Fusing Enamels

Fusing enamels are used for decorating the surface of the glass.

They are applied to the exterior of the glass and then kiln fired so as to melt on to the surface of the glass and form a bond.

These can not be fire in a regular oven.

The lowest temperature to mature glass enamels is at 1085 degrees Fahrenheit.

The firing temperatures can vary by product and desire effect.

Metallic oxides and fluxes are the components of enamels.

Fusing enamels don’t contain kayolin or clays.

Kayolin or clays are found in some ceramic glazes for bisque or stoneware.

fusing enamels, glass enamels

The metallic oxides determine the color of the enamel.

Fluxes supply the glass-forming component of the enamel, or bond between the glass and the pigment chemicals.

These can be made up of a number of chemicals that are added to the metallic oxides.

They can contain lead oxide and boron oxide.

You can however purchase lead free enamels.

Enamels can be use dry.

This method is referred to as “dry-sifting”.

These are usually applied with a sifter.

By masking off different parts of your glass and apply the enamels onto the uncovered pieces of glass, you can achieve very interesting effects.

They can also be mixed with a medium until you have a paint-like substance and applied with a brush.

These mediums can be an oil or water-based liquid.

The substance acts as a means to apply and secure the enamel to the glass surface.

It needs to be a material that will burn out during firing.

Try painting lines or an image on one piece of glass with a white glue like Elmer's.

Shake the powder through a fine sieve to avoid any unwanted clumps falling onto the glass.

The powder will stick to the glue.

Tap off the excess powder onto a piece of paper and place back into the container.

Use a clean soft paint brush to remove any excess flakes of powder from the glass.

Enamels can also be used to do screen printing on glass.

You can create a stencil to screen print on glass.

Glass enamels can be applied and fired in layers.

By applying and firing several times you can intensify the depth of the color.

Always wear a respirator or mask when mixing glass enamels.

They are fine particles that can be hazardous when inhaled.

Breathing in enamels can cause silicosis.

To learn more about using enamels in your fused glass artwork, check out this page on How to Enamel.






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