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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Silver Glass Class 3


My next silver glass tip, is something that is pretty important. Did you know that there are two categories of silver glass? One is reducing and the other is striking. Geesh, I was so far behind, I didn't even know that.

I've got two samples of striking colors on seashells. I used seashells to try out the different glasses and techniques, because they are sculptural with the ruffled lip and yet have some relatively smooth surfaces of regular beads. I thought this would give me both styles and an idea of how the glass reacts with both.

Both of the seashells were decorated with blown shards of the striking silver glass. I used a hollow mandrel to blow the bubble and then applied the broken pieces to the base bead.
(That's always fun!)

The top bead used Double Helix's Elektra Glass shards on an ivory base bead . You can see how the silver glass partially fumed the rest of the bead in places. I know you can get a variety of colors and metallic finishes with that glass, but I was going for the turquoise end of it.

The bottom seashell used Raku R108 shards that I blew. I applied them to an ivory base and added additional ink blue for the edge of the ruffle for fun. You can click on the link to my Etsy shop for more views of it.

I found when making the shells as samples, if I used the base bead color as the dots on top of the shell, it was easier to remember what I had done.

After I applied the shards and melted them in, I slightly marvered with my brass Stump Shaper. This was as much to chill the glass and help bring out the color. Both glass types were quick to do that. If I wanted, I could have cooled and then slightly reheated to strike the glass some more. I kept my flame slightly oxygenated for this.

So if you are a newbie like I am, you have a little homework. Go separate your glass. Not only should it all be labeled, but you should know which rods are striking and which ones are reducing. It makes a huge difference on you treat them to get the color out of them. And if they are both, it's your call. I bet you can guess what I'll be writing about next time it's a "silver glass" blog day. Yes, my favorite of the two types, striking glass. Love the shine!