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Explore the Magic of Double Helix Silver Glass

Presentation from the 2016 International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) Gathering in New Orleans, Louisiana


Striking Silver Glass

double Helix striking silver glass.jpg

left to right: Khaos, Luna 3, Terranova 2.1, Luna+Terranova

The Striking Sequence

Striking is a three-step process

striking process

1 Heat the surface of the striking silver glass  – pass the bright orange glow – to when the glass starts to get hazy.

striking process

2 Cool until the glow is gone (put the bead under the table to check), sometimes amber tones will bloom.

striking process

3 Reheat at the tip of the flame just until it glows, move the bead further away from the torch so it doesn’t glow so much that you can’t see the color of the bead (and miss seeing the “first strike”).

striking process

Observe the “first strike” as dark brown/dark purple tones bloom. Do not proceed if you do not see "first strike." Start step 1 of the three-step process again instead.

striking process

Bring the bead back to the normal working zone (about 2 in / 5cm from the torch face). Waft the bead in and out of the flame to coax out various colors, e.g., rotate one revolution in the flame to warm a bit, one revolution out of the flame to cool a bit, repeat until desired effects are achieved

striking process

Depending on the striking silver glass, colors bloom from dark to light – purples, magentas, blues, and greens.

Most striking silver glass allow you to re-strike (going through the three-step striking process) multiple times. However, colors won’t be as dark or saturated with each subsequent re-strike.

Video Demonstration with Double Helix Khaos

How Does Striking Work?

“Silver glass strikes due to silver crystal growth. When the glass is worked hot, the silver crystals dissolve, yielding a clear glass. When the glass is reheated, crystals form inside the glass. These crystal lengths grow to the same size as various wavelengths of light. The color sequence of lengthening crystals is as follows: clear, yellow, orange, red, red-purple, purple, blue, green. When glass is worked hot (‘reset’), the glass looks clear. Due to ambient heat within the glass, the first stages of striking usually occur automatically, yielding yellow-orange-red, which all blend together to read as ‘amber’ or transparent dark brown. As the glass is cooled and reheated, purples, blues, and greens are developed.”

Jed Hannay, Double Helix Glassworks

Continue to next chapter – Reducing Silver Glass

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If you enjoy this presentation and find it helpful, please consider a donation to the International Society of Glass Beadmakers.

ISGB is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your contribution may be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please consult your tax preparer.