Just like any other brand of glass, no matter if it’s new to the market or just new to me, I approach it gingerly. I start out with a few colors and test it myself. First, I look at my favorite glass sellers’ sites to see what’s new. But before I buy, I check Kandice Seeber’s Coloraddiction blog, then maybe Dragon Jools, to see what they came up with for spacers, larger beads, encased beads, etc. Since some colors change as they’re worked, and then change some more in the kiln, the paddles shown on the glass sellers’ sites can only give me a vague idea about what I’ll get in a finished bead. Once I’ve narrowed down what I want, I order small amounts. I make a few beads and keep a close eye on them for incompatibility cracks. I give them at least a few days for that, although cracks usually show up for me within the first 24 hours. Sure, it is a disappointment when it happens, but we can’t expect the glass manufacturers to conduct all of the testing for us, particularly with other brands of glass. We have to find this out for ourselves in our own surroundings, with our own methods and applications – and we simply can’t avoid a little bit of hard knock schooling every now and then.
So, I’d like to talk about Creation Is Messy, (CIM or Messy for short). They were already off to a good start by producing colors that were absent in the Effetre or Vetrofond lines. That’s nice and all, but… are these wonderful new colors going to crack up my stuff? Just like all new things, I was resistant and opted to watch and wait. However, I have bought small bundles of Messy here and there over the last few years, trying not to get too excited about it. I ended up not using it that much because the viscosity was so different from what I’m used to. I do a lot of marvering (or smooshing) and use several colors and layers on one bead, and viscosity plays a big part in crispness and definition. But the good news is, I haven’t had any cracking issues with Messy when used with Effetre or Vetrofond, which is a definite plus. So fairly recently, I’ve accumulated a bit more and have been very pleased with the colors. I still use it in small amounts, but have made more of an effort to work it into my designs. For me, it’s perfect for bumpy surface dots or transparent inclusions, where its stiffness and slow melt are very desirable:
Just a couple of weeks ago, Genea Crivello-Knable gifted me with a sizeable sampling of Messy color. I’ve only had a little bit of time to mess with it between orders, but so far, I’m liking Messy more and more. And one very noteworthy discovery: Genea was right about the Elphaba! It’s an opaque green that doesn’t swallow surface decoration OR get hideously streaky. That’s a pretty big deal, people.
Some folks have a problem with the fact that Messy is made in China, but I have to say, this glass has a good vibe. I know that sounds hokey. They have consistently produced new, unique (and most importantly, compatible) colors, and add another number to the end of the stock number to denote variations within a batch, even slight ones. They have a great website with artist feedback and a small gallery for each color – some of these galleries show comparisons between their color and similar colors from other brands, which helps one decide if they *really* need that color or not. If you’ve been hesitant to give it a try (like I was), I’d say go ahead and try a little. The quality of this glass is very good, too, and it is priced accordingly. I’ve come across a shocky rod or two, but I have yet to find a stone or an excessively seedy (bubbly) rod. My current favorites are Crocus, Olive, and Leaky Pen. Leaky Pen is an odd bird, really – a dark prussian blue that can take on a deep greenish teal cast when thinned (but still more blue than effetre dark teal), and when the rod reflects and refracts light, there’s no telling if you’ll get the bluer or greener version.
NOTE: I’m not receiving money, glass or sexual favors from CIM for writing this. I’m just sharing my opinion and experience. What I like and what you like may be very different. Any connection between my reality and yours is purely coincidental. And all that disclaimer rot.