This bead is an absolute delight! It all began as a happy accident when I used Double Helix Aether clear instead of Double Helix Zephyr clear, which led to a magical transformation of the silver into a dazzling gold shade. With two layers of silver foil and the silver glass creating a beautiful reaction, the bead looks like a piece of pure gilded gold!

But wait, there's more to this bead! This beauty is adorned with a variety of eye-catching accents, including sparkling dichroic glass, shimmering goldstone, black/raku/goldstone twisted stringers, and white twisted stringer accents.

I just couldn't bear to flatten this bead and lose its depth, so it remains a stunning bicone shape. While some may argue that it could use a touch more black, I decided to err on the side of caution and not go overboard. However, if I could do it again, I would have used a black & white twisted stringer that might have looked perfect too!

Looking at this bead, I can't help but think how wonderful it would be to create a two-toned metal bead by leaving half of the foil silver. This little happy accident has turned into something truly special, and I can't wait to see where it takes me next!

gilded gold lampwork bead

In my research in trying to understand why this reaction happened, I did see that Marcy Lamberson has a video about this very topic. 

Similar to Marcy Lamberson, I used a thick silver foil on my bead. She used Effetre plain clear in her bead. My reaction was stronger using Aether. All of my silver turned gold instead of partially gold & silver. She mentions using pale aqua effetre to keep it silver and I have used that before. I have also used Rhea to create a fiery look to the silver as you can see in the bead below. In order to get pink, I layered fuchsia over clear. I left some of the foil silver in this bead.

dichroic gold lampwork bead

The silver turned gold because of a chemical reaction between the silver foil and the silver glass when combined with Aether clear glass. This type of reaction is commonly referred to as a "strike" or "reduction" reaction.

When silver foil is heated and covered with a layer of clear glass, the glass becomes reduced, which means it loses oxygen atoms. This creates an environment that is conducive to the formation of metallic particles from the silver foil. If you use another clear like Double Helix Zephyr, you will get silver as you can see in this bead. 

silver organic lampwork focal bead

When the silver glass comes into contact with the reduced glass, it reacts with the metallic particles on the surface of the silver foil, causing the silver to turn into a beautiful golden hue. This is why the addition of Aether clear glass resulted in the transformation of the silver in the bead into a bright gold color.

In conclusion, this bead is a true masterpiece that was born from a happy accident. The combination of Aether clear glass and silver foil created a stunning gold color, and the addition of various accents added to its unique beauty. Whether left as pure gold or turned into a two-toned metal bead, this creation is a testament to the endless possibilities of glass art. The strike or reduction reaction that occurred during the making of this bead is just one example of the fascinating chemistry that takes place in glasswork. It is through these happy accidents and experiments that artists can truly push the boundaries of their craft and create something truly extraordinary.

April 04, 2023 — Stephanie White

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