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Old 09-13-2022, 10:43 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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Amberina glass from Hobbs, Brockunier & Co.

This section could use a new thread, it's been awhile so here's one:

I saw some images of some old glassware from the late 1800s recently that I liked and so started to do a bit more research. They are the "Amberina" and "Rubina Verde" glasses made by Hobbs, Brockunier & Co. of WV around that time period. Other factories probably made similar colors to these too I'm imagining. So I bought an old book (from way back in the 1990's) on Ebay that's an identification and value guide to this company's wares. It's a nice book with some decent illustrations and history of the glassworks. What was unexpected to me was that they also included some formulas that are claimed to be "Extracts from William Leighton's color notes". Of course I'm dubious of the accuracy, but interesting nonetheless. The book indicates that the Rubina Verde was two colors, a ruby underlayment with a uranium green case. I thought it was one color but you can see a clearly defined line where the ruby and green seem to be separate. However, their Amberina is one glass that strikes from amber to ruby after being cooled and then reheated on a punty, it looks like. They show that Crocus Martis is in the formula for this, which I'd looked up as Iron Sulphide. And it's a leaded base (a Shitload of lead, way more than I'd want to use..) at least for the gold ruby part to do it's thing. So I'm wondering if this Crocus Martis is still an acceptable go-to for the sulphur that can provide an amber color? And does the iron part of that compound contribute to showing amber if it's in a leaded base? Interestingly enough, they still used a bit of manganese as a decolorant in this formula.
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Old 09-13-2022, 01:38 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Crocus Martis AKA ferrous iron oxide - red Iron- Spanish Iron seems to have undergone a remake and it confuses me. The stuff referred to here seems different than the stuff I grew up on fifty years back.

Paul Soldner was a potter in the '70's who did a variety of workshops around the southwest and I was once an able gopher for several. Paul drove these women crazy talking about glazes and he would refer to "Spanish Iron" as his secret. He told me it was red iron oxide but that was whispered. All these folks would descend on the VWR in Albuquerque wanting "Spanish Iron" which none of those salespeople had ever heard of, but it caused them a lot of heartburn. End of that story.

So if as suggested, it contains sulfur, iron and sulfur do make a blackin certain quantities. Iron and oxygen make a peculiar blue green. The base glass would be important I would think perhaps accounting for the amount of lead in the goop. I think it's worth keeping in mind that lead also allows you to "Pack" more oxides into a glass if it's nearing a saturation point. My dense black does that but it's way different stuff.
These days, it's all unnatural stuff, created just for you, sort of like Calcium Phosphates- flighty stuff. In Paul's day, it was mined in Spain.
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Old 09-13-2022, 02:03 PM
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I would be most interested in seeing the formulas if you are willing. Also worthy of note that a contaminated gold ruby is frequently an amber the color of new motor oil.
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Old 09-13-2022, 04:17 PM
Kenny Pieper Kenny Pieper is offline
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I always thought Amberina refereed to a cadmium sulfide red that just wasn't struck through out the piece. The parts not struck are amber in color.
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Old 09-13-2022, 04:29 PM
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That was always what I thought as well Kenny. I think the ones Josh has are a gold ruby fade. I can see that since green does such a great job of ruining ruby.
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Old 09-14-2022, 09:40 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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Here's a link to a photo of what I'm seeing of Hobbs & Co. Amberina, it does not seem to just be the striking action of a cad/sel red, but rather more of an actual sulphur amber to gold ruby fade.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/35042217183...waAmdOEALw_wcB
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Old 09-14-2022, 09:46 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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Here's one of 3 (similar) formulas from that book:

Sand 1820
Litharge 1820
Nitrate 560
Dissolved gold in dollars (?) 150
Ox. Antimony 64
Manganese 21
Arsenic 5
Crocus Martis 45
Alumina 156

Look at all that Pb and Nitrate in there..
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Old 09-14-2022, 11:05 AM
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If I was to compare the basic formula Josh, I would see a lead/potash' silica glass much along the lines of the Steuben glass bodies. So, I can continue to think the formula has a grip on the real world.

Gold in dollars is hard to think about but using conventional quantities of gold at around 2grams per 20 lbs ( think Gold Sands ratios from Lyngaard) batch would yield up a strong gold tone. Going back, just now it doesn't look to be that strong a gold formula. It's not a cad/sel. I will put this formula away in my big book of things I'll likely never try.
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Old 09-14-2022, 01:25 PM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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Thanks, good to hear this formula doesn't sound too far out there to possibly be somewhat accurate. I'm guessing then that the 'nitrate' they mention is KNO3 since there's no other potassium listed in this formula? I just lit up color furnace again for first time in 2 years, and I'd like to try this out after some more of the phosphates I'll be continuing with. I certainly want to try to get away with as little lead as possible to get that gold to show. I'm thinking I'll go for a gold ruby first, one that preferably strikes at the top after being made quickly and then puntied. And then if/when that looks good, see what adding some sulfur might do, esp. in a leaded base. Would you bother with this crocus Martis (I do see it for sale at US Pig) or just use the yellow sulfur I've seen elsewhere? I hope it doesn't stink too bad if I don't use a ton of it.
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Old 09-14-2022, 01:42 PM
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If you have it, try to use the lead mono, or bisilicate instead of the litharge. It is such profoundly sticky stuff. Screen it all!

And yes, it would be a surprise to have it be other than potassium nitrate since you're looking for luster help here and sodium isn't going to do it. If the pot is new, or at least really clean having contained no chrome or copper,do use it first.
That's going to be a very soft glass. Don't overfire it.- Actually you might consider trying it first without the gold, just to contain your costs if it disappoints.

Crocus Martis iron sulfate. They sell it at greenhouses too by the name Copperas. It reduces alkalinity in soil, not an east coast issue.
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