Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Black is black (or is it?)

I have quite a few different colour-ways in the akamai bead: orange and brown, violet and turquoise, blue and green. I was asked not long ago if I could make a black and white one. I already knew that Effetre black glass is in fact very dark transparent violet colour but I wasn't sure about other manufacturers' black. Just like Cava bottle glass (which is very dark greeny/brown) the Effetre black glass specifically made for beadmaking by the Italians isn't black at all - it just looks black under most lighting conditions. If you pull a thin stringer of black glass and lay it over a light opaque colour, it doesn't stay black.

I offered no guarantees but said I would try! The above photograph is what happened when I tried a white base, dots of Vetrofond black and dots of sis*, gravity swirled and encased with clear. The "black" when spread out thinly (as gravity swirling is wont to do with your glass), becomes navy blue.The above photograph also uses black glass and sis but this time, the black is made by Effetre. When spread out, it's an entirely different colour, not sure I would describe it as violet but it has probably reacted with the silver in the sis anyway.The above beads are the most black of all, this time I've used Intense Black and it's done it's usual webbing out thing which is sometimes desirable in beads. The photograph doesn't show it that well, but the "black" is blue in places. You can see some top right of the right hand bead and there's also some of the "violet" in the webbing too.

Overall, I prefer the top beads and have made quite a few of these today and they're baking away in my kiln now as I type. They remind me of the colours in a poster that I have on my studio wall of two rare white tiger cubs (aw cute!)

Just as I was coming to the end of beadmaking for the day, some glass I ordered yesterday arrived (always an exciting moment!) I have got three other varieties of black glass to add to my stash:
  • Reichenbach Deep Black
  • Effetre Silver Black
  • CIM Hades
It will be interesting to see what colours these blacks turn into under the same conditions.

*For non-beadmakers, sis stands for silvered ivory stringer (a rod of ivory glass with silver foil burnished into the surface, melted and then whilst molten pulled into a thinner rod of glass).


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