Lumiere Lusters™ by JetAge Studio are a new, specialty, color-shifting metal oxide. They come in powders and flakes and work their glittery magic in lampworked glass. Metallic oxides are similar to the oxides that create dichro coatings.
The lusters are heat resistant to 1400°F and don’t have a specific COE. Similar to dichro extract powder, they shift and reflect various colors. The larger particle sizes create a lot of sparkle that you don’t get from micas. They’re also a great cost-effective alternative to dichro coatings and are more heat tolerant than regular powdered micas.
Renee Wiggins, owner of JetAge Studio, tested hundreds of samples, “It is a new product that is being used in various industrial applications. As far as I’m aware, I am the only supplier that has specifically tested these colors for lampworking purposes. I tested close to 100 different samples for lampworking before I settled on the selection I sell on my website!
“The lusters are super easy to use, if you’ve ever used micas in lampworking, it’s basically the same application as rolling molten glass onto the colors. Simply put a little bit of the luster onto a heat safe surface in an even layer, get your glass molten hot and roll or press onto the lusters to adhere. These colors are super lightweight and will take to the air with the slightest puff of wind, so take care not to have a fan going while using them. With any lampworking, it’s good practice to have a ventilation system going to expel any fumes, but the lusters themselves don’t have much, if any of a health risk.”
Take Care in the Flame
Although the lusters are hardier than micas, they’ll still burn off in the flame, so Renee suggests encasing your beads. This will do two things. It’ll protect the luster and enhance the color and sparkle, “I like to keep the bead warm and high in the flame while I get the encasing rod molten. Personally, I use a clear because I like to see the natural shimmering color each luster has on its own. I usually just mash the molten clear over the lusters to get them covered quickly, then smooth the bead out once all the particles are encased.
“If the lusters kind of peel off the base glass while smearing on the encasement glass, you probably have put too much of the lusters on in that spot, or the base glass wasn’t hot enough to get them adhered properly. Once encased, you’re good to go, and add additional embellishments. Any luster left over from your bead can simply be placed back into the little jar for next time.”
Renee says that if you work with silver colors the lusters don’t seem to react with silver colors, even though they are comprised of metals. She believes they look best over dark colors as do many dichro colors, but it’s also fun to see the subtle shimmer of color over lighter colors. The newer opal flakes should be used over dark colors, however, as they seem to disappear over light ones.
You can anneal your beads on your usual annealing program, but Renee suggests letting them soak a bit longer before ramping down just to ensure you’ve removed any stresses. get the lusters to adhere, and as such, usually distorts the bead shape I’m making once I roll the bead onto them.
Because of the lusters’ versatility, Renee has assistants testing them in boro and fused glass. She sees so much potential, “I have used the lusters a bit on polymer clays and have seen amazing results. The colors are bright and shift hues quite dramatically. I also have a customer who has used them with acrylic-type paints and resins, and they look wonderful and shiny. It’s possible, with some testing, that the lusters will also work with enamels fused on metal, provided the temperature doesn’t exceed much more than 1400°F, and not heated directly with a torch.”
For more information on the lusters, you can check out Renee’s variety and instructions on her website, JetAge Studio.
I’m working on a review and will post a link here when it’s online.