Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tried & True: Effetre 219 Opaque Copper Green

When Copper Green glass first came out, I was a newbie beadmaker on the scene, and enamored by its light fairy-green-looking rod color. I immediately bought some, even though the metallic sheen on some of the rods scared me. I hadn’t been working glass long, and I had no experience with glass that was reactive at all.

Once I started working with it, though, and figured out its little nuances and favorite flame environments, Copper Green became one of my all-time favorite glass colors.

This glass thrives in my neutral, slightly oxidizing, small-ish flame. When used as a base, a greyish coppery patina forms almost immediately as the glass begins to cool, once the round base bead is shaped. It melts like most other 104 opaque colors, and you’ll find that it acts very similarly in the flame as other Effetre handmade colors from that time period. It’s easy to pull into stringers, and easy enough to encase, as long as you keep in mind the patina that tends to form when the glass cools.

Adding decoration to the plain Copper Green base can be a little tricky, because that metallic sheen can make it tough for your decoration to stick.
Make sure to spot heat the base bead right before adding decoration - this burns off the metallic so that your stringer will stick to the bead. If you wait too long, the metallic patina will form again, and your glass won't stick to it; timing is everything with this color!

Reducing your base of copper green will intensifiy the patina - which is in no way super consistent. It can get splotchy, and tends to form a thicker layer around the holes of the bead. That can be fun to play with though - and is wonderful for organic beads.

When Copper Green is left bare and the patina is burned off, the resulting colors range from soft green to turquoise and everywhere in between. The most prevalent color (for me anyway) is a minty-fresh green that is almost good enough to eat.

Try encasing Copper Green in layers of transparent Dark Sage or Yellow-Green for some nice shades.

Copper Green is also a highly reactive color - just try using it with colors like Ivory, Opal Yellow, Opaque Purple (EDP) or any other reactive color, and watch fun things happen. Copper Green tends to even react with itself to form striations of color and metal - so be careful when layering if that’s not what you’re going for.

Copper Green comes in a couple of different variations - the normal kind, which is what I have the most experience with, and what is talked about above; the true Red Copper Green, which is a whole different animal, and which I have next to no experience in working with; and a kind of hybrid of the two, which can be tough to work with, because it blushes an odd coppery pink in the most unexpected places. Both of the other variations can be a lot of fun - especially for people who love making freeform organic beads. Personally, I tend to prefer colors which are only slightly weird.

Copper Green - slightly weird, but absolutely enchanting once you get used to it.

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