We recently held a very successful 'Q&A' session via our Facebook page on using Embellishments in glass work. Our wonderful studio co-ordinator Megan O'Hara was on hand to respond to all your questions, and below is a selection of the questions we received and her answers. Thank you to everyone who took part!
Hi Megan. I'm hoping to make a series of 6 tack-fused plaques. My question is: if I stencil powder onto one side of the plaque and tack fuse, can I then turn it over and decorate the other side - firing it a second time with the powder side down? Also - do silver and gold flakes have to be used between layers, like mica powder? Thanks. Rachel
Hi Rachel, You can certainly Tack fire powder onto one side of the glass and then turn it over and use the other side, this is a technique call making a part sheet, it’s a very effective way of getting detailed design into your work and it is very effective. And yes the silver and gold flakes need to be used between layers of glass; they are made of mica and will not stick to the glass otherwise. They are a bit tricky in that they can trap a lot of bubbles I tend to use them sparingly to add a little sparkle here and there. Best wishes, Megan
Any suggestions in keeping copper bright when fired between Bullseye?
Hi Barbara, That’s a tricky one! Copper doesn’t really ever stay copper coloured it will turn reddish when fired between layers, however if expose the copper to more air during the firing it will turn a darker blueish colour. so to make sure the copper stays as bright is possible use it towards the centre of your piece. There will always be some colour change though. Best wishes, Megan
Can you use the glassline pens like paints and build up layers or will they crack? Seana
Hello Seana, The paints will crack if you layer them really thick but they are great to use like paints, I work with them a lot and I will usually build up lots of layers into my pieces, they only really crack when they are drying out a bit like thick mud on a hot day. But this cracking will not affect the glass, just the look of your piece. To avoid it layer up the paints in thin layers rather than putting a lot on at once. It’s a good idea to layer up the paints to get a good covering of colour, if you use them too thinly they can look a bit washed out after you fire them. I usually paint one layer and let it dry then paint another layer on top. A good way of telling if you have enough paint down is to hold your piece up to the light and if you can see lots of light coming through it you probably need to add a bit more. Best wishes, Megan
I prefer to use brushes myself as I like to paint with them, but if you are looking to do writing then the nibs are good. They do clog easily so keep a little pot of water to hand to drop the nib in when you are not using it because the glassline paint dries out in them very quickly.
Hi Megan, Thank you for this - you are amazing - I buy all the time from you and love your shop! I have a few questions that I want to ask please:-
1. With the glassline pens I find that the white fades a bit when fused can you recommend what I may be doing wrong?
2. I have a lady who wants me to include her paper cuts into my glass - they are amazing but she cut out from the white kiln paper and when I fused this the writing just burnt away I am sure it was because the writing was so delicate is there anyway to keep the form on such a delicate cut out? Tracy
Hello Tracy, You do need to build up a fairly thick layer of the glassline paints for it to not burn out in the firing, I usually do a base coat and let it dry then do another coat on top. A good way of telling if you have enough paint down is to hold your piece up to the light and if you can see a lot of light coming through then the paint is probably not thick enough. as for the thinfire paper, you can fire this between the layers it will need a long bubble squeeze on your firing schedule though because it can cause big bubbles, here is a good firing schedule;
RATE TEMP HOLD
Segment 1 121°C hr ( 250°F ) → 555°C (1000°F ) 4hours
Segment 2 121°C hr ( 250°F ) → 804°C ( 1480°F ) 10 min
Segment 3 999°C hr ( 9999°F ) → 482°C ( 900°F ) 60 min
Segment 4 83°C hr ( 150°F ) → 371°C ( 700°F ) End
However if the cut outs are really delicate they can distort in the firing, this is down to the design just being too delicate, there’s not really anything that can be don’t to counteract this.
Is it bog simple to use the crayons like a child. Can u give me a firing cycle to work. Does it need to be an inclusion ? Rachael
Do you mean the Glassline chalks? Glassline chalks can be used to draw on sandblasted glass, tack fused Glassline pens and paper or a rough surface created using powder frit. They work well when drawn on thinfire or Glassline paper and then layered in-between the glass, you will need to use a firing schedule with a long bubble squeeze if you are going to do this. Best wishes, Megan
Hi Megan after you've drawn on the sandblasted glass with the Glassline Chalks do you need to fire again to retain the colour? Dawn
Hi Rachael, The best silver reactions happen with Red Opal, Reactive Ice and Reactive Cloud, but you can expect interesting things to happen with any glass containing sulphur as well. To find out which glasses contain sulphur just look at the check the Reactive Glass Chart here. Reactive Glass Chart
Yes, you can anneal beads in the kiln, it's best to take them off the mandrel. There isn?t a pre-set programme, but try the following schedule: 100?C/hr - 482?C ? hold for 1 hour and then allow to cool to room temp before opening the kiln.
N.B. This will be fine for Bullseye glass but not for other types which will have a different anneal temp. Megan.
I hope this helps