1 - Reduced, 2 - Reduced & encased, 3 - Encased, 4 - Plain, 5 - As a floral, over Slytherin, 6 - w/ Silver Leaf, 7 - w/ Khaos frit, 8 - w/ Gaia/Elektra2/Kronos frit, 9 - w/ Black, 10 - w/ Light Turquoise, 11 - w/ White, 12 - w/ Ivory, 13 - w/ Opal Yellow
If you don't have any Dark Matter yet, you'd better get some. What an awesome colour! It looks like brown in the rod, but for the most part, behaves like it thinks it's blue. It goes all streaky and fun, and it just loves silver. If there was ever a colour I wanted an unlimited supply of, it would be this one. Alas, I have been reminded that money also buys things like food, shelter, torch time, clothes and Christmas presents and that it's not really ok to spend all of it on glass. The pound I have will have to do for now, I guess.
The rods are pretty shocky. If I were squeamish about glass bits flying at me, I probably wouldn't like it as much as I do. It's not as shocky as Honey Crunch, but it's not all that far behind, either. I love it enough to deal with it, but others might not feel the same way.
Worked normally in a neutral flame, Dark Matter develops a purple streakiness. (Beads 3 & 4)
Encasing Dark Matter lightens the colours a little. Even though some vendors list Dark Matter as a 'special' colour like Coral, I didn't seem to have any trouble encasing it. (Beads 2 & 3) I didn't try to encase it really heavily though. Maybe I'll give that a shot next time I'm using it.
Reducing Dark Matter is a lot like reducing Artichoky or Light Turquoise - ugly rust-coloured patches. (Bead 2 - also encased) But if you then turn up the oxy and clean off the reduction, it's like a darker, metallic version of itself. (Bead 1) I haven't really seen this happen before, and I kind've like it. I wonder if it would happen again, or if it's one of those things you can only make happen once.
Dark Matter has fascinating reactions with silver. (Bead 6, 7 & 8) The silver leaf/foil or silver glass develops a light border around it, and although it isn't evident in the frit spacers because I'm not really all that good at striking silver glass yet, the silver glass really seems to love it. I have other beads, below, that illustrate that love a little better.
Dark Matter and Black seem to do a strange, shiny purple dance. Where the Black and the Dark Matter meet, a metallic purple line forms. (Bead 9) This was in a neutral flame, and totally weirded me out. Here's a close-up of that:
Dark Matter didn't do anything with Light Turquoise at all. (Bead 10) Boring!
Dark Matter was really strange with White. (Bead 11) Where the White was over the Dark Matter, the Dark Matter seems to have curdled. The line that separates the Dark Matter and White is slightly blurry light purple. Dark Matter over White just looks like boring Grey.
Dark Matter forms a dark line reaction with Ivory in exactly the same way that most other colours that are 'special' do not. (Bead 12) Because the dark line sort of blends in with the Dark Matter, the Dark Matter on Ivory (and Ivory on Dark Matter) dots and lines look nice and crisply defined.
With Opal Yellow, the Dark Matter seems to spread a little, but also seems to lose its inclination to be interesting and just looks a little flat & brownish. (Bead 13)
Here is a little scrollwork set that I made with Dark Matter and a Double Helix Odd Lot. You can see in the picture that the Dark Matter struck almost to turquoise in streaks. I don't know if this is the natural continuation of it's initial strike to purple, or if the silver glass is what brought it out so strongly. I did press the lentil a couple of times so the heating and cooling from re/pressing it might have helped it along. More experimentation required, but regardless, it's a pretty cool effect.
It's not obvious from the picture, but my beads made with Dark Matter and silver glass all have a slightly matte gunmetalish finish. They seem to get this naturally without any special effort, but it is more pronounced in the large lentil than in the spacers. I wonder if this is because of the silver glass or if it's something that just happens as you strike it. Again, more experimentation required.