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Embellishments Q&A Round-up

Posted on 30th January 2014
Comments (7)

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!


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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

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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


FB user imageAny suggestions in keeping copper bright when fired between Bullseye?
Thanks, Barbara

Warm Glass square imageHi 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


FB user imageCan you use the glassline pens like paints and build up layers or will they crack? Seana


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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

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Do   Do you use brushes or just the nibs?

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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.


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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
Warm Glass square imageHello 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; 

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. 

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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


Warm Glass square imageDo 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

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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


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Yes Dawn, you need to fire each time you build up the colour



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I love the reaction of fusing vanilla with silver. Really beautiful. Now this is really my question, what other colours in the bullseye range have a wacky reaction to silver? Cheers x


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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


Melanie Readings 11th February 2014 6:24pm
Hi, I have a skutt starter kiln, have successful in my fusing but I also want to anneal beads. Can I use my kiln? If I can, do I leave the beads on the mandrel. Also, is there a program preset that I can use? Thanks
Megan O'Hara - Warm Glass UK 12th February 2014 11:18am
Hi Melanie,
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.
Kirsty Dale - Warm Glass UK 12th February 2014 11:29am
Hi Melanie, further to Megan's reply, if you need help getting your Skutt kiln off the factory settings, there is a video tutorial in the Warm Glass Video Tutorials section, which you can reach from the 'Advice' button on the Home page of this site. Kirsty xx
susan mclaren 8th April 2014 10:15am
Has anyone experimented with paper clay and glass? I heard that you can fire both together. I fancied making a lamp with paper clay rectangles, with holes cut out to show glass through.
Kirsty Dale - Warm Glass UK 17th April 2014 9:42am
Hi Susan, I have asked around for you, but no one here has tried the two together. One of our tutors, Becky Wills, said: "I have never tried it with glass but I don't imagine you can fire the two together in the kiln... maybe make separate components and glue them together?". I hope this helps a bit! Let us know how your experiments go :)
Carol Parkes 7th May 2014 8:09am
when a Hobbyfuser is showing HOT and temperature after it has finished it ok to remove bung to speed up cool down? And.... at what temperature is it safe to peek and open fully?
Many thanks
Simon - Warm Glass UK 7th May 2014 10:17am
Cooling the kiln faster than it naturally cools is possible but is only advisable if the work in the kiln is small and not complicated. You can peek in a kiln below 371C (again, if the work in the kiln is small and not complicated). We usually wait until the kiln is below 40C to open the kiln fully.

I hope this helps
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© Warm Glass UK, 2015-2018
Registered office: 5 Havyat Park, Wrington, Bristol, BS40 5PA, UK
Company Reg No. 5365166. VAT No. 791350132