Reichenbach Dark Silver Brown has been troubling me for some time, as no matter how I tried to use it, I never seemed to get any nice colours, just beige. Anyhow, I’ve been playing around with various silver glass and have finally managed to get some glorious colours out of them – especially Dark Silver Brown!
When working with other silvered glass, I’ve found one way in which I can get some lovely effects through using a cool heat, reducing and encasing. I turn the propane gas down until the candle is about 5mm long and the oxygen is adjusted for a normal flame (about 3-4cm blue flame in total). Then I melt the silver brown and start winding it around the mandrel until I have a base bead of about 7mm diameter or more. Any less silver brown at this point and I find that the colour disappears, so the more the better.
Now I turn the oxygen down so that I get a reducing flame. I’m very careful at this next stage as I can easily over-reduce the glass and finish with a pearly finish rather than clear with colour. I waft the bead in and out of the flame (about 3cm above the visible candle) for about a second whilst turning the mandrel. The bead should have a slight brown oil slick effect on the surface at this point.
Then I turn up the propane and oxygen so that I have a reasonable neutral flame to melt clear glass to encase the silver brown bead.
I hold the reduced bead under the flame so that the bead doesn’t crack and melt the clear rod (I use 006 Effetre). Starting at one end, I wrap the clear glass close to the mandrel, then do the same to the other side. I now have a gap in the centre, so I fill this with clear as well. I usually wrap the clear glass around the centre of the bead again. I find that this helps the edges of the clear reach the mandrel.
I turn the heat down again at this point, as I am now ready to add the silver brown dots. Then I swirl or dot the silver brown onto the surface and try to leave the pattern raised as I’ve found that it looks best this way. I melt in the dots a little bit to smooth the pattern slightly.
Again, I turn up the propane and turn the oxygen down to get a reducing flame. I start flashing the bead through the flame a few times until the raised areas are now a lovely bronze colour. I can now pop the bead into the kiln or cool it as preferred and wait to see the lovely bead when cool!