Here’s a quick peek… what I lack in quantity, I think I made up for in design and color:
we'll be on Etsy in just a bit...
In other news, I finally, FINALLY got my hands on a Pepe disk cutter. I’ve been jonesing for one for quite a while now. If you’re in the know (ie, have been looking to buy one yourself), you are aware that the large and combo Pepe disk cutter sets have been widely unavailable for months now. I even heard a rumor of a 1/2″ – 1″ set going for nearly $200 on ebay at auction end. If that was actually true, and they were willing to pay that much, why not just spring for one of those blingeriffic Swanstrom monsters? Anyway. The week before Christmas, I was minutes away from giving up and ordering a Eurotool version and had a strong hunch that I ought to call Pepe directly to check in on things first. The lady on the phone was rather vague, perhaps she feared I was about to storm in and demand a disk cutter (this was a local call, only fifteen minutes away, aren’t you jealous?) but she did finally admit they had sent some out to the various distributors the week prior. I asked if they had shipped to Gesswein or Contenti, and she said yes. YES! So, my next call was to Contenti, and the lady had to check before confirming it, but yes, they were expecting a restock of all the Pepe disk cutters. She assured me there would be PLENTY. Wowee! So I stalked the disk cutter page and when ADD came up next to the item number, I was on it like fuzz on mice.
pepe cutter (photo lifted from contenti.com)
So I gave the 1 inch cutter a try, assuming that would be the most difficult, and I’m beyond impressed. I lubed up the punch with beeswax and smacked it twice with a 2lb brass hammer and that disk came out clean and crisp. When I first started buying metalsmithing tools, I got the Harbor Freight disk cutter, and I actually returned it. Something has to be pretty awful for me to return it. (The wonderful wool argyle men’s sweater from the Gap comes to mind – I still long for that sweater a year later, but the itchy red rash sort of cancelled out how good I looked in it.) I consider most of my purchases very carefully and have this idea that once an item comes into my life under those circumstances, it’s mine forever. It had a nice case and everything, but it simply didn’t cut, not even 24GA copper sheet. And yes, I was sure I was using the right end, derp.
So, hey, I mentioned a shipment of a buttload of new colors a while back. Some are fabulous, some are okay, and a few have me scratching my head. Nobody is paying me, so my opinions are either worth a lot or absolutely nothing, depending on how you look at it. At least you’ll know I’m being honest. Here are the most noteworthy:
Effetre Butternut 414: Meh. It’s like a streaky ocher, and not streaky in a good way.
Effetre Pistachio 415: This one isn’t too bad, it sort of reminds me of Vetrofond Ocher/Wasabi, just more smooth and less streaky.
Effetre Bonnie Blue 739: Um… so, if you want to pay an outrageously inflated price for 224 Sky Blue that’s a little on the streaky side, Bonnie Blue has that in the bag. Perhaps someone will discover a desirable working property, maybe a cool reaction with another color or silver leaf, but it isn’t going to be me.
Effetre Streaky Denim 687: This is an interesting color. Yes, it is streaky, but not in a Pea 212 or Nile Green 214 sort of way, where the flux gathers in the crevices of your wind-ons and just laugs at you. It’s like navy blue mixed with pink, basically. It won’t likely become one of my must have colors because it’s just a bit too subtle for my tastes, but I don’t regret buying it.
Effetre Earth 688: I think this color might appeal to those who enjoy streaks and curdles. And it streaks and curdles even more than Dark Ivory, and you don’t have to do anything special for that to happen. This isn’t really my thing, so, you can have at my share.
Effetre Striped Pink 253: 253 is right before 254, with 254 being Evil Purple. Evil purple earned that name by being a most beautiful, intense pinkish purple and devitrifying (turning chalky) out of control. The most recent batch(es) of Evil Purple 254 have been considerably more purple than in the past. Striped Pink 253 is a bit more like the OLD 254. It does have what I guess is a core of clear, so it may not be the best option for dots, but as a simple bead, it is a dead ringer for the old 254, perhaps slightly more on the pinkish side. I will admit that I am by no means an Evil Purple Aficionado, and I’m quite certain there are some applications where 253 won’t quite cut it for a 254 expert. But it may come in handy if you get desperate…
Vetrofond Slate Blue 268: This was supposed to be a blue-grey glass, but what I got seemed an awful lot like the 969 Pearl Grey Odd, which is also supposed to be sort of blue-grey and just ends up being grey. This new batch was nothing like the Slate Blue I gave away so many years ago. I’m inclined to regret giving it away, but I just don’t.
Reichenbach Purple Rose RL-2202 (104 COE): You read it right. A purple rose in 104 COE. I was just as surprised as you probably are, and was even more surprised that OCR actually had it in stock – perhaps not having a photo of it on their website was to blame for that anomaly. I said to the guy on the phone “wow, I’m amazed that the bead ladies haven’t glommed that up yet… but, I AM one of those bead ladies, so…” And I have to say that hands down, this is the best 104 purple that’s ever crossed my bench. It LOOKS a lot like the Zimmermann Purple Rose (Z99), both in rod form and in stringer decoration (save for a slightly more translucent quality when molten), but it behaves differently in the flame. It doesn’t boil, but being a Reichenbach color, it’s stiff enough to handle in stringer form. It is a very intense royal purple that, as I mentioned, has a translucency, but some time both in and out of the flame helps it form a lighter but still very intense opaque “skin”. I do believe this is caused by a certain amount of devitrification, but this appears to be a “helpful” devitrification that doesn’t spread onto the surfaces around it. See the bottom strand in the above photo for a glimpse of this most excellent purple!
And once again, I’m telling myself “You do not need more glass.” Really, truly.
Okay, enough blah-blah – gotta get those Etsy listings done! I’ll be back in just a bit.
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