Pearl Powder Charts
Click on each picture below for a better look.
Sundance Art Glass uses pictures from our website on their 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 Pearl-Ex colors.
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 before use.
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 are Frantz, Arrow Springs, and Heritage Glass.
Not 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 (maybe these), 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!
© 2004-2008 Kay Powell