Checkout is not working

Checkout has just broken - you can view your order and get a shipping quote, but if you click Review Order you'll be taken to a nonexistent page. I have been meaning to do a full overhaul of this website for a while, and this is as good a reason as any to get on with it. The site may be down for a while when I do that.

In the meantime, I can send Paypal invoices if you email with what you wanted to buy, in what quantity, and your shipping address.

Milky Way SNO 605

Milky Way (SNO 605). In the rod and unannealed this is a translucent ice blue, while after annealing it is a slightly translucent cool white.

Heat and working time can affect how opaque it becomes, but I haven't managed to keep it particularly translucent in these beads.

Here it is plain and reduced. The reduced bead has gone a pale yellowish ivory colour. Incidentally, this beehive shape seems to be what I get if I use a small mandrel in the ribbed round shape in Pegasus Lampwork Tools' BHB beadshaper! I didn't fill the width and got beehives both times, which is fun.

This bead is the most translucent-looking of the batch. It has CiM tuxedo stringer and Effetre white dots at the top, which are only just visible. The tuxedo is noticeably blue-based on this bead, particularly where it has spread a little. (This shows up a little more in person).

With silver leaf, milky way is fumed yellow, and the leaf itself has some pinkish patches. The second bead is reduced and encased in Lauscha 100 clear - there isn't a great deal of difference between the two results, though you can see how the milky way has gone yellow around the edges of the leaf more easily. There's still some iridescent pink in places. Those are lines from stripe encasing, not cracks.

Here we have a bead with psyche stringer, which has reduced to a lovely shiny deep blue. The base has fumed yellow under it. The second bead has Terranova 2 frit, and I had a last minute notion to encase half of it but didn't plan it very well, which is why that side is a bit lacking in coverage...

I tested various colours as stringer on top of milky way next. Dark teal spreads a little but remains reasonably sharp. Stoneground gets a deep separation line down the middle, and the edges fuzz out. Dark teal, olive and cocoa all have a faint outline on the milky way beyond the stringer, but it is most visible with cocoa, which spreads a lot. Olive spreads too, just not quite as much as the cocoa. The ivory has curdled, which is interesting and I want to do that on a larger scale.

Now for the reverse. Milky way is mostly invisible on top of white. if you peer at it in good light you can see the edges, but that's about it. Generally, as stringer it's obvious that it is translucent. Stoneground has developed another much bigger separation line down the middle - this could actually be down to the colours either side of it as well as the milky way. The milky way has developed small snaky cracks near the separation line and only over the stoneground, so there's something it doesn't like about that. I'm going to do a test bead of stoneground and milky way on their own to take out the surrounding colours and see what happens, but it's looking like the two may not be very compatible, at least this way round. There aren't any cracks visible when stoneground is used over milky way and I've been keeping an eye on that bead for a week. I will also check with opal yellow.

The ivory has gone curdly again underneath the milky way. Other than that, milky way is fairly consistent and crisp over the opaque colours.

This bead has copper green and rubino stringer on it. The copper green does its bright-dark double outline, and there's a pale barely-visible outer line too, the same as dark teal etc. Rubino's pretty over milky way - I can't say whether this result is different from using rubino over normal white since I've only used rubino as encasement rather than stringer over white so far. I like the effect of the more saturated outline.

Dwyn from DragonJools has a post on milky way where she shows that its properties can be very useful for sculptural work. She has some lovely horses there too!