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May 22, 2017

Test Results :: Multicolor Dark

Reichenbach Multicolor Dark (RL6206) is a reactive striking colour. It is relatively easy to strike. The rods are a reddish purple colour, they go transparent when heated, and then turn green as they cool, then striking to blue, purple, and sometimes even a reddish colour.

You can see here that reducing the Multi Dark doesn't make it shiny and doesn't cloud it up the way Raku behaves when reduced. Here, it just advanced the colour of the glass into the purple hues.

I have noticed that in order to strike this colour, you need to let it get fairly cool and then give it a thorough, deliberate reheating. I was not able to screw it up -- no matter how I did it, I still got great colour, so that's a huge point in its favour.

I've now had two different versions of Multi Dark - or at least they seem different based on the appearance of the unmelted rods.

Both of the goddesses below are solid Multi Dark.  The top one was made with the darker rods and the bottom one was made with the older, paler-rodded variety. Maybe the newer, darker-rodded batch gives more deep blues, but it's also possible that these two beads received a different amount of heat, were cooled a different number of times, etc. This is a seriously beautiful colour, and no matter what batch of it you have, it's great glass.


On top of Multi Dark, silver disperses such that it's not really apparent on the surface. In so doing, it seems to inhibit the natural colours of the glass, or maybe just cover them up. When the silver is reduced and encased, it forms a solid layer through which you cannot see much of the base bead.

Copper Green, Opal Yellow, and Peace all separate on top of Multi Dark, and Multi Dark does not inhibit the sheen that develops on top of Copper Green.

Ivory forms a dark line reaction and turns a dark greyish brown around the edges of the dots and stringer lines when used on top of Multi Dark, and it also seems to separate. When Multi Dark is used on top of Ivory, it gets a dark outline and fumes the base ivory a brownish colour.

Here are some other beads made with Multicolor Dark.

May 15, 2017

Test Results :: Prussian Blue

CiM Prussian Blue is the rich, deep navy blue colour that I've been waiting for without even realizing how much I wanted it.  It's darker than Lapis Cobalt, it strikes even darker, and when it strikes it can develop a greenish cast that makes it a similar colour to Lauscha Steel Blue. It's wonderful, and I love it. I have a feeling it won't last long, and who knows whether or not it will be reproduced, so I'm going to have to break my self-imposed glass buying hiatus and get a few pounds of this.

You can see the plain colour in self-coloured beads.  The bead I reduced is darker, because this colour darkens with repeated heating and cooling. It could also be because of the reducing flame, but it is hard to say for sure without using it a lot more.

Here I've compared Prussian Blue to some of the other blues out there.  Effetre Navy Blue, CiM Class M Planet (another awesome blue limited run), Effetre Lapis Cobalt, Lauscha Steel Blue, and Vetrofond Light Cobalt.  Prussian Blue is darker than Lapis Cobalt, deeper in tone, and strikes to a colour not unlike Steel Blue with repeated heating and cooling and/or the addition of silver.

Add silver to Prussian blue and you get a wonderland of lacy, silvery blueness. When the silver is reduced and encased, it turns into a lacy white blanket with a blue haze. My Prussian Blue bead where I encased the reduced silver leaf cracked, though, and I'm not 100% sure why.

Because the cracks seem to originate at the hole, it's possible that this is a thermal crack. I think I encased this bead with Zephyr, so it's also possible that there was a viscosity clash between the Zephyr and Prussian Blue, maybe created or exacerbated by the silver leaf I used. Kandice Seeber successfully encased Prussian Blue with Zephyr without any cracking, but her beads did not include silver and were likely smaller than this one. When I get more Prussian Blue, I need to explore this further.

Silver glass likes Prussian Blue, too. I got very pretty blues out of my reduction frit on top of this colour, and the striking silver glass frit got a nice starting strike. Not a miraculous base for TerraNova2 like Dark Grass Green was, but promising.

Around Tuxedo dots and lines on top of Prussian Blue, the Prussian Blue shows up in light halos. On top of Tuxedo, Prussian Blue separates.

On top of Prussian Blue, Copper Green separates. Nothing interesting happens when you put the Copper Green on top of Prussian Blue, although it is may be notable how stubbornly greyish the Copper Green becomes when used with Prussian Blue. This is definitely not one of the colours that helps Copper Green not develop that sheen.

Opal Yellow and Prussian Blue don't really have a reaction, but you can see in the left bead that Prussian Blue bled into the Opal Yellow stringerwork in places.

