Saturday, August 08, 2009

Northstar - SPC406 - DaVinci Double Amber Purple

Da Vinci Double Amber Purple - one of the 104 COE glasses from NorthStar. I've used this glass before, although, apparently - I haven't blogged it. My bad. Check out these two rods - dramatically different, no? One looks like a giant twistie, the other looks like streaky cane.

At the GAS (Glass Artists Society) conference in Corning, earlier this year, I attended a lecture by Jessie Kohl - a wizard of glass. Double Amber Purple is distinctive in the wide range of colours that you can get from it.

One of the takeaways I got from his presentation is that this glass works because of "incomplete mixing." Which is to say, that if this is carefully and fully blended, it will be harder to strike, and that if the glass is more like a muffin mix, a bit lumpy (at least, at the molecular level) then it does it's magic thing much better. I can't say for certain that this is what we are seeing in these rods - but they are very cool rods.

These two pics are the same bead - I seem to have a hard time getting the strike even. Guess I should start the rotation before I put the bead in the flame. This glass is in the snot/cool/strike class of striking glasses - which is to say:
  • Heat the snot out of it. Make a gather and get it transparent hot, drippy. Hard to control hot.
  • Wind it into a bead, and let it cool. No dancing back in and out of the flame, just let it cool.
  • When the glow has gone out of it, introduce it back into the flame to strike. Do this gently. I added heat to strike this bead three or four times.

That bead was made with the twistie rod - and this one was made the same way, but with the stripey rod. I rather fancy that this one struck more easily - but it's hard to really quantify that.

Again, same process. This one was marvered - and of course, the marvering changes the colour - because it dramatically speeds up the cooling process. Yes folks - that is just one colour of glass on that bead!

And, finally, this one was encased. Encasing changes the colour dramatically too, as it changes the speed of the heating and cooling as well. The colours have come out quite different - none of the intense blue, but overall, lighter. In this case, I superheated it, let it cool, struck it times two, and encased.

This was encased with the NorthStar Diamond Clear, btw.

This really is one of those glasses where you will get lots of different results, depending on what you do, and possibly have trouble replicating results. However - don't be afraid to get it really, really hot in the first step. It should look to be mostly clear.

Your mileage may vary, in other words. ;-) If at first you don't succeed, try again. One of the things that fascinates me is the variability of it.

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