Friday, July 23, 2010

Lauscha - What to try?

A student asked me the other day which colours of Lauscha she should try. She thought she would get some, but which colours?

Well - for me - starting to buy Lauscha glass was all about filling in colours that I wanted that were missing from the Italian color palette. Most specifically - transparent purple (blue purple, not a red purple) and transparent red.

But over the years - I tried a few more colours, and some are real winners.

As to showing you that purple - well that was a few years ago and I seem to have blended all my purples together. If I could find one I can definitely ID - I would post a picture - but I do remember that it was the Glass Daddy Purple Transparent, and it was a truly beautiful color - absolutely everything I wanted.

After that, the transparent red was the next thing I wanted. And I adore the Lauscha transparent red so much, you pretty much have to break my arm in order to get me to use another transparent red.

But there are other pretty colours. Below, from left to right, Wedgewood, Transparent Light Red, Buckhorn, Yellow, Turquoise, ...

and Olive.

The Wedgewood is a lovely purplish blue. The buckhorn goes opaque if it cools quite a bit before kilning - I use it in my horse beads and I see the difference from the areas that are allowed to get cool to the parts of the bead that stay warmer. The yellow is a wonderful, happy, sunny yellow that stays the color of the rod it come in! And the turquoise does not develop that dull grey layer that you see on the Effetre turquoise. However, it reacts so strongly with ivory as to be quite unattractive. Instead of a light grey line, you get a big ugly smear. And the olive is a slightly streaky color.

And of course, there is the clear. The famous Lauscha clear. The holy grail of soft glass clear.

Wow. Isn't it beautiful? Let's look at another picture.

All together now, ooooh. Aaaahhhhh.

Dazzling, isn't it? Oh, it is soooo worth it. It is somewhat stiffer - and I like that - it stays where you put it, but some of you may like the waterier clears. For sculptural and encasing - it is gorgeous.

The Lauscha does tend to want to be kilned at a higher temperature - put it in the kiln glowing, and garaged higher - about 970F and annealed higher and more slowly.

And occasionally you will find a color/annealing combination that makes the clear unhappy. Usually more heat in the annealing or a longer, slower anneal solves it.

They have also done some very nice transparent pinks - but they seem to come out in such limited quantities, never to be reproduced, that I would rather look to CiM for pinks for production work. At least you know their colours will be around a year later. Buy and try the pinks for sure - but don't lose your heart to them!

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