Ivory separates on top of Prussian Blue. This combination does not produce the reciprocal dark line reaction that I was expecting.

Prussian Blue and Peace don't noticeably react with one another.

These beads / sets were all made with Prussian Blue.

May 8, 2017

Test Results :: Chartreuse

CiM Chartreuse is a bright and pretty translucent, lime green glass.  It's a more on the yellow side of green than its close cousin Inchworm, which I blogged about last week, but is otherwise quite similar.

This colour is a bit greener and way more transparent than Vetrofond Key Lime, which was an opaque chartreuse colour in the early days of it being for sale that got streakier and more cored with transparent as time went on and eventually morphed into what Frantz started calling 'Key Lime Parrot' which was a Key Lime-skinned transparent green with a solid stringer core. The true opaque Key Lime is the stuff that I miss.

This colour is perhaps a little more on the yellow side than I remember Vetrofond Parrot Green being, which was a bright green transparent that had some murky streakiness to it, and this colour is more translucent, but I think it fills the hole that Parrot Green's departure left. I wish I still had some of these two old colours so that I could do a side-by-side comparison, but mine is long gone.

Reducing Chartreuse does not alter the colour or surface finish.

Silver behaves with Chartreuse much as it did with Inchworm. It dissipates on the surface until you reduce and encase it, where it blankets the base bead with hints of blue fume here and there. Also, it does not alter the colour of silver when you use it to encase silver foil. The silver looks green through it, but it doesn't turn golden or coppery the way it does with many other colours in this hue group like Mojito and Pale Green Apple.

Chartreuse seems to be a good base colour for silver glass. In the leftmost bead, there were great reactions with the silver glass frit, although the blue doesn't stand out that well against the green of the Chartreuse, and I got a good starting strike from the TerraNova2 frit.

Like Inchworm, the main reaction ability that Chartreuse seems to have is to make the other colours separate on top of it. This happened with Copper Green, Ivory, Opal Yellow, and Peace. This colour doesn't seem to have adverse reactions with Ivory, either. In fact, you can see in the bead on the left that Ivory rises up in interesting halos around Inchworm dots.

I didn't have many rods of Chartreuse and they were all fairly thin, so apart from these test beads all I managed was this earring pair.

May 1, 2017

Test Results :: Orange Dreamsicle

Vetrofond Orange Dreamsicle is an orange that packs a lot more punch than the rods lead you to expect.  It is annoyingly shocky (you can expect it to chunk off the rod in approximately 1" pieces, most of the time, while you're working it) and it boils really easily. Some of my rods have little rocks in them, and some of them are wonkily shaped.

My Orange Dreamsicle also has rather less white streakiness than the variety pictured on Frantz Art Glass' website. This isn't usually necessary, but since the Vetrofond odd lots had a lot of variation, and my Orange Dreamsicle looks different than the Orange Dreamsicle samples I've seen online, I should show you an unworked rod:

Orange Dreamsicle is a bit of an opacity puzzle. It looks quite transparent in rod form, but beads made with it are not particularly transparent at all.  It looks almost like veiled cane when you look at the unworked rods, and pulls out very transparent in stringers, but is still quite a dense colour when it strikes. I guess it's opaque-ish?

Orange Dreamsicle does not change colour when you reduce it. It's a striking colour, so the final shade can vary, but it is easy to strike to this bright orange.

When you use silver on top of Orange Dreamsicle, it discolours it and turns it a greyish brown. The silver balls up and spreads out in a lacy way. When the silver is reduced and encased, it turns blue and the greyish brown fugliness of the base colour transforms back to orange.

Oops. Wouldn't it be nice if I'd cleaned these beads properly?  The leftmost bead shows that Orange Dreamsicle is very pretty with reducing silver glass frit. The frit gets a dark outline that really makes it pop, and the colour contrast between the orange and blue is very dramatic.  In the bead on the right, you can see I got very interesting colour from my TerraNova2 frit on top of Orange Dreamsicle.

When Tuxedo is used on top of Orange Dreamsicle, there are no obvious effects, but when Orange Dreamsicle is used on top of Tuxedo you can see that it separates and develops a thin line down the middle of stringer lines.

Copper Green and Orange Dreamsicle have a mutual dark line reaction. The line is more pronounced and darker when Orange Dreamsicle is used on top of Copper Green.

Opal Yellow and Peace separate very slightly on top of Orange Dreamsicle, but there is no obvious reaction when the Orange Dreamsicle is used on top of those colours.

