Flame December 2014
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Torchlight on …
Elena Fleury-Rojo Page 4 Members’ beads from last month’s challenge:
Page 7 - 8 Colour testing …. opaque red glass… by
No pressure, no prizes, just fun! Make a bead, set of beads, focal, mixed media, on or off mandrel piece using the theme of or ‘
Post your photos on www.frit-happens.co.uk and/or www.craftpimp.co.uk and/or our Facebook page by All members' photos will be included in the January issue of the GBUK
Elena Fleury-Rojo My name is Elena Fleury-Rojo and I am a glass artist, working in both flamework and glass blowing. I live and work in Colchester, Essex, where I have my own business called “Red Flower Glass”. It has been running as a fully working business for over 2 years now.
I started out studying a BA Hons in Ceramics and Glass at Bucks New Uni, High Wycombe, specialising in blown glass. Whist in my second year at University, I was invited to visit New Zealand and work at the Wanganui Glass School. I waited until after I had finished my degree in 2008, before I went travelling, visiting Australia, New Zealand and the Far East. Whilst I was in New Zealand, I became a Hot Glass Tutorial Assistant at the Wanganui Glass School; I also visited several other glass blowers and their studios, helping out where I could. It was an incredible experience and really opened my eyes to different aspects of glass and what could be achieved.
I also visited Liza-Jane Harvey, who at that time was president of the Glass Bead Association of New Zealand, where I did a two-day one-to-one course in flameworking; this was my introduction to the beadmaker’s’ world and it so inspired me, that when I returned to the UK in 2010, I set-up a flameworking studio and started experimenting with the torch. This was the start of my flameworking creativity.
I began by producing quirky beads and from this I started making jewellery. I entered a GBUK competition in 2012 and won first place in the beginner’s class, theme ‘Fauna’. For me this was a wonderful achievement and it gave me the confidence to carry on with flameworking.
I then made pictures in frames and tried making other fun items; all the time using my beads, but I wanted to go further than just making beads. I kept experimenting with the torch and felt the next step for me was to expand more into sculptural flameworked pieces. I then started my next collection, “Children’s Stories in Glass”. I had such a wonderful response from this collection, having it published in Craft and Design Magazine March/April 2014. From this, I got a phone call from the Henry Moore Foundation, who wanted to meet me to discuss my work and talk about having a collection to sell. After having the meeting, they decided to have three collections of my work: my flameworked jewellery collection, the “Children’s Stories in Glass” collection and my “Aperture” collection from my blown work. Having my work in such a prestigious and world known establishment was very exciting.
In October this year, I had the opportunity to have an internship at James Lethbridge Glass, Antwerp, Belgium, working directly with James Lethbridge. James is a world renowned glass artist who works, with borosilicate glass, making one-off glass chandeliers. In the month I was there, I learnt how to use borosilicate glass, which is so different to the soft glass I have been using in my studio. I also learnt how to do UV bonding. It was great to be creative, learning new techniques and trying out new skills. Working on such a large scale with flameworked glass was exciting. I came home infused with even more passion for glass and the endless possibilities that can be achieved using it.
I love working in the two different methods of glass working: flame and blown. For me they complement each other. Understanding the different properties of different glass and the different techniques that are needed to produce glass works of art is so interesting and working with them is so creative. I look forward to pushing the limits and meeting the challenges that will ensue.
The annual competition will come round faster than you think so we want to give you plenty of notice. Entries need to be in by 28th February 2015 - details of where to send them will be published later. You need to be a paid-up member on 28th February 2015 to enter any category other than Jewellery. The themes this year are:
So get your thinking caps on!
– any form of entry is valid. Newcomers may enter this enter any/all of the main categories. bead – on mandrel, single bead. – multiple beads, on mandrel. – on mandrel.
– incorporates anything else not included above e.g. cold working, dioramas, off-mandrel. – one entry per person, or collaboration group, which must include lampwork beads. This is a good one to suggest to your customers - they can enter the competition using your beads as you do not have to be a member of GBUK to enter the jewellery category.
Opaque red Red is such a colour of such varied emotions. Depending on the shade it can evoke light-hearted jollity, or spilled blood and sinister intentions. Unfortunately, when it comes to opaque glass, the dark and sinister seems to be far easier to achieve than the bright and jolly. Many opaque reds darken considerably after heating, and will darken still further if placed next to a colour they don't like.
In the rod, this colour is the epitome of jolly. It's incredibly bright, halfway between orange and red. When made into a bead, however, it turns out a not very exciting medium red, with some striations. I'm willing to think it's something basic I'm doing wrong, but working further out in the flame, or in a more oxygen-rich flame didn't seem to make much difference. I did get the feeling, though, that the darkening increases the more you work it.
The rod starts out as the colour the light red turns into when cooked, and turns a mahogany brown-red when made into a bead.
I was very excited when I first ordered this, as purple red just sounds such a yummy colour, and on my monitor the sample on the Tuffnellâ€™s website looks like a dark fuchsia. So I was pretty disappointed when the stuff arrived, and the actual rod colour was a brownish-red - rather like the colour the Effetre medium red turns into. Like the other reds, this one darkens still further when made into a bead, turning into a very dark reddish brown indeed.
I bought this one in hope and desperation, knowing Reichenbach's reputation as a maker of very high quality glass. It's a beautiful colour in the rod, a rich, bright red. It's slightly translucent, and behaves more like a striking transparent when heated, turning first clear, and then gradually darkening. But, alas, Strawberry was not to be my Holy Grail, or even my Fruit Salad Cup. It goes slightly more brown when cooked, turning into a colour reminiscent of Heinz Tomato Soup. It's an interesting colour, but not really strawberry.
Ah, now we're getting somewhere. This is a very bright, slightly orangey red in the rod, but unlike the others, it stays that way when cooked. It's even more translucent than Reichenbach Strawberry, and clearly really is a striking glass, needing a bit of cooling and gradual heat to bring out the colour. And it's bright. It really is.
Left to right: light red, medium red, purple red, Strawberry, Poppy. The Strawberry and Poppy appear lighter in the photo than in life, as the flash photography illuminates their translucency.
Left to right: light red, medium red, purple red, Strawberry, Poppy; all with dots of Effetre dark sky blue. I wondered if the reds would react with turquoise in the same way that orange and coral do. The Effetre and Reichenbach colours didn't obviously change, but there is a very noticeable line around the Poppy, which also darkened in colour. The inner dot of Poppy is positively brown. This may be because of the colours reacting, or may be the turquoise showing through under the translucent red.
The other annoying thing that opaque red tends to do is to spread out over white. Left to right: light red, medium red, purple red, Strawberry and Poppy, all over a base of Effetre white. All the Effetre colours spread out a bit. Strawberry turned into a complete jammy smear, but on the other hand, the colour was gorgeous, maybe because it had spread so thinly over the white. Poppy didn't spread at all, maybe because it really is a transparent colour, lurking incognito among the opaques. However, it also showed itself to be actually a very bright orange, reminding me of CIM's Clockwork.
I know that red with Rubino Oro is difficult, but I wondered how the reds would react with other pinks. Left to right: light red and medium red with a base of Effetre transparent pink and inner dots of Effetre opaque pink; light red and Poppy on a base of Reichenbach opal raspberry and inner dots of Effetre silver pink; base of Reichenbach Pink Lady with dots of medium red.
â€˜Inclusions â€˜ A spacer bead inside a hollow bead
Gold leaf applied to a heart bead
Silver mesh applied to the beads
Bicarbonate of soda Brass wire
Silver mesh Copper wire
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