well heck

Oh boy! When I opened the kiln this morning I did a big happy dance! Yay! Lookee lookee an experiment that worked! Tis that time of year, when I have a wee bit of downtime and I get to play. So I’ve been playing with some new styles of beads, these are window beads. Very fun to make. This is the first one that actually looks like what it is supposed to. Yippee!!!

And then….


Darn. Heck. Crap.

I turned my bead over and saw a HUGE crack. WTF??? Did I not heat the bead evenly? On a larger bead if you are working on a small area you have to be careful to keep the rest of the bead warm, if a section cools to much it will crack. But no, I was very careful. It was the way it cracked, I went to my bench and looked.
Yes, my fault.
The base of the bead is black. And in my “gee let’s just see what this does” mood combined with a really good audiobook in the background I grabbed a rod of Bullseye black, not Moretti/Effetre black.
So what you ask?
Bullseye and Moretti/Effetre are the 2 most popular types of soft glass used by beadmakers. They cannot be mixed (see the above photo). Every type of glass has it’s own COE – coefficient of expansion. This is the rate that a glass will expand and contract with heat. Bullseye has a COE of 90, Moretti/Effetre is 104, meaning that they cool at different rates in the kiln and cause the bead to crack, 100% guaranteed.
Usually I only use Moretti/Effetre because I like the colour palette and because it’s the softest of glasses and it melts the fastest. Yes I am impatient and hyper. However I use the 90 when I’m making my midnight sparkle beads and I’d made a bunch the day before. It is very very very important NEVER to mix different types of glasses on your workbench. Argh. I know that. I just was having too much fun to pay attention and clean up properly.
Well heck. Good thing it’s not the night before a show. If I can make one window bead I can probably make another. Stay tuned.
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