Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gaffer Experiments

Deb Batten and Mallory Hoffman turned me on to Gaffer Chalcedony a long time ago. I have other Gaffer Glass and have been doing just a smidgen of playing lately. These are the results of my play. The oblong one is Chalcedony over black/ encased/ with black tips. The one that was squeezed has kind of a kitchen sink approach. The base was Hyacinth, and there is chalcedony (not used to it's advantage by any means), a green lustre, black, and I think a dense black - then it was all encased. It has potential...I need to leave a few of the ingredients out.

One of the things I have to tell you is that this glass works like butter. It's not that it is soupy - it is not. Maybe honey would be a better descriptor. But what I want to tell you is that hands down there is nothing that goes on the way their clear does for encasement. Yeah, I know you can't mix those COE's up. Well, don't. But this clear wraps around in nice little neat circles one on top another. You could stop there and let them stand up and they'd be these optical waves of what is underneath them. It would be a great bead. But, when you heat this encasement up it smoothies itself out and lays flat over it's core - evenly - cleanly - without scum. It's so smooth and skinny no one might even guess that you had added that one extra step. Sometime when you are encasing a Effetre' bead or something else you begin in the same way and pretty soon you are dragging up bits of the the wonderful design you made underneath. Not with that Gaffer, it just tends to stand up in those ridges and slowly melt down in to a perfect flat encasement.

I've been doing beads for over 17 years and have not ever run across how juicy and phenomenal it is. If you haven't tried it call those Gaffer girls up and pick some some rods. You won't be sorry and they are a great help when you can so don't be shy.

I'm going to keep experimenting and I'll post those results here when I get them. Also, if you have an cool combination ideas - post them for me on the blog and I will try to work it out pretty good if I have the glass on had.

Any suggestions will be most graciously accepted.



rosebud101 said...

Gorgeous beads, Sharon!

Deb said...

Fabulous Sharon - just wonderful!!

Try Chalcedony stringers on some of the gaffer opal colour bases. In some cases the stringer will cause the opal base colour to separate beautifully & give a wonderful striated appearance.

The lighter opals (ivory & duck egg white etc) will do the same on top of a chalcedony base bead if melted in turning dark & translucent towards the centre of the colour. Great possibilities for floral & batik style designs :)

Isn't it a dream to melt such a lovely non- shocky glass?

Sharon Driscoll said...

Deb - You couldn't have said it better. I absolutely will try those combinations and let you know how it goes. And, you are absolutely on target - it is not shocky at all, I go right into the flame with it and I adore the way it just flows softly down.