you want cool neutrals that behave pretty well. I will likely buy Eventide and Blue Steel.  I will probably only buy one of the other two, depending on what's available, since they are limited runs. But which one doesn't really matter. Have fun!  :)

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