Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The EGGsperement- Color studies and styles for bird eggs

Hello friends!

I thought you might like to see my experiments while being inspired by spring and all of the eggs, birds, and things I have been seeing lately.

Here are a few of my favorite things others are creating....

Here are Heather's(Humblebeads) eggs. I finally got a chance to really check out all of the amazing things in her shop. I was especially enamored with these style eggs after learning some more about the process. I love all of the layers and earthy feel of her speckly eggs.

I also really love these eggs by Floridity. I saw them through either abs, btw, or Lorelei's site, I forget which one... Anyways, I just LOVE the look of these eggs. I love the way they were created. People are really creating some amazing things in polymer clay since I used it back when I was 14 ;)

So my wonder was, how can I take the egg design and translate it into glass with what I already have at home? Back when I first started making beads I got a collection of reduction frit, which thankfully I didn't spend too much time with, working on a hot head. Hot head torches are pretty much a more reduction flame naturally, but much easier to control and achieve the look you want with an oxygen propane torch.

Anyways... I decided to pull out some silver leaf,  reduction frit,  non-reactive frit from That Frit Girl that I had in my stash to see if I could make some cool eggs.

So first to check out some pictures of eggs on Google. Then I decided to look up birds in my area. I didn't make all of the ones I wrote down, but did some experiments on some common bird eggs.

So first to do some frit testing round beads to see what the colors look like on different bases.
Ok so listed above is the color glass I used. To keep things tidy on the photo I just listed the letters to give a more detailed description in text.

A. Fremen base with That Frit Girl New Light Yellow R-186-1 
Looks a bit too pale for egg speckles.
B. Fremen base with That Frit Girl Sahara R-162-1 This color is a really beautiful pale sandy yellow brown with hints of pink. Not quite the right color for bird eggs.
C. Fremen with Tobacco reduction frit(this was from an old sample pack I had, but check out That Frit Girls version). Spreads too much and a bit metallic for eggs.
D. Fremen with Iris Gold reduction frit reduced(again check out That Frit Girl's version Iris Yellow 218). Much better frit size for speckles, but still too metallic.
E. Dark Ivory base with That Frit Girl New Light Yellow R-186-1
Dark outline reaction with ivory glass. Still not quite the right color.
F. Dark Ivory base with Tobacco reduction frit.
Spreads a lot, and not quite dark enough.
G. Pale Avocado odd- checked out glass to see color. It's streaky on the side(which is not pictured). I think this color might be out of stock due to it being an odd.

Now remember when making these test beads you have to view them quickly and get them into the kiln, so you don't actually get to figure out the best results until your beads are done annealing.

Now for some egg trials. Remember you won't always have exactly the things for your inspiration in your studio when you need them, but sometimes you discover amazing new things when you work with what you've got ;)
A. Unique Ginger-3 with Iris Gold frit reduced.
Nice dark brown color, but too metallic. If you etch the bead note that it will be a lighter color.
B. Unique Ginger-3 with Tobacco reduction frit. 
Still spreads too much for that speckly look and not the right color.
C. Fremen with Tobacco reduction frit reduced.
Frit color is still too light, metallic and spreads.
Dark Ivory rolled in silver leaf and reduced, couldn't remember if it got that really pretty golden color from this style or not. I missed getting a part of the egg covered with silver leaf(see bottom by bead hole) and it looks like the silver fumed the ivory instead getting that color for which I was looking ;)

Ok well so as you noticed, I didn't quite achieve the effects I had hoped, so I decided to just play around with some solid colors. You know their are just plain colored eggs out there. Sometimes after doing many tests and not getting the results you want, it's nice to make something you pretty much know will be successful. 

I admit it's hard for me just to play and not have things turn out. I want EVERY time at the torch to produce the most amazing beads, not that there is anything wrong with the above beads, but you understand ;) It must be that perfectionist in me. I am still recovering....

So here are some plain glass eggs for color testing. I took these same beads and etched them in the picture below for more of a matte look. From left to right: effetre light turquoise, Messy Smurfy, effetre dark turquoise, nest made in Messy Canyon de Chelly(OMG my new favorite next to Stone Ground) This color has some really gorgeous color variations! eggs in effetre dark ivory, dark ivory egg.
Here you can see all of the glass etched(10 minutes in etch all) giving it more of an earthy feel by taking the shiny finish off of the glass. This look also makes them look more like clay. You wouldn't believe how many people ask if etched lampwork beads are really clay and how shocked they are when they discover it's glass ;)

So what did I learn? Well I just have to keep experimenting. I am thinking maybe a nice fine non-reactive frit or maybe some enamels. ;) Oh, before I forget, Messy has some AMAZING soft pastel colors perfect for egg making. Here are some I would recommend: Dirty Martini, Butter Pecan Unique-4, and Butter Pecan Unique -5.

Be sure to check back at the Creation is Messy site later, I did a really awesome color study of all of the Butter Pecan, Ginger, their uniques, and Ivory's. Kathy is up to her ass in alligators at the moment, so I'm sure when she gets her monstrous to-do list done, you will see the photo ;) Be sure to drop her an e-mail and tell her how amazing she is! She is out there making the glass world amazing for us lampworkers :D

Well that about wraps up my color and egg testing. I hope you learned some cool things about glass and color experimenting.

See you soon!

Much love,



Anonymous said...

I like your egg-speriments! Cool shape to work with and how fun with the different frits. Plus etching does make it look more natural.

Unknown said...

Thanks :) I thought people might like to hear about the creative process even if I didn't get the results the way I wanted.

Yeah, etching does give them a nice earthy feel :)

Barbara Bechtel said...

Thanks so much for showing my beads Genea! I love how you are showing your exploration in glass and how you are looking to other mediums for inspiration! I feel honored that my little eggs were a small part of that. I look forward to seeing how they come to fruition!

I also like that you are using what you have on hand! I think that is very critical to forging new creative paths.

Carry on!

Unknown said...

Hey Barbara!

You're welcome :) Thanks! It's always nice to see what inspires artists and where that inspiration leads. Awww I'm glad! Thanks so much. I have put down the egg idea for now with so many things going on, but when I receive a few more things I think I will go back to it and see where that ends up taking me.

Ack, some of that is just for conveniences sake. I hate not having the exact things I need for an idea, but you have to make due, right? That's when sometimes awesome new things are born ;) Yep, you got that right!

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