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Colour Testing & Tips


Using Gaffer Royal Purple and Purple Rose

I have found that when I use Gaffer Royal Purple and Purple Rose, once I have finished shaping my bead if I flash the bead through the flame I can produce different effects depending on which part of the flame I flash the bead through.  If I flash the bead through the flame nearest to the torch, I can produce stronger richer purples and if I flash the bead through the flame further away from the torch I can produce lighter purples.

These colours do not devetrify like the old Zimmerman purples, but if any areas of devetrification do occur, these can be removed by flashing the bead through the flame nearest to the torch.

royal purple 10

Gaffer Royal Purple, Gaffer Purple Rose and Reichenbach Purple Rose

Have a look at Lara Lutrick's fantastic blog article which compares and contrasts Gaffer Royal Purple G198, Purple Rose G199 and Reichenbach Purple Rose RW0733 with Zimmerman Z99, and demonstrates the wonderful colours of these different glasses.  Lara's beautiful beads can be found here in her etsy shop.

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Using Gaffer Chalcedony and Blue Chalcedony

blue-chalcedony-beads-b 30 

The use of gravity to shape, and repeated heating and marvering will bring out the colours of Chalcedony or Blue Chalcedony and achieve a mottled and veined look.

  • Try using Chalcedony or Blue Chalcedony over a base of clear or black, or use Chalcedony or Blue Chalcedony on it's own.
  • When using a clear or black base, with a neutral flame, make the base bead.  
  • Wrap some Chalcedony or Blue Chalcedony around the base beads.  
  • Heat the bead and shape through heat and gravity, the more you heat the more intense the colours will be.  
  • Marver/shape the bead.  
  • Repeat the heating and marvering until you are happy with the shape of the bead.

For softer colour effects, make the bead in the normal way without using gravity for shaping.

For great information on using Chalcedony, take a look at


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Using Reichenbach Dark Multicolor and Multicolor (striking colours)

A rainbow of colours, including yellows, greens, blues and deep purples can be achieved; continues to strike and change colour whilst in the kiln; works well with many base colours; looks great when encased in clear; looks effective when etched to a matt finish and looks fab when used as twisties in combination with colours such as black.

  • Heat until glowing red, cool and strike.
  • Do not overstrike as you will lose the colours; if this happens, just reheat until glowing and start another striking cycle.
  • This glass likes to be cooled before stirking, this can be achieved by marvering or blowing on the bead to cool it down quickly.

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Using Reichenbach Iris Orange - Raku

bead iris orange c 10 bead iris orange j 10  
Beautiful colours can be achieved by super heating and cooling quickly; areas that look black before going into the kiln can change to reds, purples, blues and greens once they have been kilned; great stringers can be made from Iris Orange (Raku) frit and cane.
  • Make a base bead; Iris Orange (Raku) works well with many colours, but is especially effective with black.
  • Roll in Raku frit or decorate with a Raku stringer.
  • Melt the frit or stringer onto the bead.
  • Then super heat the bead until there is an orange glow.
  • Then cool the bead quickly by marvering or blowing on the bead.
  • The two processes above may need to be repeated until desired colours are reached.
  • If the Raku turns black this is good news!!!!
  • Now encase the bead in clear.
  • If not encasing the bead and the Raku looks to dark or an area of the bead looks to dark, let the bead cool a little until it loses its glow.
  • Put it back into the flame and heat the area until hot; this will remove the dark colour.
  • You will then need to repeat the heating and cooling process to the desired area of the bead to bring the colour back.

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Using Reichenbach Silver Smoke frit

I have had a play with this frit and found that it has various effects depending on the flame setting.  It can produce smokey browns, greys, blues and greens.

z21a1 (10)

Set One: These beads have been made on a base of clear, with a layer of silver foil marvered onto the bead.  The bead was then rolled in a reasonably generous amount of Silver Smoke glass frit. The frit was then melted in, and the bead shaped (I used a press and made sure that I made the bead a little smaller than the desired size).  The bead was then flashed in and out of a reduction flame to produce a bluish green and slightly metalic colour.  A skinny stripe of clear (clear stringer) was then wrapped around the bead at each end to produce a sort of mirror effect to that area.  The beads were then very, very, slightly reduced.  I did not reduce these beads too much as I did not want to produce too much of a metallic effect.  



Set Two: These beads have been made in exactly the same way as Set One, but once the bead shape was acheived, they were wafted in and out of a reduction flame to produce a more metallic effect.  The reduction process has also caused this glass to have a more smokey effect.

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