Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mojo and the Reducing Angels

These disks are made from Double Helix test batch M-232b "pinky purple luster":M-232b spiral disks
I have had several days recently where I have lost my "reducing mojo." It's frustrating for me when this happens, since I use reducing silver glass in pretty much every bead I make. Sometimes, for some reason unknown to me, I cannot get silver glass like Triton or Kronos to reduce. It just turns to mud. I try using a different rod, a different glass, adjusting the flame, waving my hand differently, yet my silver glass mojo is just up and gone.

The other day I was working on a custom order for several sets of beads with Triton and M-232b in them. This was one of my days when my mojo was gone. After a set or two of Triton failures and mounting frustration, I decided to call upon the "Reduction Angels" to make the wind blow in the right direction or adjust the phase of the moon so I could get this darn glass to turn shiny!

So I took a deep breath and just set the frustrating custom order aside for a minute. I decided instead I would make what I felt like making - M-232b spiral disks. I was determined to regain my mojo. I waved the disks very close to the yellow reducing cones. I was gonna make that glass reduce! No tip-toeing around 6 inches from the torch face, I was gonna put the bead right into the reducing flame! To my surprise, the disks quickly turned a pretty rose gold color! My mojo had suddenly returned! Yay! Reducing Angels, thank you!

The next morning, when I opened the kiln and saw what I expected to be the Triton disasters for the custom order, I was pleasantly surprised! The beads had turned out with beautiful shiny colors:Triton disksOn these Triton disks I had used multiple reducing/oxidizing cycles, because it didn't look like the reduction was working at first. I kept erasing the reduction with oxygen, then reducing again. I did that so many times on each bead that they ended up looking like mud, totally over-reduced and over-struck. I put the muddy Triton beads into the kiln, "tomorrow's orphan beads" I figured. As it turned out, it must have been the multiple oxidizing and reducing cycles that brought out so many different colors.

So had I really lost my mojo that day after all, if the beads actually ended up okay? Why did they look so bad in the flame but came out shiny and pretty from the kiln? Silver glass can be really fickle. I sympathize with those who are trying to figure out its mysteries!

Also, one thing I've learned is never count your beads before they've hatched out of the kiln. What you think is gonna be bad turns out beautiful, what you're sure is your life's masterpiece turns out to be a muddy disaster, I've seen it a hundred times now!

Here's another set I made for the custom order, CiM "Blush" with M-232b scrolls. I love this combo:Blush and M-232b

Happy day to everyone!


one-eared pig said...

Those disks are just gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Boy, I wish your reducing Gods would visit me. I just finished at the torch and after making 4 triton beads that look like mud going in, I quit. All your beads are beautiful but those discs are to die for.

Karolen said...

Thanks for your comments! I wonder if your Triton beads will come out of the kiln nice and shiny, sassyglass? let me know if they do!

angelinabeadalina said...

I no think your mojo go-go. Those are stunning!!

Paula said...