For my next project I decided to have a go with my Glassline Paints (all with 4mm window / float glass on this occasion) to:

1. try and salvage my heart hanging from the previous firing and test glassline on top of glass (on tin side too!)

The heart hanging from the last firing suffered from the foil evaporating more from the top hearts than the bottom ones. I have deduced that where there is space for air to escape, the foil will also ‘bubble away’ . I didn’t really like the look, so I decided to use it as a test piece for painting on glassline paints. So, although I was aware that the top of this piece was ‘tin side’ up (and enamels etc ‘react’ with the tin side according to everything you read, I thought I’d see what this meant. I painted on the red/ orange paint, around the hearts , doing several layers (leaving them to dry between each layer). I discovered you can easily ‘etch’ off paint where you don’t want it or to tidy up your design. I then added a layer of ‘crimson’ paint and this was far darker and nearer to the colour I wanted for the hearts. Thiswas then left to dry and was fired (result in bottom photo. ). Although I still didn’t like the piece that much (perhaps I should have trialled a silver / gold pilot pen on the top – a plan for next time as this is not meant to burn off in the kiln). But in others ways it was a success – the paint did indeed fuse to the top of the glass – there was no obvious reaction with the tin side of the glass , so I feel comfortable to add glassline paints to the top of glass.  (It was fired on a full fuse for float glass – programme 1 on the KCR2 controller) . This did devit the glass to some extent as this was the second full fuse firing of this piece – so I guess the advice would be to normally add the paint to the first full fuse firing.

    

2. make my own glassline paper and have a go at fusing this between layers of glass.

So my other experiment in this firing was to make some glassline paper. I purchased some small squares of bullseye thinfire paper from ebay and proceeded to paint the orange / red glassline paint onto the paper in a thin layer with a sponge type applicator (like a make-up sponge tool)/ I did two layers both sides of the paper (apparently when you purchase glassline paper it is coloured one side only – but when you make your own you can do both sides if this is important for your piece). I also added a bit of crimson paint in a third layer , again because I decided I wanted a darker colour, otherwise two layers I think would have been sufficient.

Once the paper was dry I cut some shapes out (see photo below). I did 3 small pieces , a heart, a cut out heart and a flower shape with alternating petals of the glass line paper and kitchen foil. These were put between 2 layers of 4mm float glass. i) The heart came out with a slight halo around it. My guess is that glassline paper (homemade at least) lets out some air bubbles around it – or maybe I hadn’t let the paper dry sufficiently.  But the piece was nice.  ii) The cut out heart was interesting. I had layered the paper right up to the edges of the glass. This did not work well. This prevented the edges of the glass fusing together (I guess I could have foreseen this – it is thinfire paper designed to prevent glass sticking to the kiln shelf!). So the learning here is to make sure the glassline paper is fully enclosed inside the layers of glass. iii) the flower came out really nicely and the combination with the foil petals added a delicate look that I really liked and no weird reactions between any of the materials.

3. test glassline paints between layers (non-tin side)

The last test in this kiln was a test of using glassline paints between two layers of glass. I did 3 stripes of differing colours). These again came out really nicely and this would make a nice pendant. Very simple and looks really nice.

 

Firing schedule was a full fuse for float glass preset programme on the KCR2 controller. This worked well.

This Project was a kiln load of window glass and foil. All follow on from the original window glass test project I did. They are all the same 4mm window glass as before. I used the same water drop test to identify the tin side. So all projects were 2 layer 4mm window glass with tin side on bottom and top and kitchen foil cut out shapes in the middle. The only extra test in this kiln is the fish item. On this project I added the tiniest sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda in the middle of the layers with the foil with the aim of producing bubbles in the glass. I suspect I may not have added enough bicarb, but everything I had read said a little goes a long way, so I started very conservatively.

This load has been put on on preset programme 1 on the kiln. It was put on papyros paper as I hadn’t had time yet to re-kiln wash the shelf since the last firing. I shall update on the outcome. I am a bit worried as to whether the items are spaced out enough (as the glass will spread to become 6mm thick from 8mm. I guess I will find out how well (or not) I have judged this. I am hoping I haven’t crammed too much in!.

So, the outcome was mixed, with a lot of learning. I have come to the conclusion that if there is space for air to escape between the glass layers then more of the ‘foil’ will ‘disappear.  This can be seen in several of the pieces, particularly where the wire hooks / hangers have been. This is particularly apparent in the heart hanging, where the hearts are gradually more solid the further away from the hanging wire that they are.

Am pleased with the fish and bubble trial. I put minimal bicarbonate of soda on the glass, yet the bubbles are big. I also plan to try out using borax as I’ve read that this should make smaller bubbles, so I can compare the two.

Having started with Bullseye glass, my daughter had a project for school to ‘recycle something that would normally be thrown away’ by making it into something else and I find myself diverted off towards ‘float glass’. Also, since reading in Brad Walker’s book that normal kitchen foil and drinks cans can be added as an inclusion in glass, I was just looking for an excuse to try it. So, the plan is to make a coaster with my daughter’s name in foil / drinks can cut out and sandwiched between the glass.

I visited the local glazier and asked if he had any scraps and he gave me some scrap glass for free on the promise of doughnuts :-). What a star. The scraps were 4mm thick.

So, several issues to solve/ note here:

– Fusing schedule for window glass needed (and two layers of this scrap glass will be 8mm). I have decided to use the default schedule for a float glass fuse on the KCR2 controller (preset 1) . Despite being for 4-6mm, it will be a starting point for testing.

– Violation of the 6mm rule so this glass is going to spread upon full fuse (as it will start at 8mm)

How to tell the tin side of the glass and then what to do with this fact. I used the water test and then marked the glass with a sharpie pen on the side I thought was the tin side. As the tin side can react with all sorts of things it seems right that the tin sides need to go on the outside and the other side will be on the inside of the coaster sandwiching the tin can / foil.

I decided to do a test piece, both to test if I had identified the tin side correctly, to test spread at 8mm thick, to test the effects

of both coke can and kitchen foil inclusions and to test the firing schedule. The piece I put in the kiln is as shown in the picture. I used my own glass cleaning mix to clean the glass (50% white vinegar / 50% rubbing alcohol). There are so many suggestions regarding different combinations for cleaning on the fused glass fanatics facebook group. This is the one I thought I’d try as someone had mentioned that this was suggested to them at a bullseye workshop.

 

 

 

The piece came out as shown. There were far more larger bubbles around the can foil, with smaller bubbles around the kitchen foil (a look I preferred). My fault that the hearts were slightly off centre. The glass had spread out as anticipated. Another thing of note is that the top layer was not flat but was raised around the hearts – thus this method could not be used where the surface needed to be flat as on a coaster. Food for thought. Pleased with how it came out and the water test for the tin side appears to have been successful.