I decided to make simple dotty beads using Effetre handpulled Copper Green, Effetre Dark Turquoise with Cranberry Pink, Effetre Opal Yellow and Stone Ground
|Dots, dots, dots|
Each pair of beads in the picture above have been made to the same pattern. The only difference is that the beads in the left row use CiM Stone Ground; the beads in the right hand row use Effetre Opal Yellow.
It is easy to draw some direct comparisons between the working properties of these two glasses, having used them side by side in this way. It is very difficult to gauge the difference between the relative reactiveness of the two by simply looking at the beads side by side after annealing. Once I had mixed the two sets of beads together I couldn't tell which were which anymore at all.
* I found that Opal Yellow is softer and slightly quicker to melt than CiM Stone Ground. This for me means that when used a as a base bead, it is slightly less easy to control and gravity shape.
* My particular batch of Opal Yellow was fairly shocky whilst the Stone Ground was very well behaved when introduced to the flame.
* The batch of Opal Yellow that I am using is a fairly dark one (some batches of this handpulled glass can be considerably paler) but it is still notably lighter in shade than CiM Stone Ground.
* Stone Ground appeared to be a striking colour, moving from pale creamy to caramel/tan when I heated the beads from cool to melt in raised dots.
* The Opal Yellow remained consistently pale without any signs of being a striking colour at all.
I find it very difficult to get a regular supply of Effetre Handpulled Opal Yellow from any UK stockist. Encouraged by the results from my dot bead tests I wanted to see if Stone Ground would solve my supply problems for finding a reliable, neutral, reactive base glass for use with powdered glass.
The powder beads on the left are ones that I made over a base of Effetre Opal Yellow earlier in the year. The beads on the right are the result of last evening’s playtime - powdered glass over Stone ground. I am very pleased with the results over Stone Ground so far, the reactions I got are every bit as dark, rich and as intense as those with Opal Yellow.