Monday, June 8, 2009

Glorious silver glass

I loved the last set of Aurae beads I made, Northern Lights, so I decided to do a little series of them - using different shapes.

Here is Northern Lights II. These are barrel shaped and a bit larger than my original set was.

I've had so many people contact me, asking 'How did you get that color?' and 'Are those really that blue/purple?' and saying how nervous they are to try out their Aurae or that they're not sure what to do with it or how to make it work. My advice is the same as with regular glass.

Just play with it.

I know it's super-expensive, premium glass but you have to always be prepared to experiment. You have to just grit your teeth and tell yourself that it's OK to blow a rod or two, learning the potential of a new product. Otherwise, you end up with the same thing as everyone else. I probably spend at least 50% of my time at the torch just playing, experimenting and trying out ideas, no matter how wacky. OK, maybe we should make that 70%.

Triton and Aurae both have so much more to offer than just shimmery gold or metallic blue beads. Not that those beads aren't gorgeous, but it's so much fun to push it and see what else you can get.

So, if you're curious about this glass, just give it a go and work with it. But I will give you some specific tips that I've found out along the way:

1. Reduce very lightly for a super-luminous almost ghostly effect. Just shimmy the glass in and out of a barely reducing flame once or twice. It won't look like much happened, but when you encase, the color just blooms right in front of your eyes.

2. Cool your bead with a brass shaping tool or press. It must be a chemical reaction, because my colors are so fierce when I cool with brass as compared to graphite.

3. Use a variety of different base colors. Don't get stuck in a rut. Aurae over transparent cobalt is out of this world!

4. Try out encasing with a variety of different colors. Don't just use clear. Seattle Blue is gorgeous over both Triton and Aurae.

If anyone is interested, I could post some pics of different experiments - some that worked and some not so much. Let me know.


angelinabeadalina said...

Whoa, you are getting some incredibly electric colors!! Beautiful beads, Laurie!

Lisa Atchison - Touch of Glass Designs said...

I LOVE them! Laurie, you really rock the silver glass, and your pictures are an inspiration to us all! Thank you so much for sharing :)

Laurie Whitney - Mermaid Glass said...

Aww, shucks... Thanks, girls. :)

rosebud101 said...

Wow! Those beads are gorgeous! thanks for the tips. Silver glasses and I just don't get along. I'll keep trying.

belvedere beads said...

thank you for the tip about shaping with metal - i cannot wait to try it. that set of beads is so mysterious and beautiful.

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