Way back when (say, a decade ago) there was not quite the range of glass there is today for lampworkers, and I tried just about everything out there to get the the purples, pinks, off-whites and mossy greens I particularly liked and were then mostly unavailable in Moretti (now Effetre). One of these experiments was Satake, a Japanese glass, which comes in lead and sodalime versions. The lead glass has a COE of 120, making it worlds softer than anything else out there; the sodalime is rated at 113, so of course all the wisdom is that you don't mix them.
Of course, the first time I saw someone demo this stuff, in a core vessel, he immediately mixed ’em, because there is no red in the lead satake palette. (He also was given Effetre by mistake, and so had to pick that off his core. Considering the guy was demoing in a foreign language, I thought he carried this off with great aplomb. As I recall, Emiko Sawamoto translated. Also he had this very cool set of rollers made out of the wheels from shower curtain tracks. The core, btw, was steel wool coated with bead release. Smoothing that looked like a great way to exfoliate the skin off your palm.)
So my earliest blue-violet beads were made with Satake (now, of course, both Bullseye and Effetre make very nice neo-lavenders.) I never really did get very good at using this glass, and stopped using almost entirely when the transparent pinks and purples became available in other brands; I got a lynx, which has a very sharp, hot flame; and Arrow Springs stopped carrying Satake. I don't especially get along with the only current US vendor (because I really don't appreciate being made to pay sales tax on something I'm gonna resell, not to mention sloppy invoicing.)
These beads were commissioned. Over a year ago. They were even completed, more or less on time. However, I felt they were so unworthy that it's only now that I've got around to photographing them (oh, how my standards have dropped).
file created 07sep06
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