Update on Reds

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Well I thought that this one wasn’t working … when I peeked in earlier it looked like it could be dark… But look at that, its not… its great. The difference this time… just put the piece on the floor of the kiln. No shelf & no thin fire. The company thinks that thin fire uses up oxygen – needed for the reds… at least I didn’t have to have it open.

The other pieces in the big kiln they were on thin fire paper too.

Currently in the small kiln are 4 pieces. the white one from before with another two leaves – and put in vertically along the left. A translucent yellow on the floor. An opaque yellow on KL board stacked higher and a red cat previously fired black also vertical on the right wall.

Lets see what happens.

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Painting Reds in Glass fusing

If you have ever tried to use glass enamels in your fused glass you may have ended up as confused as me. In my last post I was looking at different colours… As it happens I think that some are more bothersome than others. In particular Reds!

On many of the bulletin boards you will find such discussions… How to get a beautiful red. Of course beauty even with colour is both in the eye of the beholder and dependant on what sort of red you really want. With glass fusing /painting there are two other factors to take in to account the temperature that you want the colour to be able to stand because of the process that you want to use(the temperature the enamel matures at) and whether you want it opaque or translucent\transparent.

In the area of low fire (below 650) there are a few different reds from different companies in both opaque and transparent. But there seems to be only one really nice red? In the high fire area so far there seems to be just opaque’s and no transparent ones. The highest seem to be 1275F = 690C Fuse Master Trsansparent Enamels http://www.fusionheadquarters.com/Enamels_and_Paints_for_Glass_Fusion_s/31.htm. But I also heard that these could be the same as the Zing! transparents from Peli Glass http://peliglass.mamutweb.com/Shop/List/Zing-RG-Transparents-(560-620%C2%B0C)/64/1 but they are quoted with a lower top temperature range so I am not sure. Both are very expensive when it comes to the nice reds!

For my experimentation I really wanted to paint. I was hoping to do it in a similar way to painting with watercolours or oil paints… It would seem that some people manage this as there are some wonderful creations out there. But could I as a mere amateur with limited time available manage anything.

In the first instance I want a red that stays red during the whole process. So after tack firing and even after capping it should till look good. That means it must be able to cope without discolouration or ‘evaporation’ I call it that because at high temperatures some of the paints just disappear.

It would be nice if the red can be mixed with our colours… to create tinges of orange purple etc…

Some reds contain Cadmium this means that they can only be mixed with certain other colours. e.g Held … http://www.held.co.uk/ and as Kaiser glass http://kaiserglass.com/page32.html say their red and orange can be mixed I assume their paints and powders are the similar.

Anyway so having obtained my first red – a Reusch one … I started experimenting… so often the red disappeared went pink or went dark brown.

Finally I found a couple that seemed to be good Held ceramic 61 and the two Kaiser reds… the tests were brilliant. I fired Kaiser red once to 650 and then again capped with clear powder and clear glass. On both a white and a clear bullseye base. Brilliant.

Picture after 650C firing:

after first firing of 650C

after first firing of 650C

As you can see a glorious red on the right. Both Kaiser paint that I mixed and Kaiser paint from the paint range. The latter does have a lovely consistency.

After a full fuse at 800C it was still gorgeous :

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So this weekend I used it with a stamp like one might do screen printing.

Before:

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and all hopeful but oh no…

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Where has the lovely red gone:-(

I expected some fade, that’s not the problem its the shade that’s the problem. Where has the lovely red gone? I had been told to keep the kiln open to 500F but I don’t like that idea… so I didn’t do it on the first instance either. I just tried without the board and the thin fire paper … and seems to be same.

The first one was on posts higher in the kiln (that’s why they bent) could it be that something comes out of the paint that needs to not stay on the top… maybe the bending helped by accident? Could it be re-use of pre-prepared paint – but its less than a month.

About to do more tests and discuss the results with the company.

Will report when I have success.

 

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Using printed images in kiln fired glass

Using a HP laser printer it is possible to take a photo that you have taken and embed it in to the fused glass. You need special transfer paper that you print on to using a high iron content toner. Once printed you cut the image out and then soak it in water to float a thin plastic layer off and then put it onto the glass. You have to make sure that bubbles are removed. But so far its not clear if there is a difference between toner up or toner down on the glass. hen one can fire down on to the shelf or fire up. If I am doing a single layer then I fire down and if its covered immediately then fired up.

Two findings so far.

a) on clear one can fire lower than on white or vanilla. Sometimes when you wash the piece if it hasn’t fired properly the image just comes off:-)

b) If the image is fired on white then the image definitely is sepia in tone. But if its fired on vanilla then if you fire a second full fuse fire with a cover then the image goes darker!

 

laser printed image fired between vanilla and clear bullseye glass to a full fuse.

laser printed image fired between vanilla and clear bullseye glass to a full fuse.

