Soft Glass Color Mixing Chat

I apologize in advance for fuzzy pictures today. I don’t know what happened and I’m in a hurry but wanted to chat a bit first. I’m back to color mixing. This time for a cold stringer stack murrini project; my first using color.

A while back I showed you a color mix I did going from orange to white. This is part of the result:

lori greenberg color mixing
At the time I just thought I was mixing for fun and would be on to the next color. I have no idea why I picked orange and white but lookie there…kind of a flesh tone family emerged. And guess what I need for my current project? Some good flesh tones…or, at least some that will come close.lg140522a2

My last color mixing was not precise…just cutting and eyeballing the amounts and proportions of the parts. This time I weighed the portions, knowing that my scale was only accurate to whole numbers. That causes some variations and I have a new, more precise scale on order. Luckily, murrini isn’t an exact science, colors pull down and blend or get minimized but still, I like to know I can repeat things and I like to be able to keep an accurate record. A batch book.


So, while I know there are variations from batch of glass to batch of glass I also know that there can be variations depending on how the glass is used. Look at the two above pictures. The mixed rod and stringer (pulled method) yield a very different color than the bead (wound method). In addition, I bet the murrini, as I make it, could yield even different color because I will be looking at the cross section of the rod/stringer that will have been fused, cooled, reheated in the kiln, further reheated to molten in the torch and then pulled and cooled again. Orange can be considered a striking color which adds to the variations, even though this particular orange does not need to be struck.  ::sigh:: Got all that? If not, move on and maybe someday, if you find yourself interested in the nuances of color mixing you will know where to look.
lg140522a4For more frustration, note the above photo which shows two different pulls with the same proportions. I could be off by .5 grams but I wouldn’t think it could make that much difference in an almost half and half mix…maybe in the tonality but to change the actual color? Crazy, right? I can only think that I chose orange rods from two different batches of glass. It makes me want to do yet another pull, wondering if I plucked a coral rod by mistake but no, I would have known the difference between orange and coral. Still, crazy crazy and a little bit frustrating.

But, I will keep a record of it all. It is fun to look back and, in my project I will use both the orange color and the coral one and mix them. It will give nice depth and I even think that in the future I might try to do two pulls instead of one big one for this exact reason. I hate the term happy accident but I do like to find something positive in the things that would normally tick me off.

Now I just have to hope that the yellows, if any, in the original rod color don’t cause the murrini to crack, as I have heard can be a problem with yellows.

So there you go…a little color chat.