Ahhh the first color I fell in love with way back when. I was messing around with 081 and its sister 221 Pale Lavender Opaque even before I was messing with pink glass.
Dark Lavender 081 is a desperately cool color - and it does magic, too! The color came out around the same time I started making beads - and at first glance didn't look that much different than the regular 080 Pale Lavender Transparent or the totally mis-named 082 Lavender Blue (it's pink. I swear.).
In general, 081 is significantly more saturated than the other two colors - a deep, rich lavender that will enhance any color you layer it over.
The first thing you should know about 081 is that it turns pale blue under fluorescent lighting. Just like any other lavender in any of the glass lines that I know if. There's something weird about lavender glass that causes that reaction - I notice it happens with lavender beads of any kind - seeds, Czech, you name it. If it's lavender, and it's glass, it will do this weird washed out blue thing under fluorescents. But under incandescent lighting, the lavender color really pops.
The second thing you want to keep in mind about this glass is that batch matters. With this color you really want clarity - and there are some batches of this color out there that are so scratched up and scummy, that you'll want to pull your hair out. Do yourself a huge favor and try to find a way to hand-pick the rods, or buy from a vendor you really trust. Because if you get a crappy batch of this color, the rods will scum up and bubble like the worst of the aquas - and we all know how bad those can be. Same goes with the pale 080 version of this color.
Once you get the right rod of Dark Lavender, you can create the most gorgeous, varied purples with it. It's a gorgeous color on its own, but really can make any shade of purple in the palette pop right out. Encase Dark Amethyst in this color and watch the brown overtones just disappear. Ahhhh purple. Encase Pale Lavender in Dark Lavender for a springy pale treat. Do the same with Pastel Ink Blue and you have a subtle lilac shade.
081 is the perfect stiffness for sculpturing and for encasing - and it works well with most every other color without reactions or striking woes. Encase stripes with this and they will have an ethereal quality to them.
081 isn't a rare color anymore - most every vendor who carries Effetre has it at a decent price point - and some even give it away as a gift when you order a certain amount of glass. Just make sure you're getting the rods that aren't scratched and scummy. There's nothing worse than gorgeous but unusable glass. And now, on to the eye-candy!
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