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dragonfly designs 56
2006-10-24, 1:32pm
IS THIS A COLOR OF GLASS? I saw is used as like dots, and it looks like silver.

2006-10-24, 1:37pm
Many colors will produce a metallic finish. Reduction colors from Reichenbach and Kugler will do it. You put dots on and the very last thing you do is turn down th oxygen so you get a yellow flame about 2 inches long and wave your bead in it before you put it in the kiln.

Silver Blue, Iris gold, copper red they all do it. It will look metallic like this.

2006-10-24, 1:37pm
Kelly, it could either be dots of fine silver (.999 pure, not Sterling) or it could be a glass that's loaded with metals, such as the R4 glasses or furnace colors (Kugler, etc).

2006-10-24, 3:34pm
There are two colors (or two shades of one color, depending on how you think of it) in Effetre (Moretti) that will give you a metallic silver look. The silver plums, dark and light, go silvery with an iridescent oil-slick effect. It doesn't look exactly like metal, but it's similar. They will get the effect in an oxidizing flame. This glass is COE 104, so it's compatible with Effetre (because it is Effetre). It's a hand-pulled color, so it's expensive.

The type of glass that Kevan and Tink mentioned is reduction glass. It's made by Kugler or Reichenbach and is COE 96 or thereabouts, so it's not compatible with Effetre, but you can get away with using very small amounts. If you use any as raised surface decoration (dots or raised stringer) make EXTRA careful that it's fully adhered. Reduction glass is much more likely to pop off than dots made out of normal compatible glass. I'm guessing that the decoration on the bead that Kevan posted is Iris Gold, and I want to know exactly how she did it, because that is a fabulous job of bringing out the gold. (If it's not iris gold, then I want to know both what glass she used and how she did it.)

The color that you end up with when you're using reduction glass depends both on the glass and how you reduce it. Reduction glass is fussy. To bring out the metal, you need to hit it with a reducing flame -- more propane than oxygen -- but it needs to be the right proportion of propane to oxygen, and you need to have the glass in the flame for the right amount of time. (I say propane, but you can do this if you're running your torch on natural gas, too.) If you overreduce, the glass gets dull and muddy. You can bring it back somewhat by hitting the glass with a neutral or high-oxygen flame, but there are limits. Different colors of reduction glass like different flames. Copper ruby is one that seems to want a different flame than the other colors like.

If you want silver, go for one of the reduction colors that has silver in the name -- silver blue, silver green, aqua blue silver. I find all of those to be among the easier reduction colors to use. I haven't had good results with anything that has any purple shade in its name. I've had generally good results with the iris colors (although I've never gotten an iris gold quite that nice). Tobacco brown will come out gunmetal blue if you reduce it just the right amount, plain silver if you reduce it more, and antique (dull) gold if you overreduce.

Reduction glass is commonly sold as frit, in a variety of sizes. If you buy medium to large frit, you can melt it into a gather and pull stringer when you want to use it as stringer. Arrow Springs is now selling it as stringer, but the stringer is pretty fat, so it's more like thin rod -- 4 mm, maybe. If you see reduction glass as "rod," it probably means glassblowing rod, which is easily an inch thick. If you want a lot of it, you can buy a rod and smash it up. I have a rod of Kugler 215 that's going to last me approximately forever and then some.

dragonfly designs 56
2006-10-25, 5:09am
ok, let me show you a pic, its someone selling on ebay, I hope she doesnt mind me showing, asking..
I am referring to the metallic looking dots on her beads. thanks.

Jenn L'Rhe
2006-10-25, 7:56am
That looks like light silver plum to me. Has that hemitite look to it. Pull stringer in a neutral flame, make dots and bring the shine to the surface with a flash in an oxy rich flame.

dragonfly designs 56
2006-10-25, 9:58am
Thanks So Much Everyone!!!

2006-10-25, 9:59am
I bought some gold luster stringer (coe 96) from Val that will look like that when you turn the O2 way down. If Arrow Springs is selling it or something similar, then go with them. A little goes a long way so even just a quarter pound of any of the reduction glass in stringer will last you a long time! It's a great way to add something very unique to your beads.


2006-10-25, 1:03pm
It looks like reduction glass to me, not like one of the silver plums, but I haven't played with the silver plums that much. I don't know the seller, but she might not mind if you sent her a message asking politely what color glass she used for the silver dot and stringer decoration. Make clear you're not trying to copy her beads.

Or buy a little bit of a few colors and experiment! You might or might not find exactly the color that this seller used, but you might find something you love love love, and you're bound to learn something in the process.

Just remember that it doesn't take long to get the metallic effect from reduction glass -- just a few seconds in the reduction flame.

And remember that the silver plums are the opposite of reduction glass -- they like oxygen, not propane. Someone posted recently that they get the nicest effects from the silver plums by keeping them relatively cool, mostly under the flame, I think. I haven't had a chance to play with that idea yet.

2006-10-25, 2:37pm
I dont' think that's silver plum. I have never seen anyone get that much metallic sheen out of silver plum. Besides, it looks like a tranparent glass.

I think it might be light iris blue which reduces to silver