I got my hands on some of the new Shine-on Glow in the Dark glass - 104 CoE from Brent Graber. I have tried glow in the dark powder in the past, and it has been something of a challenge to use, as the glass didn't stick to it, and you had to roll the bead in the powder and then encase like mad all over it to make sure that it stayed there - much like working with mica powder. Unsatisfying as a way to work, although the glow results were good. Still - kind of a one-trick pony - especially as I'm not really about making beads that need to glow in the dark.
But everything old is new again, and apparently glowing-in-the-dark is a hot trend again. Toho, a Japanese seedbead manufacturer has just launched a line of glowing beads in different colours, and different glows, with big splashy ads promoting, of all things, beaded, glowing wedding gowns. Because when the lights go down, the party starts. Or something like that.
So what is this new Shine-On glass like?
Well - it really does glow. These are the handful of beads,
And these are the beads in the dark. For the technically inclined, this is a 10 second exposure at ISO 800, f 7.1. In pretty much complete darkness.
They glow like crazy.
Now for the bad news. The glass is as shocky as hell. You pretty much have to pre-warm it in or on the kiln. And once you work down through the warmed part - it goes back to shocking like crazy.
But - it does come as a frit, and while the frit does actually shock - you roll the bead in the frit and listen to it snap, crackle and pop - it doesn't really matter so much.
I didn't have any problems with it with regard to heat and burning out, you can encase it or not. I'm told that some colours are not so good for encasing because they will block the specific wavelengths that "charge" the glass, and if you encase it with something too dark - same story - the glass won't charge and glow.
It is a significant improvement over the old glow powders - and because you don't really work it the same as you would other colours - you wouldn't want to get a gather and build a base bead with it, I think that the shockiness is something you can live with. It certainly is manageable with pre-heating - unlike some air-laden glass that it doesn't matter what you do - it still shocks.
It comes in a variety of pale colours, and apparently they don't all glow the same, although I was mixing the frits for these beads, so I can't say which was which. The rods themselves have a grainy texture, so you won't get them mixed up with the other stuff. These beads are mostly a core of clear and med aqua, rolled in frit and encased.
It's easy enough to work, has a really strong glow, and I would say, if you are looking for make glow in the dark beads, this is an excellent solution.
And if you want to stand out at a rave or at a nightclub, or just at cosmic bowling - anywhere that has the "black" or UV lighting - these will freaking knock your socks off. Because they are bright. Like wearing the full moon. Blue moon.
Totally trippy, Dude.
(I currently only see the 90CoE on the site - but it must be somewhere. If all else fails, call Jean at Nortel and she will track it down for you.)