What are Messy Ltd Runs? Does a Ltd Run ever become a Messy Color?

Many people have asked about the origins of the colors we label as "Limited Run." What does it mean? Where do they come from? Why is it limited?

"Limited Run" essentially means a color that is not currently included in the standard lineup of colors that Creation is Messy produces repeatedly. There are several ways that a color may be produced as a Limited Run. We regularly produce colors in response to artists' color requests, we conduct continuous R&D, and we have a high standard of quality control on the colors that we produce. Each of these processes leads to Limited Runs in its own way.

Let's be clear: Creation is Messy is driven to bring great colors to glass artists. It's what we do. We love when artists share their ideas for new colors. If you have an idea of something you'd like to see, we'd love to hear from you! Please share your color ideas with us.

When we melt colors in response to color requests, those colors will be marked as a "Limited Run" before sale. This lets us deliver the color to meet the request while at the same time gauging market response to the product. It also allows us to bring the color out more quickly since we don't have to reproduce it consistently 3 to 5 times, which is our standard requirement before adding any new color to our stable of colors.

Similarly, when we are going through our experiments during R&D, we may come up with colors that are not exactly what we were going for, but that are still nice and compatible. Since we reproduce new colors consistently 3 to 5 times before adding them to our regular line up, we can end up with some great, if unexpected variations. Many of those variations will be released to the wild as "Limited Runs."

Finally, color consistency is paramount to our product line. We want you to know what you're getting, and to get what you expect when you purchase our product. To make sure of this, we've implemented very narrow tolerances for variations in color that must be met for a batch of glass to be sold as that named color. Instead of having a 'color' that actually covers a wide range of variances we choose instead to mark any glass that falls outside our tolerances as different and deliver them as a "Limited Run." We believe this is the right thing to do to make sure our artists have the right information about their purchases.

All our Limited Runs must meet the same quality and compatibility standards as the rest of our product line. Limited Runs are a great way to expand your color palette and fill in gaps with colors not generally available. We hope you enjoy these unique opportunities. If there is any color you would like to see, please let us know!

Can I use the photos on your site?

If you are reselling CiM, please contact us for a link to download our paddle photography (the CiM medallions).

Some of the paddle photos are watermarked- these are the work of our tester and photographer Miriam Steger. The watermarked photos are protected by copyright and therefore are not to be altered in any way. Miriam has graciously agreed to allow CiM resellers to use these photos for internet sales only. The photos must remain unaltered and with the watermark intact. Please do not use the watermarked photos to make advertisements.

The beads and artwork photos on our site have been generously contributed by many artists as well as our testers. The artist photos are the property of the artists who contributed them for our site. If you wish to use any of these photos, you must first contact the artists directly for permission to do so. The artists' contact information can generally be found by following the link to their name.

I like to use my rods down to the nubs. How can I remove the Messy stickers?

If you soak the stickers in water for a few hours (or long enough to become saturated with water), they will detach themselves from the rods. A glass cleaning solution will help remove the residue.

Why are Messy rods so uniform if they are hand pulled?

CiM experiences the same difficulties and irregularities in glass production as other manufacturers. We are dedicated to producing the highest quality glass rods, so we reject production runs that do not test compatible or can otherwise be characterized as just "bad" glass.

When a production run does pass our compatibility tests, we hand inspect each rod to check that they are straight and smooth, consistent 4-7 mm diameters, free from irregularities, stones, bumps, dust, scratches, bubbles, etc. Basically, we only sell the very best rods of the cane pull to our customers.

How are CiM item numbers organized?

CiM item numbers are composed of three parts. The first three digits "511" are the manufacturer code designated for Creation is Messy by Frantz Art Glass (in the same way that 591 indicates Effetre, 791 indicates Vetrofond, etc.)
Messy Color tag
An example of a Messy Color tag on our rods

The fourth digit indicates one of the different families of colors as follows:
1 red
2 orange
3 yellow
4 green
Messy Color tag
An example of a tag on a Messy Color stringer
5 blue
6 purple
7 brown
8 neutral
9 pink

The last two digits indicate a number for the color.

