30/09/2012

Luscious Caramels made with CiM Ghee

Every now and then I get a terrible crush on a glass colour and right now I am sweet on CiM Ghee.

I've had a little bit of this glass in my stash for a very long time but have rarely done anything with it. In rod form Ghee looks like a pale yellow that falls somewhere just shy of fully opaque. Yellow, pale yellow in particular, has never been up there as one of my go to colours.

My recent fascination with making sweet treats and chocolate beads with my Kati press has had me looking at glass colours in a whole new way. I've been opening draws and musing what glass actually looks good enough to eat! Looking with sweet shop eyes at Ghee made me wonder if it might work well for lemon icing or lemon curd filling for sponge cakes. When I took my first Ghee test bead out of the kiln I was thrilled with how utterly delicious it looked. Without any fuss or special treatment from me it had struck evenly to a rich caramel, looking melt in the mouth delicious and utterly lickable (though I can promise you that I haven't actually licked any!                   

To the right are a trio of Ghee based apple caramel beads iced with milk choc, dark choc and white icing and Ghee looks suitably delicious in combination with all three or them and has me hankering to make glass profiteroles too! Nom nom nom!

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28/09/2012

Mini Mo' July 2012 - Crème Brûlée and Strawberry Mivvi

Both of my July glasswork collections are inspired by sweet treats. The first, Crème Brûlée, uses colours that bring to mind smooth caramelised sugar. I've used Effetre Apricot 419, Dark Yellow 412, Orange Transparent Special 422-T and Dark Brown 448 with Choca Mocha shards
To the right and below are two views of a very special bracelet. My very first BHB bead collection. BHB is short hand for big hole bead and these have a 4mm hole which means they will fit many of the popular European Bracelet systems out at this time. I have created this lovely collection using shards twistie and murrini from my Creme Brulee Mini Mo'.
There is twistie, murrini or shard detail over a trio of subtle yet gorgeous glass colours, CiM Dirty Martini and Effetre Uranium Yellow and Uranium Yellow opaque.
My second collection is arguably the most vibrant collection of glasswork to date. It is called Strawberry Mivvi as these colours together bring to mind one of my favourite childhood treats. I've used Vetrofond odd lot Sunshine Special, Vetrofond odd lot Banana Cream and CiM Maraschino with Silvered Banana Cream shards.
To the left and below are two views of my Strawberry Mivvi BHB breacelet which uses all of the  elements of my Strawberry Mivvi Mini Mo' over CiM Sangre, CiM Clockwork and CiM Canary ltd run.
I have made four beads styles, one in each of these three zinging colours, tyre beads wrapped in twistie, tyre beads with twistie dots, round beads with shard decoration and lastly round beads with twisted murrini.

Jolene x

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26/09/2012

Mini Mo' June 2012 - Poppy Red and Mint Julep

The morning walk to nursery with my daughter inspired my first June colourway, Poppy Red. I saw beautiful dancing blood red poppies every morning with their delicate paper thin petals. The Poppy Red Mini Mo’ glasswork was made with Lauscha Red, Reichenbach Lipstick and Vetrofond Light Red 428 with classic silvered Hades shards
This first juicy set is made with Tangerine Dark Yellow Special 591412-T, dots of Effetre Apricot and Poppy red spiral murrini - this Mini Mo' contains a mix of starburst and spirals.
Here is s set of sculptural florals made with Poppy red flat cane over CiM Creamsicle.
Lastly I want to show you a fun set of beads showing the Poppy Red ribbon cane under encasement (Effetre 006)
Thinking of summer and summertime drinks and also being partial to mint I couldn't help but get inspired by the theme Mint Julep. Perhaps it is not too much of a surprise that working with vibrant Poppy reds had me then reaching for these teals and fabulously cool greens next as they would be practically directly opposite on a colour wheel.

