First Experience: Promarkers

promarkers2One of the things on my Christmas list was a set of Promarkers, Santa, of course delivered. (well I do buy most of the presents.) I had wanted them because of some rather nifty effects it’s possible to get with them and I thought they would make an interesting addition to the paper for cuts or backgrounds.


  • Promarkers or any other alcohol based marker
  • Marker pad

Of course when I started looking for how to do some of these great effects I also ran into tutorials on colouring as alcohol markers are very popular with manga artists.
I had had experience with colouring pages before as I had ran into one that I simply had to cut.

victorian ladyWell that sent me off on a tangent, I found a lovely image that looked fairly simple and went ahead and coloured it in.
All the colour was flat, I used layers of colour to get different depths in areas obviously in the shade but it still looked flat, so I hunted out a few other tutorials and learnt that you should blend different colours together. So I had a go at that, but it looked horribly wrong.

Then someone said, dark to light never light to dark. Completely backwards from what I had first seen.

Back to the tutorials and I ended up on YouTube watching Kimberly Brown I became enthralled by the process, I was really far way from what I originally wanted to do with these pens, but it didn’t matter I was having fun.
Artist - coloursTime to find another picture to colour, this is where I discovered Yampuff a manga artist specialising on chibis (This leads to another tangent but that’s another story.) I fell in love with her style and tried colouring following the new tutorials I had found.

It worked, some of my colour choices weren’t perfect but the next stage is to learn more about blending combinations and what works best.

Colouring is addictive. I might eventually get round to trying what I want to with these fantastic pens.

First Experience: Borosilicate Glass

boroFully armed with a selection of glass and a host of notes, my first studio session with borosilicate was an interesting one.

Truthfully I was expecting something a world away from what I was used to…..

One thing about my torching style is I like to work hot in some respects with soft glass it’s more of a hindrance than a benefit. But with boro the flame seemed perfect for it.

My first test in boro was small cabachons,  one thing it felt like it seemed to take twice as long than what I was used to from making the same designs in soft glass, actually it did take longer, but after checking the clock it wasn’t as long as I thought.

I did find transferring the glass between rods easier. When I use punties with soft glass I do seem to stick them onto the piece I am working on rather than a temporary connection.

So with a few successful test pieces in the kiln I attempted to play with a few other things.

I tried tubing, attempting to blow a bauble (I have had various unsuccessful attempts with soft glass tubing) While the resulting “wonky bubble” wasn’t what I wanted it to be it was still intact and the wall of the bubble was fairly uniform. I have decided to shelve tubing for a later date, perhaps when I have learnt more on heat control of the solid rods.

Next on the list to try was a marble. This is another thing that while I can produce them in soft glass, thermal shock kicks in before I can finish it. Much easier and surprisingly making a marble was faster in boro than soft glass. This was probably down to finding it much easier to shape the boro in the marble mould. The result wasn’t a pretty marble, but it was, at least, characteristically a marble

Finally a little stretching and manipulating the glass to form shapes. Nothing came of this really it was just an exercise in heat control.

Overall I was left wondering why I had refused to work in the glass for so long. A lot of projects that I have sitting on the shelf would be completed a lot easier if done in this glass.

Differences in the end? So far not as much as I would have thought. Colours are more sensitive, but they produce a much nicer range. It also takes more work to attach two pieces of glass together. Other than that, this totally alien glass isn’t as strange as I perceived. I’m going to look forward to making more with it.