I wanted a way to create more detail in my fused glass pieces using paints. I’ve done a little painting after firing, using some glass paints I bought at Michael’s years ago, but I know those aren’t food-safe, plus they might not last as long as fused paints.
I ordered a set of 6 Glassline paints, including tips (since that way you get 6 paints for the price of 5), but I think I should have just picked 5 colors as the selection in the set is limited and repetitive, I ended up buying more colors anyway.
The set came with Amethyst and Lavender, which are super close in shade, two shades of blue (teal and carbon blue), and Camel. Seriously, Camel? I would have much rather had a standard yellow. I ended up buying a Black, Yellow, and Deep Red separately anyway.
Moving on. Not Glassline’s fault I didn’t really think about which colors I would want to have. Doing some googling, there is not a ton of information out there about how the Glassline colors react to fusing, so I did my own experiment. I used a bit of each color on a couple different shades of scrap glass and threw those pieces in during a full fuse session.
Glassline Paints - Full Fuse Experiment
Looking online and at the Glassline product materials, the consensus was to paint a design, let dry, and bring to a full fuse. I painted on some designs (Carbon Blue in this sample), on a scrap piece of Bullseye Tekta clear glass, and sprinkled on some frit to see how it reacted. The above picture is pre-fuse, here are the results after fusing:
So Carbon Blue darkens upon firing, and will show through the frit. I also wanted to see all the colors, and how they showed up on different color glass. The below picture are my pre-firing scribbles, colors are the ones listed above. Paint is still wet in this pic, but I let it dry before firing (which only takes about an hour). For the star in the lower right, I capped the star with a second piece of Tekta clear to see if the result was any different from the uncapped glass.
Here are the results after firing (full fuse). Looks like I didn’t take a photo of the grey piece, and the capped star didn’t look any different than the uncapped Carbon Blue. One observation on the darker glass colors is that the edges of the paint seem to look a little fuzzy after firing - maybe if I capped them it would look different?
Glassline Paints - Tack Fuse Experiment
Next up, I decided to paint before tack fusing. I want to be able to paint little accents on pieces, and I’d rather not full-fuse little painted pieces before tack-fusing them together (not only does it take more time, but they’d lose their shape in the extra full fuse step), so I thought I’d give it a shot. Here are the results:
First up, I tried making some little flowers and painted accents onto the petals. Left is pre-fuse, right is post-fuse. The hibiscus below didn’t really turn out, but it shows the paint - this is the Glassline Yellow and Deep Red paints. They both dry in really muted versions of the shades, but the color pops after firing. I think I used too much paint though, which led to cracking during the firing step
Later, I used Glassline green and camel (I found a use for the camel, hooray!) to paint accents on my palm tree below. I think these paints are going to work out great for making my pieces more detailed, and I’ll definitely be experimenting with them more! I also bought a sample pack of the Glassline paper - a first try is going in the kiln tonight so I’ll post about how that works out another time.
One final note - be sure to clean the tiny tips after each use. Especially the smallest one, which is the one I have used most - if you let the paint dry it is REALLY hard to clean later! Use the little pins, and I’ve also found that it helps to store the tips with the pins inside to keep the holes clog-free.