Fusing With Glass Powder
When fusing with glass powder, it is very important to wear a respirator. Breathing glass powder can cause silicosis.
Always put safety first!
Glass powder can be made from nearly every type of glass. Some glass powders are made from leaded glass and ground into a fine powder.
Glass powders may contain lead and cadmium. Extreme care should be used in handling dry powder pigment to avoid breathing the dust.
Fusing with glass powder can be done in numerous ways. These glass powders can be mixed with water or glue or shifted dry onto a project. When mixed with a fluid, they can be put into a mold using the
Freeze and Fuse
method, or used for painting on glass.
Your glass powder must be the same COE as your other glass you are going to be using in your project. Frit is another name for glass powder. It is a finely ground powdery consistency of frit.
Glass powders come in a rainbow of colors to choose from. Any size of compatible glass frit will work. The outcome will be different depending on the size and combination you use to mix with the frit.
Before you mix your colors, you will want to do a color test first. Mixing colors can sometimes turn to mud on your finished piece, so test first.
You can purchase a color mixing chart from Bullseye. You can mix opaque powders to form new colors that are not on the Bullseye color pallet.
When fusing with glass powders, they can also be used dry. You can use stencils to apply the glass powder.
This method can be a little tricky, since having to lift the stencil can be difficult and messy. If you do try to use stencils with your glass powders, try using a quick spray of a pump bottle hairspray to keep your powders where you want them.
When applying only dry powders, be sure to wet pack. You can sprinkle it on with your finger tips or load a decorator with the powder and apply.
Once you have the powder in the area that you want, mist the finished piece with thinned glue (Elmer’s). Now push gently down on the design so that it bonds. Otherwise the powders ball up into the center during fusing, unless you want this effect in your fusing project.
You can also use Glassline paints to draw your design and then sprinkle on some glass powders. Allow this to dry before firing.
If you decide to put a piece of glass (clear or opaque) over your design, be sure to add some stringers or larger frit on the edges to allow air to escape while firing. The key is to keep it very thin so the paint won't bubble.
Glass powders can also be mixed with
medium or Aloe Vera. This gel medium suspends the glass powder.
You mix the gel and glass powder to until it has a glue like consistency. It can be put in a needle bottle or zip lock bag and squeezed out on to your glass in a design.
When fusing with glass paints, you don’t need to adjust your firing schedule. They fire at the same rate and temperature as all of your other glass.
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