 

Here the deer is the sepia colour as fired but strangely the watery effect occurred during the first fire. Then painted using Held company ceramic paints and fired with a coating of clear.

laser printed deer with painted background

laser printed deer with painted background

 

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Hot Glass Painting

1st attempt at glass painting using Reusche best tracing black

1st attempt at glass painting using Reusche best tracing black

There are various methods of Glass Painting. The one that I recently started to study can be seen and read about in glorious detail at http://www.realglasspainting.com/

This is not the semi permanent variety using glass paints that sit just on top of the glass this is the permanent variety that are fused in a kiln to the glass. The paints are often the same varieties (according to some) that are used in porcelain painting.

I brought some Reusche Best Tracing black glass paint and some Powdered Arabic gum from the local stained glass shop (Reading Stained Glass) (after reading a few books ) and just tried it.

An absolute failure, I will post pictures of the results later. suffice it to say that it’s not THAT simple:-) My first attempt just popped off the glass and resulted in hardly any trace lines visible. So then I started reading some more books and doing some research and then I found the Williams and Byrne Glass Painters methods… and now I am reading and practicing. I haven’t gone full in to what they say just because I only have a small amount of the paint and don’t want to ruin it… but already my later tests are getting better as you can see. But still not there yet. There is still some pop off of the paint. So I am also reading their firing schedule to compare it against mine… what am I still doing wrong… and yes just as they say it could still be that I am not starting with enough paint! But this stuff is not cheap at 12 pounds+vat for a very small jar! I need to be convinced that I am getting somewhere:-)

See above for my first attempt.

The painting is easy but keeping the paint on the glass during the firing tis the trick. I have been reading some really interesting information from one of the leading stained glass painters, in the UK.  You have to have a lot of patience especially if you want to paint and fire in just a single fire.

I went up to a studio near Scarborough and saw some experts at work but there wasn’t much sharing.

Most of the painters intend to fire well below full fuse temperatures which causes me a bit of  problem as I want o be able to full fuse flat items..

I started to look around further and found people using frit to paint with. Frit is crushed glass which is carefully controlled in size and cleanness. t comes in powder, fine, medium and coarse. As the size increases the air trapped between can change depending on long you use to let it escape. When air is trapped you get bubbles which reduces the transluscency. There is also a description of glass frit that describes it as being crushed glass mixed with ceramic paint. This is not what I am talking about. Until writing this article I did realise such a thing existed. The frit that I used and I think most use is actually ground already coloured glass such as you might get from suppliers of Bullseye glass frit for fusing.

Still there are some fantastic examples of around of people painting with frit.  One of the challenges iof using frit is keeping it in place. Yesterday I tried to persuade some frit to create stripes in a mould of a fish. Good job it was a mould! There are ways of making the lkeep together easier. There are a number of glues.the fish mould http://www.colourdeverre.com/product_detail.php?id=16433&c=3

pate de verre glue

flexi-glass http://www.fusionheadquarters.com/Flexi_Glass_s/255.htm

alldays glue

are three that I have tried so far. I definitely haven’t perfected their use. I think one needs to work at any of their use! But I was so impressed by David Alcala that I did put a bit of money towards his second project.

a poor example of frit held n place with alldays glue

a poor example of frit held n place with alldays glue

As David says one can easily create paper like pieces out of mica powder. The challenge though is which powder to use. That came back to the paint tests that I was doing. Although the punching part worked well the colour aspect didn’t when I used Pearlex Blue and red. Eventually I found a reference that indicated that Pearlex colours have a max temp. Its high but not high enough to cope with the sort of full fuses that I was doing.

Hence the search for something that might.

Josephine from the US have colours that are quite good.

Most recently I have obtained a number of paints from Held of Harrogate. http://www.held.co.uk/

They have a number of interesting paints. The best bit for me, a ‘colour’ addict is that the paints are available in small quantities and as such less expensive to test.

Held of Harrogate also have multiple ranges. The different ranges have different required and maximum temperatures. The required temperature is needed to reach a bonding and glossy temperature, and sometimes the colour wont appear fulfilled without it. The maximum temperature is the temperature beyond which colour starts to fade, and sometimes the colour disappears altogether.

There are other aspects though. Translucency, is the final colour opaque or translucent. One of the difficult things is that the translucent colours when on clear glass become very pale. Whereas against white say, they can look rather good. They have Glass colours these are generally lower temperature colours, they do disappear if you try and full fuse them at above 740deg C. But they aren’t always smooth until a little over 600.

There are opaque glass colours they don’t generally survive a high temperature either. Most will fire nicely at 600. The picture below shows 3 different glasses all fired to same temperature with their Gnumber. Clear, white and black fire differently so this test was to see that effect on the same set of colours.

 

Held Glass colours fired at 600deg C. On clear, white and black bullseye.

Held Glass colours fired at 600deg C. On clear, white and black bullseye.

