Satellite Unique Lead Free Opaque Glass Enamels

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Satellite Unique Lead Free Opaque Glass Enamels

Postby Geri Comstock » Sat Dec 06, 2003 12:22 am

I've been playing with the Satellite/Unique lead free enamels the last couple of days, trying to get the hang of it, and am having some problems. I'm not sure if it's the way I'm applying the enamels or if its the enamels themselves.

Here's the problems I've been having. In the instructions, it says to thin them to the consistency of milk. The first time I tried them, I did that. They were transparent instead of opaque and uneven in color.

So the second time I used them, I didn't thin them and applied them fairly heavily on the surface exactly the way they come out of the jar. The instructions say to "flow" them onto the glass instead of brushing them on. I interpreted this is meaning that you should load the tip of the brush with the enamel and let it sort of naturally puddle onto the glass. Is that what they meant by "flowing" it onto the glass? Should I have let the first coat dry and applied a second coat?

This time after firing, the enamels were sometimes opaque and sometimes transparent. They were very uneven, and were very transparent around the edges where I had to apply them very carefully and couldn't really "flow" them on and keep the enamels within the area I was trying to color.

Is this problem I'm having related to the way I'm applying them or has someone else tried these and had similar experiences? What I really like about them is that they're premixed and water based. No smelly medium to contend with. LOL.

Any help or ideas about applying these enamels with brushes and getting even coverage would be much appreciated.

Geri Comstock
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Postby Bert Weiss » Sat Dec 06, 2003 2:34 am


You are encountering the challenge of glass enameling. With light passing through the enamel, your eye becomes aware of every particle of enamel that you applied. Evenivity becomes the challenge!

Using the "right brush" is one approach. Having a badger blender is certainly a big help if going for large areas of evenivity. Stippling is a technique used for uneven - evenivity. I like using my Windsor Newton 2" badger varnish brushes to apply the enamel and the badger blender to stipple it out. You can also spray on the enamel and stipple it to get an even mottled coating. A natural sponge is a pretty good stippling tool and costs several hundred dollars less than a badger blender.

For brush strokes, using long haired sign painters brushes is a good approach.

These techniques are elaborated in "The Art of Painting on Glass" by Elskus

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Postby glassy lady » Tue Dec 09, 2003 4:42 pm

I have used these paints and you are right about the puddling. You have to load the brush and let it puddle on, at the same time pushing it to the edges. Thin them as little as possible, just enough to work with. If your piece isn't perfectly flat you won't get an even coat. I paint the wine bottles and just let it shade naturally where it flows down from a raised part. You must try to get coverage with one coat, if you add a second coat the paint will separate. You can do some shading over the paint after it's completely dry. don't fire untill completely dry. You must fire at least to 1500 degrees. I do mine at 1510. If you want to do shading, you must paint two colors (dark and light) side by side while they are still wet. Hope this helps. You can see some of my painted wine bottles and bowls at
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