Pearl Powder Charts
Here is the picture I ran across one day that made me fall in love with Mica
Powders and how they look on hot glass. After seeing this picture, I just
had to give it a try myself.
- All beads were made on a HotHead with Effetre 204 White, 004 Clear, or 064 Black
- dipped in the powder, flashed in the flame, and repeated once. These
beads are small spacer beads.
For comparison purposes, here are a couple of pictures of everything
together and one with my hand for size reference.
Click on each picture below for a better look.
Wilton Pearl Dust
Wilton now has an edible pearl powder in a variety of
colors. What you see on the bead is not anything pearly looking - the
powder sort of fizzled into a metallic looking mess. After testing this
out on a bead, I will NOT be using this. Yuck!
Sundance Art Glass uses pictures from our website
website with permission.
Comparison of the 2 Brands
Before I began working with the Pixie Dust, I thought it was just re-labeled
Pearl-Ex because the colors were so similar. I've since changed my mind. The
Pixie Dust powders are not as "fluffy" as the Pearl-Ex powders. This means that
they tend to pack a bit more and this distorts the beads just a bit when rolling
in the powder. You can see the results in the charts. I worked both sets of
powders the same, but the Pixie Dust powder beads are just a bit more misshaped.
All of the Pixie Dust colors worked though, and I can't say the same about the
Important Safety Notice!
You should know that if the mica particles are flying around in the are in a
high concentration (such as when you shake a bottle of powder and then open it)
they can burst into flame as soon as they come into contact with melted glass. I
keep mine in a glass bottle so that if this happens, all I need to do is remove
the mandrel and the flame goes out. Others either keep a soaking wet paper towel
nearby or use foil shaped into a cup and just squish the cup to put the flame
out. This can be quite startling if you're not expecting it, but if you know
about it before hand and have a plan, you can use these powders safely. Of
course, the easiest way to prevent this is to not shake or stir the powders
I don't sell these powders. Your local craft store (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, AC
Moore) may carry some of the Pearl-Ex colors. Check a local Art Store to see if
they carry all of them. The last time I purchased some, I got them from
Dick Blick. If you want to get
the Pixie Dust Powders, many online lampworking merchants sell them. Just a few
some also, but I've not tested any of theirs.
all Pearl Powders are made the same.
Components used, as well as manufacturing methods can affect whether an
individual powder will work well for lampworked beads. One of the biggest
problems is that the color just burns off leaving something that looks a little
bit like gray ash. I even have some colored mica flakes I got to
encase in beads, but all 9 of the colors just burn off leaving me with just a
plain looking piece of mica - but at least it looks interesting when encased. I
have tried some of my eye cosmetics, but didn't have much luck with them. The
color would turn to ash each time. I guess the next 2 items I would want to try
are the pearl powders they sell in the stacking pots in the kiosks in the malls
or some of the pearls for use in the automotive painting industry. Here is
one company that keeps
sending me emails.
Have fun and let me know
what works for you!
© 2004-2016 Kay Powell