I have seen posts on Lampworketc.com asking why there were 3 different blacks produced by CiM – Messy Color, so I have decided to answer that question.
For starters, the Charcoal is a Unique color which only appears to be black in rod form and may or may not be made again. Charcoal is a dark transparent gray ( see first bead with gray squiggles on white), while Tuxedo is a regular black which is gray based instead of purple or blue like those available from Italy.
Tuxedo is great for all the situations where you would use a regular black, it resists bleeding and is priced to be competitive with the blacks made in Italy. Tuxedo is a very nice black glass to work with because I find that it rarely if ever pops when heated directly in the flame, like the blacks produced in Italy. I do a fair amount of off mandrel pendant making and I was pleasantly surprised when I started using Tuxedo as my base glass because I could work the pendant from start to finish without having to transfer to a borosilicate punty because my work in progress had popped off the original black rod I started with. This may not seem like much, but it is a great time saver and I don’t have to chase my hot glass project around the work table with a pair of tweezers to put it on a punty.
Hades is a special black that is so dense that it can be pulled down to a hair size stringer and still be opaque black which makes it especially great for detail work that needs to stay black. The “Intense Black” produced by Effetre was suppose to be like Hades when I asked them to make it, but it turned out to have a high bleeding index which is nice for some design projects, but it did not fill the need it was originally produced for. Hades was used to create the ribbon cane with the three lines in the Sapphire & Marshmallow bicone shown below. You can also get different reduction reactions from Hades if you are inclined to use it that way.