I had a go at my friend Sue’s idea for getting very thin amounts of transparent over a clear base. Basically, gravity swirl the bead rather than trying to encase it fully, because that gives too thick a layer of colour no matter how thinly you try to do it.
Plowden & Thompson clear
R0254 fuchsia light
R0002 gold ruby
R0005 gold ruby extra
R0094 steel blue
R0043 plum blue
Here are the spacers. You can see that for the pinks in general, I ended up with one of each pair slightly more struck than the other. I made these two to a mandrel and it was very difficult to get the second bead to strike as much as the first, no matter how much I let it cool. The thinness of application here gives an effect you could probably get with frit, especially as there’s some little mottling on the surface in places. However, when using transparent frit on the surface of clear, I usually get bubbling where the cut edges of the frit were, and you don’t get that here. I can use the same technique to get more coverage by starting with more colour yet still keeping it thin.
The fuchsia light is light enough that there is only the bare hint of pink here. The gold ruby is thinned down to a nice peachy shade (one bead has struck a little more pink). The gold ruby extra has the largest difference, with one bead pink and one going a noticeably redder tone. The steel blue is a dark sapphire, even when used this thinly.
The plum blue is actually an opaque and I didn’t notice! I didn’t look that closely and thought it was one of the very dark transparents. It is a silver plum type of dark blue-purple. There’s some darker veins on the surface of these beads and the first bead has gone a bit more bronze than the purple of the second. I didn’t reduce these (granted, my flame’s not very oxy-rich), the metallic surface developed in normal use.
Dark olive and gold ruby extra
Watermelony! Base of dark olive, clear dots, gold ruby extra on the clear dots, then another layer of clear dots. I was tired and didn’t properly think this through – I should have put a light opaque under the ruby because the green showing through makes the dots slightly muddy, but it came out better than I had reason to expect.