The opaque porcelain colours I generally fire at low full fuse temperatures (740 – 780 C)between glass. But fire them on top of the glass and some, in particular the lead free ones do not fire smooth but stay rough. The other colours often seem to sink in to the glass. Pinks and Blues need the higher temperatures to appear, but these can be higher than I wanted to use. There are documents on their website that talk about some of these features.

One of the things I wanted to do was use interference colours to paint flowers on black. I made such a picture a long time ago on black gauze using interference acrylic colours. But the problems that I have hit are; the paint disappears (sink or just disappear not sure), the colour changes but the shine – mica – stays without colour, or the shine becomes dull, the colour becomes opaque like a white chalk. The irritating thing is that back when I first started I did a test piece on black that did work for a couple of colours, and I cant even repeat those.

my original test back in 2005 that I am trying to replicate

my original test back in 2005 that I am trying to replicate

 

There are another set of colours called lustres. These come as liquid rather than powders. Sometimes they come in glass form and sometimes need higher temperatures. There are colours and metallics.

In both low and high temperature ranges there are satins and sparkle colours. Some of the satins  still show shiny under glass as well as on top, but some don’t depending again on the temperature. I also think that the hold time is important. The satins and mica based powders come in different varieties, some have inbuilt bonding agents. The trick with these agents is that they have their own temperatures. So if you want to use them at a lower temperature then you have to use a lower binder. One of the things I have done is use a glass colour like a blue and then a dusting blue\twinkle on top.

 

fire at 600

fire at 600

And here various of the mica based colours are fired on white at 600 using 1B as a binder.

 

mica based colours fired at 600 using 1b binder

mica based colours fired at 600 using 1b binder

attempt to fire mica like Held fireworks example on clear that was previously fired at 740 fuse with 49c. A cadmium based paint. The idea was to stop the mica sinking.

 

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attempt to fire mica like Held fireworks example on clear that was previously fired at 740 fuse with 49c. A cadmium based paint.

One final set of Held product are their transfers. I found that I could fire some of the lustre transfers on the surface of simple glass baubles at 600deg C.

Whilst doing a test with platinum lustre on various glass – supposed to be a paw print – the base glass was iridized. Irid tends to hold things up so would that stop the micas sinking at full fuse? Fuse done at 780 and held for 20mins.

Before image:

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and after:

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You can see in the result image the colour changes of both the micas and clarity of the of the base colour.

 

 

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Grey Line Continued

Petra Keiser also talks about the grey line that is seen when one grinds glass before fusing

in her 1st Glass fusing book. She says that it is possible to avoid this be 1 yes yourve guessed it – not grinding – or 2 maybe it wont happen if you use one of the coatings that are available.

I can say that I have just fused and slumped a 12 inch square plate no grey in site. And lots of jewellery pieces using fine silver findings and no grey lines… Nothing ground. All used thinfire paper. So in my view its deffinitely nothing to do with Bullseys lovely thinfire paper.

Turquoise plate

Turquoise plate

Turquoise plate showing shallow depth

selection of dishes

Red Bowl

Just the Red Bowl

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Grey Line

One of the discussions on the bullseye forum that a few of us are having is around where some discolouration – grey line – is appearing at the edge of some of the glass after a full fuse.

So I have put the photos here for viewing as part of the discussion.

If you look carefully at the red plate on my previous blog at the top of the virtical where the red meets the yellow. You will see a grey line where I joined two clear pieces to form the top layer.

Harder to show is that there is often a grey line around the edge of a piece. Various recommendatsions have been made so I did the following test.

Two pieces 3 by.5 inch. 2 layers, thin clear and colour base. both items had all its sides ground, one set was immediatelly put in to water bath. From the photos I cannot tell which was which as both have grey lines.

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Small Glass bowls

I have been making small glass bowls, 2 layer thick. 1 full fuse 1 drape or drop fuse. The first fuse didnt give the drape or slump in to the mold that I wanted so put them back in for a second attempt. Better but still the drape is a little uneven. hold at slump temps was default and then 20mins.  So it looks like the small items need a quite a bit longer than large items to drape and slump. Guys on the bullseye forum say that one should do it by eye but I havent yet tried that. I dont like to open the really hot kiln yet.

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Alfeze is my artistic name

As a way of relaxing I make things so as to differentiate my home life from my computing work life. Current involvements are Jewellery and Glass fusing although in the past and still occasionally I draw, paint, rubber stamp, paint silk etc.

My latest glass fusing  has been to try making bowls and using dichroic glass and dichroic paper as highlights. Using dichroic paper is very interesting but mostly from the way it inherits its effects from the base layer of glass. Dichroic glass on the other hand can produce major bubbles during the full fuse phase!

This is a bowl that I made for a friend. It uses dichroic paper and dichroic glass embedded between two layers of glass. The bottom layer is two types of iridised bullseye glass.

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