Hi everyone at Bullseye,
Hope everyone at Bullseye's well and sorry to not post on the Facebook group - I'm not on FB at the moment.
I was wondering if you can give me any hints or tips for opal strikers, specifically reds. I'm using 2mm red opal and deep red opal (doing quite a hard fuse) and having trouble with colour consistency between different batches of the deep red. I had a batch of deep red opal that was very dark, almost maroon in colour, which contrasted well fused with the red opal. However, the most recent batch of deep red opal I bought is much lighter, much more similar in colour to the red opal, so much so it's almost hard to tell them apart (to the point that I wondered if the supplier I bought them from - I'm in the UK - had mislabelled them), and there's much less of a contrast between them, both before and after firing. I know there can be colour differences between batches, and thought that when I fired the deep red opal it might strike to the darker/maroon-like shade, but it hasn't. So, I guess what I'm asking is:
a) if this difference in colour is to be expected between batches of deep red opal, and
b) are any tips/recommended firing cycles for getting the red opals (particularly the deep red) to strike to their optimum colour.
I've attached a photo showing the difference in the colour of the 2 deep red opal batches I've been using.