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 But I also heard that these could be the same as the Zing! transparents from Peli Glass 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 … and as Kaiser glass 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 :


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



and all hopeful but oh no…


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.


About alfeze1

Although computing has my way of life and has been for the past 30years or so my loves are; making things inc many arts and crafts, gardening, photography, birds and wildlife and the occasional bit of sport like skiing... or at least apres ski:-) We are also involved with the NWPG and the Kennet and Avon Canal Society and crew occasionally on the Rose of Hungerford. A canal boat that runs public trips to raise money for work on the Kennet & Avon Canal. In a few months I hope to leave behind computing, and devote myself to creation instead of just fixing. I will them start to publish on a more regular basis.
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