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Using silver foil and wire in fused glass beads

Hello all! I am actually forwarding this question from a friend of
mine. She has been trying to use silver wire and foil in her fused
glass designs. Unfortunately she has had trouble with the metal
turning a amber color when fused under the clear glass. She has tried
both sterling and fine silver. 2 questions:

  1. What causes this? It seems strange that it doesn’t change color in
    other translucent colored glass only the clear glass.

  2. Is there a way to keep this from happening?

Thanks in advance!
Shane Morris
Druids Grove Unique Gifts

The amber color is copper migrating and oxidizing on the surface of
the piece. 1. limit the amount of oxygen to the piece. 2 pickle the
piece 3. limit heat. 4. pickle afterwards if possible. I use a lye
pickle and it will remove the fire scale / copper.

Shane, silver is a glass colorant. It will color clear and white (and
many other colors) yellow, as its oxides dissolve into the glass at
fusing temperatures. (This is actually how yellows were created in old
stained glass windows, and how “stained glass” got its name.) The
only way to prevent this is to use a different formulation of glass.
The presence or intensity of yellow depends entirely on the chemical
composition of the glass. Not all glasses will be colored to the same

Rene Roberts

Hi Shane, Re:clear glass turning yellow when fused with silver foil

I’m guessing that some of the silver in the foil is dissolving into
the glass. The reason I am making that guess is that I recall that
during the gothic period silver was the colouring ingredient used to
make yellow glass. Further, I believe that the Thompson yellow enamels
and a purple one (2715) also contain silver (the purple becomes yellow
over silver foil).

I’m sure that a fellow Orchidian will correct me if I’m mistaken; so
stay tuned.

David Popham in Victoria, where finally it has begun to rain

Silver almost always turns yellow in clear glass, so if you want true
silver color, try Palladium leaf, available at Frantz Art Glass , , or Arrow Springs, .
It’s approx. $50/25 sheets (3 1/2" sq.). Hope this helps. Barrie
Edwards Windermere Designs