My Mint Julep Mini mo' includes elements made with CiM Mermaid, Moana, Emerald City, Dirty Martini, Bludini, Lauscha Dark Teal and Effetre Teal transparent with Ocean View shards.
First up a set of sculptural florals using the flat cane and dark twistie cane in the Mint Julep Mini Mo' collection over cool CiM Glacier.
This fantastic set of twistie beads uses the Mint Julep ribbon cane over CiM Blue Moon ltd run and encased with Effetre 006.
Last up for June's Mini Mo' round up post is this wonderfully detailed aquarium tab bead which features Mint Julep Murrini bottom left and little tangs from my Underwater World Mini Mo' from back in January.

Just for fun here is a lovely post about the history of a Mint Julep and the recipe too.





 Jolene x

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25/09/2012

Zoozii's texture plate heart tutorial with notes on highlight mica (pixie dust)

I have recently brought a Zoozii's texture tool press. It's a pretty versatile piece of kit with a good range of shape plates and texture plates to choose from and to mix and match. This tutorial uses the Texture Tool base in conjunction with the Heart Shape Plate medium+ and Spiral Texture Plates. The screws supplied with the texture tool are long enough so that you can select a texture plate and shape plate and layer them up over your base and handle and secure them to create your own custom press.

In this tutorial there is also some some tips on how to use highlight mica (pixie dust) for surface decoration. Above are a few examples of what violet highlight mica looks like over some of my favourite transparent CiM glass colours. Pale transparent glass looks particularly effective with highlight mica. Adding a little mica as partial surface decoration to textured beads is a simple and pretty way to add a little sparkle and pick out a little detail whilst being an efficient use of mica if you have just a little sampler or baggie.


Step1 wrap your mandrel with several small wrap of your s=chosen glass and roll it out on a graphite paddle to a length just short of your heart cavity.
Step 2 measure your base bead against the press to check length. Heat and marver further is your bead is too short.
Step 3 add more glass to your base bead to form a conical shape.
Step 4 heat and press your cone into the heart cavity
Step 5 heat again an press the other side of your bead into the heart cavity.
Step 6 add 1 large dot of glass to each side of your bead to begin to form the lobes.
Step 7 heat and press both sides into your heart cavity and look to see how much more glass your need to add to the top and sides.
Step 8 swipe a small amount on the sides and top of your bead where required.
Step 9 heat and press both sides into your heart cavity and look again to see if any more glass is needed.
Step10 add small amounts of glass where needed, remember it is easier to add more glass than take away excess glass when working with a press. Adding small amounts at a time yields the best results.
Step 11 heat and press both sides into your heart cavity and look again to see if any more glass is needed. If so repeat steps 10 and 11 until you are happy with the fit.
Step 12 add a trio of small dots top to both flat sides. Place one dot on each lobe and one near the base of the heart. It will be this extra glass that fills the texture plate cavity when you come to press your bead. Heat your bead thoroughly and then press. Immediately after pressing waft your bead through the flame to put back some of the heat lost to the brass when the bead was pressed. If you are not adding further decoration place your bead directly into your warm kiln.
Step13 To add some sparkle heat your bead further until it is glowing but not yet hot enough to loose detail. The mica will only adhere to molten glass so you will need to work quickly. Dab one side of your bead onto a small amount of highlight mica which you have placed on a heat proof surface. Turn the bead and dab the other side. Return the bead to the top of the flame only and flame anneal thoroughly before placing your pressed bead in the kiln.







Using this kind of powdered surface decoration can be a little bit of a juggling act with pressed beads as your bead needs to be warmed thorough before garaging to avoid thermal cracking along the mandrel but also highlight mica is easy to burn off and looks really quite ugly when this happens. Working at the very top on the flame will stop the highlight mica form being burnt while you flame anneal your bead.

