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enamel suggestions

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:05 am
by peter cummings
Enamel suggestions please for a thin, watercolour wash look, probably airbrushed on. Float maybe. I'm in Australia which might limit it. I don't think sifted powders will give me a smooth wash look. Oh and can I fire it enamel down for a smooth clear top? Thanks folks.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 8:10 pm
by Kevin Midgley
Multiple firings, multiple coats will possibly give you the result you want.
Silver stains fire down onto disposable whiting. (you don't want random silver in your kiln)
Paints/enamels are fired face up unless you don't mind them sticking to whatever they are place on to fire.
Spray booth absolutely necessary as you don't want the aerosol paints drifting through your studio contaminating every surface.

Gee I can't understand why I got devitrification......

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 8:19 pm
by peter cummings
Thanks Kevin. More experiments, when the switches are replaced. Why do I get too many ideas?

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 7:04 am
by Don Burt
The application technique probably matters more than the paint if you're going for a watercolor look. If you want brilliant transparent color, you're limited to lead bearing low fire enamels. Airbrushing those paints is a challenge in managing overspray and cleanup, but some crazy people do it. Email for details. But watercolor pigment on paper isn't optically transparent...it's just as opaque as any glass paint, but it is applied thinly on bright white paper. To work in less optically clear paints with airbrush, you can use any of the powdered glass paints: Sunshine, Fusemaster, Reusche, whatever. I mix the paint with a weak liquid gum mixture (klyrfire?...I can never remember how they spell it) and isopropyl alcohol. But here's the thing....I airbrush largish areas sometimes with lots of different paint, and none of it ever looks 'watercolor'-like. The low-fires can look slick and jewel like, and there's some edge blending of color borders if enough is applied, but it normally fires to look more like canned spray paint or nail polish. You can better get wash-like overlap and edge seeping with brush applied paint using oil-based mediums. China painters do it all the time. Lavender oil, water-friendly oil mediums, traditional oil painting mediums...stuff like that. If you google Guy Kemper Glass Art and look at his stuff, he gets some water color effects, but he's working huge scale. He also usually has the infrastructure and staff of Derix studio in Germany helping him: rooms dedicated to spraying, acid etching sheets of flashed Lamberts, laminating sheets....big stuff. But I think China painting technique might be the way to go. Paul Lewing's book on china painting is good. The best book on oil painting mediums ever is Gene Patterson's 'Book for the Curious Painter'. Gene passed away and the book was out of print for a while, but some china painting people have started republishing it. I refer to it still from time to time.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:29 am
by Kevin Midgley
Don suggested "some crazy people".
An alternative to paint that could drive you crazy would be to use sheets and powders of tint glass layered and also sand blasted thinner so as to change the colour densities.
Guaranteed to be difficult and drive you crazy in the process but probably no more than trying to keep your studio clean from air brushing enamels.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 2:17 pm
by Terry Gallentine
I have done work very similar to wet on wet watercolor by sandblasting the glass first for tooth. Then load the sandblasted glass with water and start to paint on the enamels. The flow that I got was very similar to watercolor washes.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:56 am
by peter cummings
Thanks everyone. An update in case you think I gave up. I checked out what's available and researched them. I tried the a very low temp enamel which came lose when I engraved it afterwards. Usual fused glass powders worked out expensive and not the way to go. Having loose release powder under made a rough surface which is no good for engraving, impossible to get a good edge. I'm nearly there with Fusemaster high fire enamels and just bought an airbrush to get a thinner smoother surface. I don't mind the brush strokes and thinner will let more light through. Also today the fusemaster transparent enamels arrived to try. Nearly there he says. I'll put a photo in that section.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:13 am
by Don Burt
Airbrushing fusemaster transparents: one of the most effective techniques for introducing lead monosilicate into your studio atmosphere. I do it all the time (not with fusemaster, but their equivalent). Be careful Peter please.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:37 pm
by Kevin Midgley
Do air brushing inside a spray booth with supreme filtration at the exit end of that filter. Air brushing will suspend particles in the air for Hours and hours after spraying.
Please visualize a brilliantly sunny day where a beam of sunlight comes inside your room and you can see the 'house dust' drifting around. Now visualize even smaller breathable particles of paint drifting in that same air. Clouds of it. :shock:

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:13 pm
by DonMcClennen
I was able to get a watercolour look by mixing powder frit with "cable pull gel" (available at Home Depot) You wind up with a acrylic paint like consistency. Then apply to glass with brushes as if painting a watecolour . try it !!

