Sunday, August 21, 2011

Testing Gaffer's G-198 Royal Purple

Yesterday I had some play time and tried out the new Royal Purple (G-198) glass from Gaffer, and I loved it.  I worked it with a minor burner and an L-5 oxygen concentrator.  This glass is very soft, and if you work close to your torch or work hot you're going to have some trouble.  All of these were made about 9" from my minor's torch head, and even then, the glass is quite soft.  Even one little moment of inattention while working this far out resulted in a drip of glass onto my work surface (which thankfully is metal now).  But unlike some other Gaffer colors I've used, it's not terribly shocky, which was nice.  I occasionally saw a little bit of devitrification, but nothing that a reapplication of heat couldn't dismiss.

Here are my results.  I tried a number of techniques to see how the glass behaved.  The beads on the first three mandrels from the left only used Royal Purple - no other colors were added.  Please forgive the crappy iPhone pictures.

In order from the far left:  simple spacer, heated and cooled as I do with Gaffer's Chalcedony glasses.  Next I made five small spacers on the same mandrel.  This allows the beads made earlier to cool quite a bit as I work the newer ones.  For reference, I make these from left to right on the mandrel.  You can see that the one I made last did not bloom with color as the earlier ones did, because it didn't have as many in-and-outs in the flame.  But even that color is nice on its own.

The third from the left is an egg shaped bead that was formed using a Zoozi's lentil press (these are brass), to see how brass tooling affects the color.  This bead was heated and cooled repeatedly during the shaping process, and the tooling seems to have encouraged some light blues to emerge with the magenta.  It's actually a very stunning effect.

 The third mandrel down from the top is the egg shaped bead that produced the incredible webbing effect.

Fourth from the left is another attempt at an egg shaped bead, with tiny dots of rubino.  It was shaped just like the last bead, but the addition of the rubino didn't produce the light blue webbing effect the last bead had.

The fifth bead from the left was shaped with a large lentil press (so again, some brass tooling), and I added some Gaffer Turquoise and Chartreuse dots.  Nice reactions with the turquoise, as expected.  I squished it with a brass kalera-style masher, which made it mostly light blue, and then used heating and cooling to try and bring back more of the magenta color.

The sixth from the left was a spacer bead with a twistie made from light turquoise and EDP.  Nice reactions from the turquoise, but hardly any webbing with blue and magenta.

The seventh mandrel from the left was a large bicone on which I applied light ivory (Effetre) scrollwork.  The silver in the G-198 instantly darkened the ivory.

The eighth mandrel from the left was a large bicone on which I applied some murrini made from R-108 rod and black.  I got some nice striations in the background coloration (again, all G-198), which seemed to swallow the murrini (expected for an opaque color).  This bead was shaped with graphite tools, except for the murrini which were pressed lightly with a brass tool.

The bead on the last mandrel (far right) was a gravity bead using striped cane from R-108 and black (like murrini above).  This bead was subject to the most heat of all of these (especially around the center, where the glass was moving around the mandrel), and it's evident from the brilliant magenta in that area.  The bead was shaped with graphite tools.  It was harder than usual to get much color from the R-108 in these beads.  Next time I'll try some G-1095 for the cane instead.

So there you have it!  I love the vibrance in this glass, and will definitely be getting some.  It reminds me of some wonderful tie dyed clothing.  Next I'm going to try the G-199 Purple Rose.


Therese's Treasures said...

I'm not a fire and glass artist so the technical jargon is over my head. What I do know is the the end results are gorgeous.


absolutely stunning ...

love mo & the girls

Jen V. said...

Very cool! I love seeing the results and hearing how you experimented. I can't believe one rod of glass can end up with all those different effects! The brilliant magenta is definitely the best.

Sally Anderson said...

Can I just second what Therese said? Gorgeous, beautiful beads!

Judith Billig (Icarus Beads) said...

Thanks so much for the write up Patty! The beads are gorgeous, and I can't wait to try the glass for myself (the FedEx truck just left and my kiln is ramping up hehehe).


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