Using Powders for Colour
Create coloured sheet glass using small amounts of powder on Tekta or White Opal Bullseye sheets.
Just follow these simple instruction to make 5x5cm tiles of any colour you wish.
You will need:
- 3mm Tekta and/or White Opal sheet glass cut into 5x5cm squares
- Bullseye powders
- Powder sifter
- Props to raise the glass above your work surface
- FFP3 or NIOSH approved dust mask
- OPTIONAL: Powder printing screen
- Kiln and shelf prepared with Thinfire Paper or Kiln Wash
Technique 1: Powder Sifter
A quick and simple technique for applying powder to glass:
1 - On a sheet of paper, set the glass on top of the prop. Wearing a mask, fill your sifter with powder.
2 - Sift the powder over the glass. A ball sifter is ideal for this. Loose powder will be caught by the paper.
3 - Make sure you sift the powder evenly over the glass. About 4g of powder per 5x5cm tile is all you need.
4 - Carefully move your tiles to the kiln shelf (this is easy because the tile was raised from the work surface by the prop).
5 - Fire your tiles using this standard tack fuse for Bullseye glass.
6 - Your finished tiles, ready to use in your designs.
Technique 2: Powder Printing
For greater accuracy and control over the application of the powder, you can use a screen. This example uses a 5cm x 20cm clear glass strip. A graded effect is created by applying powder over ten passes through the screen, using paper to mask smaller areas of the glass from the powder each time:
1 - On a sheet of paper, set the glass on top of the props. Place another piece of paper on top of the glass leaving 2cm of glass exposed. Then using taller props, set the screen so it sits slightly above the glass.
2 - Wearing a mask, pour the powder along one edge of the screen.
3 - Pull the powder across the screen with a scraper or stiff card. Now carefully move the paper across so another 2 cm of the glass is exposed. Pull the powder across again to make a second layer.
4 - Continue this a total of ten times, exposing two more centimetres of glass each time. Your glass will have ten layers of powder at one end, decreasing to one layer at the other end.
5 - Carefully place your strip on a prepared kiln shelf. Fire using this standard tack fuse for Bullseye glass.
6 - Finished strips. The wider strip is on Tekta, the narrower one on White Opal. Note the gradual increase in colour saturation along the strip.
Samples Using These Techniques:
Below are tiles made in our studio using the powder sifter technique (Technique 1). In each image the top tile is powder on White Opal and the bottom tile is the same powder on Tekta. Click on an image to enlarge it:
Below are strips made in our studio using the powder printing technique (Technique 2). In each image the top strip is powder on Tekta and the bottom strip is the same powder on White Opal. (The smaller tiles were made using Technique 1. The tile on the left is powder on Tekta, and the one on the right is powder on White Opal). Click on an image to enlarge it: