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May 14, 2015

Test Results :: Absinthe

1 - Plain, 2 - Plain (reduced), 3 - Reduced & Encased, 4 & 5 - w/ Tuxedo, Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory, and Peace

TAG Absinthe was sort of a new experience for me, because I've not used very many reducing silver glasses that behave this way. You can absolutely not use this glass the same way you'd use Double Helix Triton or Gaia. If you just wave this briefly in a reduction flame, nothing at all might happen. It doesn't get shiny, no matter what you do to it.

I am not an Absinthe expert any more than I was a Kalypso expert, but this colour is more of a striking colour than a reducing colour... it just happens that you have to do that striking in a reduction flame. I was wearing my magnifier when I made these beads, and if you do that you can actually see the haze burning off the surface as the glass strikes in the flame. I was sort of amazed, because I guess I'd never worn the magnifiers while working silver glass before and didn't realize it would be so visible. It is like slowly chasing a glow across the surface.

So, to successfully get some colour out of Absinthe, I followed the following steps:
1. Get it on the mandrel and get it the shape you want in a neutral flame.
2. Let the bead cool significantly outside of the flame.
3. Turn down your oxygen to get a reducing flame with a narrow, brushy orange candle.
4. Reintroduce the bead to the flame, and heat the surface slowly all over, watching the haze burn off.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the bead has all the colour you want.

I found that Absinthe struck to blue first, and then green with subsequent strikings. I didn't even try to go past green, so I don't know if it does anything else. I'll have to play around with it a bit more this weekend. I also found that it didn't change at all in the kiln, so it's a really WYSIWYG colour.

I work on a Nortel Minor with a 5 lpm oxygen concentrator. Depending on your setup, your results may vary from mine, and your approach may have to be slightly different.

I guess its possible that I fried my clear on this bead, but I don't remember doing that, and it's not a thing that has really happened to me with the Uroboros clear noodles I've been using. As a result, I am at a bit of a loss to explain the weird bubbly hazing in this bead but totally willing to entertain the idea that I did something unfortunate. Absinthe keeps its reduction under clear, but there is absolutely no iridescence, so don't do this looking for a mother of pearl effect.

Copper Green wants to be pink when you use it with Absinthe. You can see this in the bead on the left in a really pronounced way, and to a lesser extent in the bead on the right.

Opal Yellow on Absinthe can result in the 'Angel Effect'.  the dark line surrounded by silver line effect that is so neat in the bead on the left. Opal Yellow doesn't have a really strong Angel Effect with Absinthe because it happens sort of intermittently between these two colours, but...

... with Ivory it is really pronounced and consistent. Even better, the Ivory sort of curdled inside the stringer work in the leftmost bead making the lines look even more ethereal. When Absinthe is used on top of Ivory, it gets a light tracer line around its edges, on the Absinthe side of the fence. I am not sure what it would look like if it was reduced from here, but I'll try that next time I use Ivory and Absinthe together.

I was surprised, but not much happened between Peace and Absinthe. Usually, Peace fumes yellowish when I use it with silver, so I was not expecting it to hold its whiteness as well as it did with Absinthe. It might be that I would have gotten that yellow fume if I'd reduced the bead, though.

Regarding the term 'Angel Effect' - I think the first time I ever saw this term used to describe this particular type of reaction was by Dix Harrison on Lampwork, Etc. in this post. I am going to tag this post and all other instances where I find this reaction with the words 'Angel Effect' - thanks, Dix! :)

Here are some fun beads that include Absinthe. What a neat colour :)

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