Ivory really spreads on top of Orange Dreamsicle, and looks faintly translucent.

Here are some beads made with Orange Dreamsicle:

April 24, 2017

Test Results :: Inchworm

CiM Inchworm is a (very) bright green colour that retains its beautiful translucency no matter how your torture it in the flame.  The consistency and opacity of this colour is very similar to CiM Crocus, which is also a beautiful translucent that stays that way. It melts beautifully, and my rods of Inchworm were not shocky in the least, and it was not prone to scumming either.  I did get some bubbles in it as I worked it, but not very many.

Here you can see that reducing this colour didn't change the essential greenness of it at all. The smaller spacer looks a bit darker, but I think that's just because there's less glass there so you can see more of my photography background through the glass.

The left side of this bead is Inchworm, and the right side of this bead is Poison Apple. I was really surprised because, for some reason, I was not expecting my Poison Apple to lighten and opacify to this degree. But the joke is on me because, when I go back and look at my test beads for Poison Apple, I see now that they were also fairly opaque.

But here is why the result was so surprising.  Rod colour-wise, Inchworm and Poison Apple are very similar. Inchworm looks a touch more yellow, and a little more translucent.

Inchworm seems greener and more transparent than I remember the much-loved, now-defunct Vetrofond Parrot Green being, but it is what I wanted when I first bought Poison Apple. It seems like this colour could easily replace Poison Apple in the palette, because I don't think anyone buys Poison Apple for the first time hoping for it to opacify and be much lighter after working than it was in the rod.  Poison Apple is beautiful in its own right, though, once you get to know it, so maybe enough people love it that we need both after all.

The only way this colour could be made more exciting is if they put sparkles in it.  I would really like some sparkle colours, and green is as good a place as any for that fun to start.

Silver disappears on top of Inchworm until you reduce and encase it. Reducing it and encasing it made it turn a whitish colour with a blue aura. Silver foil does not discolour at all under Chartreuse, continuing to gleam through it in an essentially silvery (but begreened) way.

On Inchworm, silver glass is q uite interesting. My reducing silver glass had strong separation reactions and really popped colour-wise, although those colours are not exactly set off by Inchworm's green-ness. I also got beautiful colours from the TerraNova2 frit.

On top of Inchworm, Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory, and Peace all separate. Inchworm is a very friendly colour, getting along just fine with Ivory. Like Ceylon, this colour seems to cause reactions in other colours but stay pretty calm itself.

These beads all contain some Inchworm.

April 17, 2017

Test Results :: Ceylon

CiM Ceylon is a slightly yellowish medium grey transparent. I've been wanting a greyish brown transparent, and this is close to what I've been craving although I was hoping that when I got a greyish brown that it would be a little warmer in tone - more orange than yellow, if that makes sense.

I found Ceylon pretty straightforward to use, but did get a little bit of scumming, some of the time. You can see more scumming in the leftmost bead below than in the one on the right, and it happened sort of intermittently. As these things go, it was a pretty mild case of that particular problem.

Ceylon does not noticeably change colour with repeated heatings or with exposure to a reduction flame.

On top of Ceylon, silver takes on a bluish cast and forms a lacy crust. When the silver is reduced and encased, it smooths out into a whitish silvery blanket with a blue halo.  When Ceylon is used over silver foil, it turns the foil a golden coppery colour that is quite pretty.

Ceylon is a pretty good base colour for silver glass - both for the reducing colours and the striking ones. If you blow up the picture above, you can see interesting effects in my reducing silver glass and lots of colour in the TerraNova2 frit in the centre bead.  I got some nice stringy effects from Ceylon when pulled into stringer with silver glass frit and used to core the bead on the far right, but this effect was pretty mild when compared with similar tests I did using Effetre Light Brown Transparent, Straw Yellow, Kelp, Pale Green Apple, CiM Mojito, and various other colours.

Ceylon looks yellowish on top of Copper Green and Opal yellow, warmly grey on top of Ivory, and coldly grey on top of Peace.

You can't see Tuxedo on top of Ceylon very easily, but it doesn't seem like there's much of a reaction there.  All of the other colours that I used on top of Ceylon separated. It's fairly unusual for me to have Copper Green, Opal Yellow, Ivory, and Peace all separate on top of the same colour, so Ceylon must be a particularly reactive colour in a curiously universal way.

Other than that, there's nothing else much to share, reaction-wise.

Here are some older beads made with Ceylon: