Tuxedo is a standard black color, which is a dense transparent like the other black glass versions from Vetrofond and Effetre. But it differs from them in that while Vetrofond has a bluish cast and Effetre has a purple cast when they bleed around the edges, Tuxedo has a grayish-brown cast. During my initial testing phase, I discovered that Tuxedo also has a tendency to bleed much more easily than it's big brother Hades, which is my favorite black that is a more dense and blacker formula and has wonderful reactions with silver colors. Here is a photo of one of my first test beads where you can see this effect:
This is Tuxedo dots randomly placed on a base of Stone Ground. You can see how much the Tuxedo bled and reacted over the base color, which made me think of an animal print pattern.
I was surprised by the brownish bleeding effect and it made me immediately think of fur. I thought it might make some great Tiger skin beads, so I combined it with Peace white to make twisties, then layered them between transparent Amber to get these:
Kinda cool, huh? And you can see how the one on the far left looks more like a zebra pattern because I didn't cover it as much with the Amber. I think this would make for great looking leopard and giraffe beads as well, and I'm planning to make a set one of these days to see what kind of fun jewelry designs I can come up with.
Because Stone Ground is a reactive base color, I then tried layering Tuxedo over a regular opaque gray and found that it still had a tendency to bleed if heated for a longer period of time. The two beads on the left are with Tuxedo, while the one on the right uses Hades. You can see how much crisper the edges are with the Hades design vs. the one using Tuxedo:
So I challenged myself to see how well I could control the bleeding and here's a set I created that I was quite happy with:
All the round and crystal shaped beads were made with various combinations of Tuxedo, Pearl Gray, and transparent Gray. I love how the pale gray gives this set a softer, more sophisticated feeling, rather than the graphic crispness of a black and pure white combination. My mother-in-law loved these beads when I showed them to her, so I used most of them to create a bracelet for her Christmas gift. Next, I'm planning on making more of these to make a bracelet for myself and then some for an Etsy listing! ;-D
The disc shaped beads are all made from CiM's new Gunmetal color, which is a black that can turn a lovely satin metallic bronze-silver color that looks like gunmetal when heated a certain way—hence the name. This color doesn't get it's luster from a reducing flame like most lustering colors, but rather by striking it in a neutral or oxidizing flame. Unfortunately, it doesn't keep it's luster if you encase it, but I'm intrigued that it also seems to have some possibilities as a reactive base under silver colors. I found I got the best solid metallic finish by working it in a neutral flame until I was happy with the final design and shape, then let it cool and struck it in a slightly oxidizing flame until I achieved the desired luster I wanted. It happens fairly quickly once you have it in the right type of flame and it's fun to watch the rich sheen rise up like magic.
It turns out that Gunmetal is a rather tricky color to work with and some people on the Lampworker's Etc. online forum reported that the metallic finish could wash or wear off easily. After some extensive testing by myself and others, we've determined that it's all a matter of how well and long you heat this color that brings out the most consistent and durable finish. My discs were pressed in a brass press, so they were repeatedly heated and cooled rapidly during this process and so far I haven't had any problems with the finish rubbing off with these. But some test beads I made with raised decoration that wasn't heated as much did have some very slight fading of the finish if rubbed strongly with an abrasive material like a rough towel. I love this color, and although it can be tricky to work with in certain situations, the results are definitely worth it!