Purely Arke samples
spacers & focal

Our guild has been passing out various reactive glasses and the April assignment was to make spacers and at least one focal of a rod of Arke only.

Arke only, 2 spacers, 1.25 lentil focal. Image has been post-processed.[1]

As it's expensive glass, naturally, people wanted to mix it with something (as we did for the 3 colour dot challenge) or at the very least stretch it with clear.

No! Arke only. My first effort, with the spacers, wasn't very successful. The rod (not shown, sorry) is a sort of dark transparent blue, a bit on the slate-ish side to be called cobalt; the beads are kind of tranlucent with blotches of creamy opacity—multiple tries with reducing flame did very little besides to make muddy beads.

I chose to make the focal a pressed lentil with an indented design for a couple of reasons:

  1. It's a bigger looking bead than the equivalent round
  2. I hoped by pressing the bead, and then the surface design, that the rapid cooling and reheating would help do some interesting things—which it did.

The bead was nevertheless a plain, dark blue transparent until I completely turned off the oxygen in the outer ring and briefly bathed the bead along the left edge with the resulting reducing flame. Afraid that I would lose the reaction if I rewarmed[2] , I just stuck it in the kiln and hoped. I lucked out.

What I found kind of interesting is the top of the bead is metallic grey, very much like hematite; the left side, spreading from the middle (or center outward) is yellow/lime, turquois, and then magenta with just the tiniest touch of bronze at the edges. The base glass, underneath all that metallic surface, changed from dark slate blue to pine green, which is most obvious if you inspect the region just to the right of the central, decorative stamp, or bottom (left side) by the mandrel.

Which is great for me, means the bead can go into the curtain, as it now transmits dark green.

[1]I combined two exposures, pulling the highlights on focal & bottom spacer from a darker exposure; I also did some editing on one reflection that looked like some sort of weird cloning artifact, though it was actually part of the original photo.

[2]Well, perhaps the very tiniest bit