Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Double Helix Zephyr - Quick glass testing.

Hello friends!

It's been awhile since I posted a blog about my findings. I am always on the hunt for the "perfect clear". One that melts well, is free from scratches on the rods, bubbles, one that is compatible with the glass I use, one that only needs a quick wipe in windex or alcohol to be cleaned. I am excited to say I've found it! I added a few new clears to my last glass order and Double Helix Zephyr was one of them. I had wanted to try their clear for awhile and decided this was the time. Now what I am posting is only Zephyr. These are just my very quick glass tests to see how the glass "behaves" with things I like to use in my work.
Here are the quick tests- (from left to right) Raku encased with Zephyr, yellow filigrana encased with Zephyr, Rainbow dichroic encased with Zephyr, and Zephyr.

All of these tests were done to see if there was any incompatible cracking. As you can see it passed with all of the glasses! This means that I can safely layer these with Zephyr in my work without worrying if I will run into any troubles. The last thing you want to do is make a gorgeous focal bead only to have cracks appear after your annealed bead comes out of the kiln! 

The last bead is just Zephyr by itself. You may not be able to tell, but the glass is AMAZINGLY OPTICALLY CLEAR. No bubbles, no scratches, no anything... AMAZING! It's crystal clear! The glass has the perfect melting consistency. It's not too stiff, but not mushy soft either. 
This next test was to see how Zephyr reacts with silver leaf. On the left you can see what silver does on the surface of the glass. It is a bit shimmery with some gold looking tones. On the right the silver leaf has been gently heated as it was encased. Some clears will make silver leaf look gold when encased. Zephyr leaves silver leaf looking silver when encased.

This last test was to see if Zephyr could be used as a clear core for problematic glass, and to test how it reacts with baking soda. I have learned that yellow, coral and some orange glass tend to cooler faster than other colors. I was having some HORRIBLE cracking issues with some XL focal beads. I bought up this problem in the International Society of Glass Bead makers group on Facebook. They were kind enough to give me the tip of using a clear core as a base for these types of colors to avoid the cracking. So as you can see I have pressed the Sunburst Coral bead super thin and no cracks have appeared! 
Breakage- Sunburst Coral with no clear core.

The last test was to see how Zephyr reacted with baking soda as you all know I am totally diggin on my stone textured beads. It's a bit hard to tell from the photo, but the glass has a layer of white on it with very little pitting.So for the baking soda test I know that this will not be a clear I will use for the stone textured beads. This really isn't an issue since there are plenty of other clears that pit very nicely for stone beads. 
This test also tells me that whatever is in the formula for Zephyr keeps the glass protected from things that would want to destroy it's clarity. 

So what is my review? BUY IT! It's AMAZING! It's worth every penny you spend on it! 

Below you can see some of the clear in action.

 Beads with Double Helix Zephyr.
 Beads with Double Helix Zephyr.

I hope you found these tests to be helpful and that if you were thinking about trying Zephyr that this would give you that extra push to add it to your order.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo Genea


Cory Tompkins said...

Great post, I don't make glass beads but I like seeing things like this just to see someone's process and how things work! The zephyr looks beautiful in your examples. How sad to see that fabulous heart broken in half...the design is great and so are the colors!

Genea said...

Thanks Cory! Oh I'm glad you stopped by to read even though you don't make beads. I enjoy seeing the process of art as well. I find it very interesting to have that inside look into people's creative life :) Thank you! It's very shiny and crystal clear! Awww yeah that was a bummer to lose such an awesome bead. Sadly that was one of many that broke at that time before I learned the clear inside technique ;) Thanks so much! xo Genea

NuminosityBeads said...

Thanks for showing your experiments. You always amaze me with your methodic research and meticulous approach. Have you tried casing any of the CIM glasses with it? I have had so much trouble with that and I don't tend to case many of my beads these days as I once did.
I'm sure your broken heart will be usable in some sort of assemblage still.

Genea said...

Hey Kim! Thanks for stopping by! My pleasure! I hope that this information will help others when creating designs. Awww thank you so much for your kind words, that means a lot to me :) I have not. CiM does extensive compatibility testing so I didn't figure I would have any troubles using their glass. I was a color tester and research person for them for many years and trust their glass over many others in the market place. What colors have you seen to be problematic? I would like to try them out and see if I have the same problems. What torch and kiln do you use? What is your annealing temp? Oh it's been ages since I made that heart. It's old news ;) I think I re-glued the ones I could fit right back together at the seams and pitched the rest. I am bad about my work that doesn't turn out. I just pitch it if it breaks. xo Genea

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