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March 5, 2011

Test Results :: Steel Blue

1 - Plain, 2 - Plain (reduced), 3 - w/ Silver Leaf, 4 - w/ Silver Leaf (reduced & encased), 5 - w/ TerraNova2 Frit, 6 - w/ Silver Glass Frit (reduced), 7 - w/ Tuxedo, 8 - w/ Copper Green, 9 - w/ Opal Yellow, 10 - w/ Ivory, 11 - w/ White

Lauscha Steel Blue has to be one of the most interesting opaque colours I've tried. I love Lauscha Cocoa and Lauscha Olive as well, but the hue of Steel Blue does something to me. All three of these are interesting to work with -- stiff while you are melting them, but spreading wildly on top of other glasses, translucence on top of some colours, and fun with silver glass.

The addition of silver is a transformative experience for Steel Blue, making it look completely unlike itself.  Here, in the bead on the left you can see that the silver has turned gold, and wisps and webs its way over the surface of the bead.  You can also see, in that same bead, how the Steel Blue itself has gone super-dark, except in a couple of areas where the silver has blown a royal blue blush through it.  In the bead on the right, the silver leaf was reduced and encased, and all of the visible Steel Blue looks more of a royal blue colour than Steel Blue's typical, deeper hue.  Also in that bead, the silver has taken on a dull greyish-lavender colour.

Steel Blue makes a very interesting base colour for silver glass. My TerraNova2 frit did all kinds of pretty blue and purple things on top of Steel Blue, and the reducing silver glass frit just went sort of crazy, and turned the visible surface of the Steel Blue base a kind of oily teal colour.  Nifty.  I particularly like the way the reducing silver glass frit has bloomed on top of the Steel Blue.

There is no noticeable reaction between Steel Blue and Tuxedo.

I love colours that make Copper Green do this.  A lighter, turquoise line springs up around Copper Green wherever it touches Steel Blue.  Also, the Steel Blue stringer lines and dots spread a bit on top of Copper Green and have more translucency than you'd expect. Some magical ingredient in th Steel Blue prevents Copper Green from getting that shiny, metallic patina on it, too. Other colours that spring to mind that are this much fun with Copper Green include Lauscha Cocoa, Lauscha Faded Rose, CiM Charcoal, CiM Ming (in it's own wacky way), REI Mystic Grey-Blue, Lauscha Olive and CiM Slytherin, although that's hardly a definitive list.  What do all of these colours have in common?  Good question.  Apart from how much they love Copper Green, I have no idea.

Opal Yellow is seriously yellow with Steel Blue.  And curdly when used underneath it.

On top of Steel Blue, Ivory gets a fine translucent line in the middle of stringer lines and translucent pinpricks in the centre of dots.  On top of Ivory, Steel Blue spreads out, a lot, and feathers its colour out into the Ivory base.  This is almost identical to the reactions I got with Lauscha Olive and Lauscha Cocoa when I used them with Ivory.

Nothing interesting to report with regard to White reactions except that when you use White on top of Steel Blue, be prepared for the White to look more blue than white, because the Steel Blue will bleed up through it and change its colour.

Here is a fun bead made with Steel Blue.  I've been using Steel Blue a lot in twisties and other organics, and I think I have a few other pictures I can include once I get the rest of my beads photographed.


  1. Thanks Janel! This colour is awesome. Definitely on the keeper list :)

  2. Really nice results, I love the fact that copper green doesn't reduce to a silver on the blue, have got to get some of this!

  3. My favorite glass color ever. There is not one day at the torch when I didn't grab Lauscha steel blue at some point.

  4. Does any other manufacture make an equilvant color? My local glass place doesn't carry Lauscha, only Morretti and CIM...


  5. I don't think that there is an equivalent in CiM or Effetre to Steel Blue -- at least, I haven't run into one yet. If I do find a good substitute as I go through my colour testing, I will definitely share that information here on the blog.

    I usually order my Lauscha online from Paula at