Seriously - you are just not going to believe it.
I got my hands on the latest colour from Double Helix ...
Let me just let that sink in for a bit.
Double Helix has a fine write-up for Oracle-Black, and the thing that grabbed my attention was "... reactive with lusters."
Oh ho, says I - that's gotta be the old silver-foil-turns-the-black-blue thing. I love that thing.
So I get out the silver foil, make a honking big bead in scraps of whatever, encase it in the Oracle-Black, (to make it go further), and then lay down the silver foil, burnishing, and gently apply the flame to melt the silver. A few swipes of ivory, melt, mash, and a little bit of reduction applied to the right hand side. That would be this bead.
Black that reliably and intensely reacts with silver to create a rich palette of blues. Greens when reduced.
This is a random selection of frits and powders - some Psyche for sure, also probably some Nyx and Kronos2 powders, maybe also some Terra powder, and a little GOK. (When I get low on a frit, I tend to dump them all into one tray.)
What else can I tell you? It is buttery smooth to work, much less stiff than the blacks usual blacks. Really delightful, actually.
Double Helix says that it "will strike, does not spread excessively, and can be worked very hot without boiling."
Here you see a flattened, unannealed rod tip - and you can see that it shows blue. (This is strongly lit in order to show it).
Of the three "bits" below, the pointed leaf, on the left, went into the kiln still blue - I wanted to see if it would kiln-strike, and it did.
The rounded leaf (on the back of the pile) - I deliberately struck, and it went into the kiln black. The wavey bit just looked black the whole time.
Only if you hold it up to very intense light can you see some blue still.
For this bead, I make an ivory bead, put very thin trails of Oracle-Black on it, and then cooked the snot out of it. As you can see - this did not strike in the kiln, but I really did put it on very thin. I rather like the effect. It hasn't really webbed up, like the old intense black used to do, but there is a little something going on. But, like I said, I really tortured it here. And I like it.
The mane and eye are Oracle-Black, and you can see it functions very nicely as a normal black. ;-)
The buttery smooth working characteristic and the silver reactions alone make this one a keeper in my books. And Double-Helix's policy of making glasses with a mandate of low-toxicity is certainly something to think about.
I'm going to have a lot of fun with this one.