All Messy Color rods are between 4 and 7 mm in diameter. Some Messy Colors are available in thinner or fatter diameters. To indicate diameters that are not 4-7 mm in our item number system, we add a -S after the initial six digits of the item number. We then add more numbers to indicate as follows:

Messy Color tag
An example of a tag on a Messy Color large diameter rod
-S01 1-2 mm
-S02 2-3 mm
-S04 4-6 mm
-S06 6-8 mm
-S08 8-10 mm
Messy Limited Run tag
An example of a Messy Limited Run tag on our rods

A Limited Run is a color that may be difficult to find in perpetuity. For more information about Ltd Runs, please read above.

Do you make stringers of Messy Colors?

We no longer make stringers.

Do you sell Messy Color frit?

We no longer sell frit.

How can I tell if a Messy Color is a transparent, opaque, or opal?

CiM Color Categories

We recognize our colors are not following the traditional ways of categorizing glass, in part because the innovations of our chemist do not fit into traditional categories.

Our formulae can be divided into the following categories [thanks to Jenefer Ham for the comparison photo!]:

Opaques (Effetre calls these "pastels")
Opals (of the variety that turn opaque-ish after annealing- similar to Effetre's "opalinos" or "alabasters")
Milky Opals
Misty Opals
Cloudy Transparents

The formulae and working properties of the different categories are distinct enough that we separate them accordingly.

We believe it is important to be transparent about the categories for each color since some of the working properties will carry over. For example, our moonstones are etch resistant, or our opals turn opaque-ish when annealed whereas our misty/milky opals will not.

We make a note of the category in the description for each color. The location of the description on our color pages:

Messy Color descriptions

The location of the description on the palettes page:

Messy Color descriptions

Which Messy Colors work best with silver & reactive glasses?

We asked our testers which Messy Colors work best with silver & reactive glasses. Hades won hands down. Here are other notable colors: Canyon de Chelly, Great Bluedini, Sangre, Crocus, Heffalump, and Sepia.

Do you have a favorite Messy Color + silver glass combination? We would love to post it on our site. Please submit a description of your beads and photo sized 800 x 800 to info@creationismessy.com.

How can I tell if a Ltd Run is about to sell out?

We publish a Watch List of Ltd Runs that we will soon run out of in our e-newsletters. You can register for the CiM e-newsletter here.

How can I find a color on your site?

As the number of Messy Colors increases, some have found our site difficult to navigate. It's important to us to keep an encyclopedic record of all testing information even when colors are long sold out. However, the sheer volume of colors sometimes makes it difficult to find the one you are looking for.

If colors are actively available in the marketplace, they are listed in our Palettes section. If colors are not readily available, they are in our Archives. When we remelt a sold-out color successfully, such as longtime best seller Crocus, we move it from the Archives back to the Palettes. Hopefully this method clarifies for artists which colors are available in the moment.

The most accurate and fastest way to find a specific color is to use Google and search terms like "Creation is Messy (insert color name here)." Google takes you straight to that color page.

As always, we welcome your color requests, including remelting requests. We are customer driven and base our production on the feedback we receive from artists and testers.

Where can I find a color gallery that includes CiM?

Serena Thomas' color gallery is a great reference for the 104 glass color palette, sorted by manufacturer. CiM is sorted into Messy Colors and Ltd Runs / Uniques:

Serena Thomas' Color Gallery

Miriam Steger's color chart is a testament to color accuracy and is also available in print for purchase (sorted by 104 manufacturer):

Miriam Steger's Color Charts

Claudia Eidenbenz's vetrothek (glass library) is a beautiful and comprehensive resource, sorted by 104 manufacturer and color category:

Claudia Eidenbenz's Vetrothek

And our very own Messy Color palette (no Ltd Runs):

Messy Color Palette