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August 14, 2012

Test Results :: Dark Ivory (Effetre)

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

Note: The picture above has an error. Bead #5 is made of Vetrofond Dark Ivory, not Effetre. I made the same error in the Vetrofond Dark Ivory test results. I no longer have the beads, so I was unable to retake this picture, but the problem is now corrected in the body of the post, below.

Effetre Dark Ivory is a light, neutral colour, and is very reactive with colours that contain silver or copper. It is a colour that spreads like crazy on top of other colours, particularly transparents. The more you heat most batches of Dark Ivory, the crazier it gets.

A couple of years ago, there was this (for lack of a better word) 'craze' about something called 'Curdled Ivory' that has still not completely fizzled yet. And apparently this most recent 'Curdled Ivory' craze is not the first one in beadmaking history -- I know people who have been around a lot longer than I have who say it's the third or fourth time history has repeated itself over the last twenty years or so.

I've made some beads with rods from the three different lots of Dark Ivory that I have gathering dust in my garage, which to be sure, represent only a tiny fraction of the different batches that have ever been made. Here is a picture of the three different batches that are in my possession.

The first bead is made with a batch of Dark Ivory that I got that does not curdle at all. It's annoying, hateful, crappy Dark Ivory if you happen to prefer the curdly kind, and if you use this batch to make silvered ivory stringer, after you use the silvered stringer on a bead it bears a disappointing resemblance to dirty, melted plastic. However... this batch of Dark Ivory is sort of nice as a base colour, can develop really nice caramel tones when fumed with silver and is not, on the whole, bad glass. Rods from this batch are totally smooth, are paler than normal Dark Ivory, have only a faint white fleck on the rod ends to indicate that they are even Dark Ivory at all, and mine are slightly larger in diameter than usual, more in the 6mm range.

The second bead is made with what is known as 'Curdled Ivory'. This is a pretty nice batch of Dark Ivory, and gets beautiful reticulation effects when it is heated. I bought this during the Curdled Ivory Rush. Rods from this batch are rough along one side, are often slightly oval in profile rather than round and have a pronounced white spot when you look at the ends. They can be sort of bumpy, look sort of sparkly and make great silvered ivory stringer.

The third bead is made with the newest batch of Dark Ivory, which has been available from Frantz Art Glass for the last few months, and may or may not have made its way yet to your local glass shop. It is gorgeous glass, and is at least as reticulating (my test beads say more) as what we knew as 'Curdled Ivory'. Rods from this batch look sort of oddly dark for Dark Ivory, are fairly rough in texture and have a pronounced white fleck on the cut ends. My rods from this batch all seem slightly smaller in diameter than what I am accustomed to from Dark Ivory.

So, at risk of just boring you completely to tears with my opinion on this whole Dark Ivory thing, what I think has happened is this:
  • Dark Ivory curdled, sometimes more and sometimes less, for years and years prior to 2008
  • Then, a great big batch of Dark Ivory that didn't do the nice things we were used to was sold to the distributors, and was carried to the four corners of the earth. Some places maybe didn't get any because they already had lots of previous batches. Some places maybe got a lot of it. (I know we still have some for sale here in BC at our local glass vendors)
  • Then, when Frantz Art Glass finally ran out of that disappointing batch of Dark Ivory, they ordered more and good Dark Ivory was once again available to us here in North America. This caused a BIG STIR.
  • Now, "Curdled Ivory" is more common than the other kind of Dark Ivory, but essentially, it's just the way Dark Ivory is supposed to be. It was the non-curdly stuff that was the anomaly.
So... If you are in the market for Curdled Ivory, you can definitely get Dark Ivory from Frantz Art Glass currently that is at least as nice as (and I think nicer than) the batch of Dark Ivory that has recently received all of this attention. And the good news is that it's dirt cheap.

Now, on to the test results. These test beads have been made with the most-recently available batch of Effetre Dark Ivory.

Reducing Dark Ivory brings out rich, caramel tones in the glass.

At first glance, one might say that Dark Ivory and silver don't get along at all. And that would be true. There's definitely a chaotic war going on across the surface of these beads. But it's such a cool, grey, brown, silvery, curdly war that it's practically impossible to not want to do this over and over again. The effect is largely unchanged when the bead is reduced and encased.

Reducing silver glass is pretty cool on top of Effetre Dark Ivory. I got some pretty, subtle curdling with the reducing silver glass frit. Like with Vetrofond Dark Ivory, the reduction frit has developed an interesting double outline of black + silver in a lot of places.

I am not as excited by what happened in the bead on the right with the TerraNova2 frit. The frit was sort of sluggish about developing colour.

On top of Tuxedo, the edges of Dark Ivory thin out a little like it is going to spread, but the centres of dots and stringer lines get a sort of concentrated Ivory dose. The middle of the stringer lines seem to have a faint, darker line running up the centre. When Tuxedo is used on top of Dark Ivory, it seems to bleed slightly. As well, you can see the Dark Ivory exercising one if its superpowers (spreading) where it's trying to climb up on top of the Tuxedo in a fuzzy, milk-moustache kind of way.

On top of Copper Green, Dark Ivory develops a thick, black outline. The Dark Ivory also develops an interesting brownish webbing effect, and like with Tuxedo, a thin dark line running up the middle of the stringer lines. When it's used on top of Dark Ivory, Copper Green seems to snuggle right in. The Copper Green dots and stringer lines are uniform and dark-ringed, but the Dark ivory outside of the outline that forms is a curdled, chaotic mess of brown webbing and weirdness.

On top of Opal Yellow, Dark Ivory looks sort of weird and congealed. It has developed a sort of dark line reaction, but it has also caused the Opal Y ellow to separate. As a result, it looks very three-dimensional, even though it is melted into the surface of the Opal Yellow completely. On top of Dark Ivory, Opal Yellow turns an odd shade of Grey and curdles with the Dark Ivory underneath it.

On top of Light Ivory, Dark Ivory spreads. The effect is interesting, because it seems to create crevices in the Ivory beneath it, although the surface of the bead in actuality is completely uniform. On top of Dark Ivory, Light Ivory seems to sink in, making the lines and dots look thinner. The stringer dots and lines have a greyish, darker centre to them.

Dark Ivory seems to separate on top of Peace, but it's just that dark line through the centre, that seems to happen  no matter what you put it on top of.

Here are some fun beads with Effetre Dark Ivory.


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