Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the best from stained glass paint

Stained glass paint too wishy washy?
Tips for getting the most from glass enamels

stained glass paint
Coloured stained glass paint is a fantastic way of getting exciting designs permanently onto float (window) glass – and it won’t cost you a fortune either. I’ve just recently finished a commission for a house boat that used no other technique except several layers of glass paint, fired repeatedly on to the surface of the glass in a kiln. These three photos show the development from the first to the last (ninth!) firing – you can see how colour and texture build throughout the process. You will need to do colour tests of all the stages and always keep a note of your kiln firing schedule.

stained glass painting
To get bright and consistent colours when using enamels on float glass, you must paint on a particular side – referred to as the ‘air’ side. First you determine what is called the ‘tinned’ side, by using a short wave UV flashlight – sometimes called a Tin Side Detector – and looking at your glass in a darkened room. The tinned side shows up as a blurry white ring, which you won’t see on the air side.
If you want to see photos of this, and learn some more tips about stained glass painting, I’ve written Glass Painting Tips just for you!
You can receive it by joining the merry band of ‘Cutting Edge’ subscribers who are regularly:
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stained glass paint
I used a combination of sponges and badger brushes for the glass painting – sponges for the textured, more definite ‘lines’, the badger brush for the blended background. The secret – and the reason for so many firings – is to put lots of thin layers and build up the colour. This enables you a high degree of control over the finished stained glass window – you don’t want it too wishy washy, nor do you want it to bubble up and be too dark to see through.
One last thought. I always tell my students not to expect coloured stained glass paint to have the transparency and vibrancy of glass – it isn’t glass – but it does have other equally exciting qualities. Not least that you can paint large areas with a near-infinite amount of colours without breaking up the design with lead lines.

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