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:22 pm
by peter cummings
Now I might stick with brushes, it's a bit of a worry. Been using opaques, and just got transparents. Maybe I can fix up a booth, temp. cause I'm running out of room. I've started writing all the steps I've been through so far and will put them on my blog soon. Thanks for advice. I wish I had a glass community closer but regularly thank the internet.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:12 pm
by Don Burt
DonMcClennen wrote:I was able to get a watercolour look by mixing powder frit with "cable pull gel" (available at Home Depot) You wind up with a acrylic paint like consistency. Then apply to glass with brushes as if painting a watecolour . try it !!

Got any idea what it is, from a chemical standpoint, Don? I’ve tried gel baby oil and didn’t get anywhere with it

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:58 pm
by DonMcClennen
Container says: Clear Glide wire pulling lubricant by IDEAL #31-388.. maybe you can find it online. When fire it left some texture. Don

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:51 pm
by Kevin Midgley
I reckon all the gels used to thicken or stick stuff are just variations of all the different gums you can get that can be used to prepare food.
The last one I made, didn't stick glass together all that well but I'd made a very liquid batch of guar gum in a tiny plastic eye drops empty bottle. I put a few granules of gum into the bottle, shook it up and put it in the microwave for a few seconds. Wanted to squirt everywhere from the heating, but it burned out clear. Next batch I'll add more granules and microwave for less time.
If you are making a large batch and don't want it to go bad, add a few drops of bleach to the mixture. Probably easier to make your own than find something from North America in Australia. By the time you have to test the stuff after you have found it, you may as well make your own and test that.
Unlike wanting to use a brush to apply the gel, I have trouble find small enough bottles with droppers that don't flood my glass.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:02 pm
by peter cummings
Well I made a small spray booth, by up ending a 3 ft table and closing most of it in. Arm holes and extractor port as well. If I take glass top off I can just up end again to use as a table. Going to look for gum stuff, food or "clear glide wire pulling lubricant" sounds like a fun thing to ask for in engineering shops around here. No experimenting today as there's a heat wave inc. bad winds and serious fire problems just up the highway where I know people. I will put our animals on glass soon, because that may be the only way we can see or remember them the way it's going.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:34 pm
by Buttercup
Peter, a used appliance box, such as a TV or microwave box, with appropriate holes cut in it and a strong extractor fan makes a good spray booth that can be flat-packed for easy storage when not in use.

Take care with these terrible bushfires. Jen

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:06 pm
by Kevin Midgley
Not engineering shops but electrical installers.
Those food grade gums since they make water thicker and into a gel, are good for putting on burns or fires for that matter.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:48 am
by peter cummings
Airbrush isn't too difficult, gives a much thinner layer. I'm going to try gum arabic as a dilutant, and maybe glycerine which will certainly make it goooey. The plan is working out ok though. I'm going to try a photo in pictures section now. Thanks all. Smokey here but the fires are up in the hills an hour away.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:46 pm
by jim burchett
You could try clear aloe gel that you can find it burns off cleanly.

Re: enamel suggestions

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:24 am
by Buttercup
Hi Peter,

Did you ever find the cable-pulling gel? Here's a link to an Oz company that advertises it:

https://www.specialisedforce.com.au/pro ... -lubricant

They seem to be in every major city with products probably distributed all over the country.

WARNING: A different company's Google listing came up just after it. When I clicked on that Firefox warned me not to proceed as it is an insecure site.

Let us know how it goes if you try it.