23/10/2009

Adventures with Gunmetal

Gunmetal is pretty special stuff, it can be tweaked in the flame to give a strong shimmering silver patina. You can catch a glimpse of this as you are melting down a rod in the flame but I find the best and easiest way to create a strong surface patina with this glass is to flash your finished bead through a very small oxygen rich flame just before putting your bead away in the kiln.

This is the paddle pic for Gunmetal from CiM




I find that Gunmetal is a super soft glass to work with, melting just as quickly and easily as a white opaque glass. It also seems to hold the heat and stay runny longer once out of the flame in the same way as light opaque colours do. I have found Gunmetal can "cannibalize" surface decoration if used as a base and worked too hot, I have lost some of my white latticino surface decoration in to the focal in my test mini set.



I also find that it is difficult to get dot work to stick if there is the slightest patina of silver on the surface of a Gunmetal base bead so building up your base in a very slightly reducing flame works best for me when I want to add further surface decoration.



As shards, Gunmetal looks a deep transparent purple before application. For the best results I use the same technique to apply as I do with premium Effetre hand pulled Dark Silver Plum (DSP). I turn the torch flame right down with the propane dial only, creating a very small oxygen rich flame. The results are instant when you add Gunmetal shards to the surface of your bead, glistening and shiny silver. Very lovely indeed, and at just a fraction of the price of DSP.


Gunmetal shards over CiM Sapphire



Gunmetal shards over Reichenbach Antique Clear

I tend to work hot preferring transaprents for their stiffness and for that reason find working with Gunmetal a challenge. I adore this glass as shards.

Jolene

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