I got very excited when CiM Hades first came onto the market in 2006. Vetrofond Black (which is better than Effetre Black because it is more dense) was hard to come by in Australia. CiM Hades promised to have the density of Vetrofond Black, be in endless supply and easier to source. I wasn’t let down when I received it. I love this particular black if I am using it as a base bead, or to cap the ends of a long bead. It is a “soft” glass, which holds onto heat for a long time. I don’t Hades so much when pulled into stringer and used as decoration. When in stringer form the colour is still dense, but Hades spreads and won’t keep its crisp edges when layered over opaque glass and heated for prolonged periods. It is the nature of Hades to be a soft spreading black. At its best, it makes for a really excellent black to cap a design off, or as the base of a design. At its worst, it becomes a hard to handle mess. Depending on your overall design, the characteristics of Hades could be disastrous or really cool.
One thing that a lot of artists have noticed is that Hades can be reduced. This is true, but trying to reduce Hades on its own takes a massive amount of reduction for quite a decent length of time to get it to reduce. I tested this out recently and it took a good three minutes in a heavy reduction flame to get Hades to reduce. When it does reduce it looks like a faintly metallic oil slick has spread across the surface of the bead. When I used Hades with Double Helix glass and reduced the bead, I found that the Hades sections fumed and reduced much more easily, with more pronounced oil slick effects. Hades fumes in the presence of some Turquoise glass and anything with silver in it. Again, depending on your overall bead design, this could be really annoying or freakin’ awesome. Personally I don’t mind this about Hades, but rest assured reduction on Hades doesn’t happen easily and is more likely to happen with a glass that has heavy silver content in it, which is understandable.
I really like working with Hades to cap the ends of a bead design (for that block ended by black look) or as a base for organic silver designs with fine silver. When fine silver wire is wrapped around Hades and reduced the wire gets a matte halo effect around the blobs. When fine silver leaf is added to Hades and reduced a range of metallic oil slick colours will bloom. Intense heat reduction will produce the “sandy” matte colours, metallic blue develops at mid range heat blending into a metallic sea green hue. Lastly a purple sheen will show if you hold your tongue right and flash your bead very gently at the edge of a reduction flame. Very thin leaf does some beautiful cloudy blue effects. Thick leaf or foil will produce intense metallic patches. Some of these reduction silver leaf colours will shift depending on the light, the angle you hold the bead at or how much you have reduced the beads. (The photos show the same beads in different lighting and at different angles.)
For these particular beads pictured below; I trailed Reichenbach Iris Violet over the top. When Iris Violet is lightly reduced it will get a silvery gold sheen. If Iris Violet is heavily reduced it will turn an oil-slick metallic dark purple. Although, when Iris Violet is placed directly over fine silver leaf with Hades as the base it leaves a dark line as if it had been heavily reduced.
So if you like the blue green effect on these beads. Make your base in CiM Hades then use leaf (not foil) and burnish it in really well, reduce the bead lightly. If you are going to trail R-128 over the top, reduce the the bead once. Don’t reduce the leaf then reduce the R-128 you will transition the leaf into the sandy colour. (Although if you really like the sandy colour, a heavy reduction will get it to look very reflective, like molten mirrors on the surface of your bead).
CiM Hades is a soft, melt like butter, dense black glass. It etches very easily and is really lovely etched. It holds onto heat, so be careful if you encase it, the whole bead can move if you don’t let it cool properly. This is a must have glass if you’re teaching a beginner’s bead making class as Hades is so forgiving in the flame and so easy to heat and round out. Hades is heavily pigmented and can be used to produce organic effects when layered over other reactive glasses. It webs like intense black over Effetre Ivory, but not with the same intensity. Hades will create a cloudy web effect if superheated and allowed to move. When pulled into thick stringers Hades doesn’t go transparent, but it does look blue-ish if pulled into fine stringers. Hades likes to spread and web out over other opaque glass when heated hot and fast and particularly likes to crawl across transparent glass if overheated. Hades is great for small spacers and working fast because it melts so quickly. I would keep it in the back of your mind that Hades for murrine might not be the greatest choice because of it’s tendency to creep over other colours when super heated.
I have used Hades extensively in my testing of the Double Helix Garage Box colours, I’ve purposely chosen Hades to test because it is such a fundamental CiM colour and its reaction to silver means that its likely to produce some interesting results with Double Helix glass. You can check the Double Helix section of the blog for more details on Hades and Silver Glass.
If you want really sharp black stringer control on opaque colours use Effetre Intense black, or if you can get your hands on it Reichenbach Opaque Black.