Please remember to use common sense and exercise caution when working with mica - wear a dust mask as you would when working with frit and enamels and work in an adequately ventilated space.
Have fun! Jolene x

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21/09/2012

La Patisserie Press III - flowers and diamonds

Today I am going to show you two more step by step tutorials for my beloved Kati was here! Patissierie Press.  This post is for the two most complicated chocolate shapes, the first is for the flower cavity and the second is for the diamond shape that I can't help but think of as "vanilla fudge".
This is what the flower cavity looks like, symmetrical across the mandrel line but asymmetric hole to hole. For a little while this shape has presented me with a little bit of a challenge but now I finally have a consistant working process that I'm happy to share.
Step 1 add a row of small wraps of glass to your mandrel and roll it out on your marver at an angle until you have a cone shape long enough to fill the full length of the flower cavity.
Step 2 press your cone into the flower cavity (I like to use the handle side only at this point so that I can work at eye level) to leave indents where the internal points of the flower meet your core bead.
Step 3 add four small dots of glass between the indents to start building your petal shapes
Step 3 warm your beads and press inside the flower cavity on the handle side of your press. turn the bead over and press the other side.
Step 5 Start to give your flower form some depth by putting five small dots on top of your petals, turn the bead over and place five more dots on the petals on the other side.
Step 6 warm your bead thoroughly and press in the flower cavity on your handle, turn the bead and press again. Repeat steps 3 through to 6 as many times as you need to, adding small amounts of glass each time until you are happy with your flower form.
Step 7 add small dots of glass to the centre of your flower shape on both sides.
Step 7 warm your bead thoroughly and press in the flower cavity in the handle, turn the bead and press the other side.
Step 8 add a generous dollop of glass top and bottom of your flower bead.
Step 9 heat your bead through and place your bead in the base and press between both halves of the press. This will smooth the shape and push glass down onto the texture plate to give you the waves on the bottom.
Next decorate your choc with murrini, stringers, textures and other fun stuff to make it look extra yummy!

If you take more care in the initial length of your footprint than I have here (mine was about 1/2mm too long) there will not be any overspill on to your mandrel through the pressing process. This bead will need to be cold worked with a diamond coated bit once properly annealed to remove the tiny amount of excess glass between its bottom petals.
I have also been having quite a bit of fun with this shape by treating it like a murrini making mold - the smiley face on my Pumpkin Murrini was form by half filling the flower cavity with black glass. This gorgeous orange colour is CiM Creamsicle which is one of my all time favourite glass colours.
Next I'd like to show you the vanilla fudge (diamond) form. I have found this shape the most difficult to get to grips with despite the fact that at first glance it looks to be quite a simple form without curves or ridges to consider. I have found that it is a rather round about and counter intuitive route that I have needed to take to get consistently crisp looking lines and smooth and uniform bead holes.

Step 1 add a row of small wraps of glass to your mandrel and roll it out on your marver until you have a tube shape long enough to fill the full length of the diamond cavity. In cross section it will look like a rectangle with corners that stick out beyond the cavity shape.
Step 2 super heat the tube until the whole core is liquid and shrinks back in to a rugby ball form. Keep the bead turning to keep the glass centred and even.
Step 3 Allow the bead to cool slightly and then press in to the diamond cavity in handle part of the press. Turn the bead over and press the other side.
Step 4 add two dots top and bottom of the bead fairly near where the bead footprint tapers off on the mandrel.
Step 5 heat the dots on and press the bead again in the diamond cavity in the handle, turn the bead and press again on the other side.
Step 5 repeat step 4 add two dots top and bottom of the bead fairly near where the bead footprint tapers off on the mandrel. The idea is that I am adding glass specifically corners little by little and building up the form gradually.
Step 7 repeat step 5 heat the dots on and press the bead again in the diamond cavity in the handle, turn the bead and press again on the other side.
Keep going with adding tiny dots at the corners and pressing in the diamond cavity until you have neat filled in corners and smooth well formed bead holes that are no longer tapered or sharp.
Step 8 add a generous dollop of glass top and bottom of your flower bead.
Step 9 heat your bead through and place it in the base and press between both halves of the press. This will smooth the shape and push glass down onto the texture plate to give you the waves on the bottom.

This delicious looking toasted caramel/toffee/boiled sugar sweet treat looking glass is CiM Ghee and I will be doing a whole blog post dedicated to this glass and how well it lends itself to confectionery beads in the near future.

I hope that my trio of short tutorials with the Kati was here! La Patisserie Press have helped to inspire. You can view the full list of tutorials that I have published on my blog here.

Have fun! Jolene x

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