I recently paid a visit to Double Helix Glassworks to ask Jed (glass maker extraordinaire) some questions on how to get good color out of some of his more challenging palette.

I bet I am not the only person who finds using the new silvered glass colors a little frustrating sometimes.  I look online and see fabulous beads that some people managed to make out of the silvered glass colors and say to myself, I ought to try that.  It is a bummer when I do try colors like Luna, Pandora and Khaos, to mention a few and all I manage to make is poop colored beads with no flashing colors of blue, teal, ruby and purple.

When I asked Jed what I was doing wrong, I got a lecture on how the crystal growth manifests in the heated glass.  What it boiled down to was that I was over working the glass when I made a bead.  Apparently if you take a bead that has transitioned into the tan – poop brown color range, you should heat it all the way to clear and take it out of the flame and cool it until it is not glowing and then just kiss the bead with the edge of the flame way out on the tip to bring out the desired colors.

One of my first beads I made with Khaos that turned poop colored.

One of my first beads I made with Khaos that turned poop colored.

I think a beadmakers working style and the type of torch and fuel they use has some major effects on the out come, but I have seen beautiful silvered glass beads made on all types of torches.  Jed also suggested that turning up the oxygen when I work silvered glass colors could produce better results.

I have better luck with the silvered glass colors that you reduce to bring up the metals to the surface like Triton and Aurae.  It took me awhile to figure out how to get good results with Psyche and I made a major breakthrough when I discovered that Psyche worked really well when it was used over Opal Yellow, Dark Ivory and a new Vetrofond “Odd” color called ELO.  Dark Ivory gives a more organic look to the beads when used with the silver colors because it produces heavy webbing with black lines in it.  I have become an avid fan of ELO since it arrived from Italy because many of the silvered glass colors look fabulous when you use ELO as the base for the bead.  Instead of the heavy webbing that Dark Ivory produces, ELO gets warm sepia fuming on the surface of the bead that is just plain yummy and the silvered glass colors glow on this particular “odd” glass.

Double Helix Glassworks has been producing more new glass colors of late like Clio and Ekho that start out looking like a transparent lavender glass and change tobeautiful lustered ruby colors – yum!