Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mixing Colours

A recent post about hand-mixed colours got me inspired to try a combination of CiM Cirrus and Eff Cobalt.

Of course - I chose Cobalt blue - a colour which simply will not reproduce on the screen. Sigh.

However, I was really pleased with the result. The Cirrus lightened up the cobalt enough that it really is a wonderful blue in real life - a real "Noxema jar" blue.

It is encouraging enough that I'm going to try more of it.

If you want to mix your own colours - you can mix just enough for a single bead by starting as if you are making a twisty - layering one colour on another - without having to be particularly neat about it. Use the second colour rod as a handle - and heat the mass of glass - just like a twisty - but not quite as hot and soupy. Hot enough to move the glass though. Then start twisting, but NOT pulling, just twist it in the flame. If it gets saggy and drippy - take it out of the flame, double it back onto itself, and keep twisting and folding it. If you blend this a lot, you get a very homogenous colour - if you don't blend as long, you get a more streaky colour. You can see from the bead above - this was very close to being completely blended. You can then pull it out into a fat stringer for later use, or, my preferred method, disconnect one rod, grab a mandrel and wind the mass of molten, variegated, glass onto the mandrel - and shape from there.

This is especially good for those uber-dark colours, Rubino Oro, Leaky Pen, Black Currant, that don't display well on their own.


  1. Your posts are always so inspiring! I'm going to have a go at mixing my own colours next time I'm at my torch. Thanks for sharing with your fantastic blog :)

  2. I was always nervous about mixing the CiM Moonstones like Cirrus, Halong Bay and Peacock with other I had heard that they have a tendency to crack when mixed.

    Any issues with that in your experiment?

    I believe that if they are straight into the kiln and then annealed at a bit higher temp, less cracking occurs...but thought I would ask anyway..



  3. That's a valid point - as I think that they do prefer a higher annealing temperature.

    On the other hand, maybe mixing it will bring down the temp. it needs to be annealed at?

    So far - this bead as illustrated is intact and uncracked. I'll keep you all posted.

    I just reflexively anneal everything hot anyway, as I frequently have Lauscha glass in my beads.

  4. I love mixing colors and haven't had a problem with cracking but have had some weird stuff happen. For instance if you mix with an alabaster, you get some curdled-milk stuff going on. Trying for a smooth opal color won't work like this but it looks neat if you're prepared.

  5. Gail DB11:35 a.m.

    I agree with Ness, this is inspiring DJ. And thanks to Darlene and Carol for their informative input, as well. Definitely going to try some mixing tonight. One thing I really love about working in poly-clay is mixing my own colours... so, some fun ahead!

  6. I should try and get some photos of the process. I used to blend a light amethyst and rubino oro for a truly awesome colour. And I once mixed a blue green that was so pretty, I didn't want to use it!