Question On Firing Reusche Enamels & Stains?

Would you (any of you) please discuss the points of firing the Reusche paints after traditional matting & tracing? I have listed some questions below if you would be so kind as to address them.
I have a new oval Evenheat kiln & have not checked it's actual temps against cones. At 1250 whiting begins to imbed in the back of DS glass, so I am hoping that indicates it is fairly well calibrated... but I am new at this.
1. Should I set the kiln to take a certain amount of time to reach the final temperature? It takes approximately 20 minutes to reach 1200 now.
2. Should I allow any soak time for the matting or line work? Likewise what is the cooling time I should provide? I have been told I do not need to allow for any, as I am painting on DS or art glass for stained glass window use.
3. When I fire stain or enamel line work, after firing, should it be flat or glossy?
4. What does gloss indicate on the thicker line work, if other areas of line work were thinner & fired flat in the same firing?
5. Should oil based matting or tracing be fired lower than water-Gum Arabic tracing/matting? What are your recommended temps?
Thank you,
Kristina

* My answers may not be what you expect. If you can fire up to 1200 in 20 minutes without cracking the glass go ahead. if it cracks, slow down.
Glossy or matte is up to you, whatever you like, try and achieve. You can usually see when the enamel glosses by looking in. After a while, you can achieve consistency by setting the same schedule up.
For 1/8" glass, just shut off and let it cool on it's own. You can probably get away with cracking the lid around 300.
I never noticed a difference between oil and water mediums, but the bottom line is to observe and go for the looks you prefer.

* My answers may not be what you expect. If you can fire up to 1200 in 20 minutes without cracking the glass go ahead. if it cracks, slow down.
Agreed here, we don't take many precautions with speed of ramping or cool down.... use ceramic kilns.
Glossy or matte is up to you, whatever you like, try and achieve. You can usually see when the enamel glosses by looking in. After a while, you can achieve consistency by setting the same schedule up.
Disagree here... with the Reusches, problems with dull tracery can indicate underfiring or too much gum arabic.... or as mentioned previously, a mfr. problem with a batch of paint. That said, slight underfiring doesn't necessarily mean you'll have problems with the paint being unstable. Fire somewhere between 1200 and 1300 and you'll like be okay. That's for the high-fires, not the lower temp enamels or silverstains.
For 1/8" glass, just shut off and let it cool on it's own. You can probably get away with cracking the lid around 300.
I never noticed a difference between oil and water mediums, but the bottom line is to observe and go for the looks you prefer.
There shouldn't be a discernible difference as the medium burns off during the firing. I prefer to use the glycerin over the oils as they stink too much.
Just my two. [/b]

* The smaller and simpler the shape of the piece you're firing, the faster you can fire. The kiln shelf composition, the amount of paint you have on the piece, the color of the paint/stain you have on the piece, the placement of elements in your kiln, all contribute to the speed at which you can fire and cool. Thickness of the glass matters too. It's conceivable that you can fire and cool a small rectangular piece in less than an hour. Venting the kiln to cool it adds risk, but I do it.
Understand Dani and her glycerine; some people think lavender and clove oil stink. But they really smell wonderful. Pine oil medium's pretty nasty, I've heard.

* The medium I use, Ferro #1544 is probably primarily glycerin. I know it has soap in it as it suds up during brush cleaning.

* Thank you all for the responses.
I have been firing flat on the bottom of the kiln, to 1200, for the stain + Clove Oil for caligraphy on DS glass. It comes out mat finish with a somewhat grit surface, so would you say it sounds as if I may be underfiring it?
I have not had any breakage with opening the lid immediately (about 2") after reaching 1200, then another 6-8" after it drops to 500. Maybe the bulk of the kiln and the glass being on the kiln floor on the durabaord covered in whiting is preventing fracture?
I do not want to be underfiring or setting the glass up to fracture... IF I only fire on the floor of the kiln do you think I am safe to vent so quickly? It allows me more firings in a day obviously.
I will give the glycerine a go since I do a lot of line drawing & lettering, & the Clove Oil eventually dries and gets fiber or grit in it as I reuse it day after day. I really enjoy it's consistency, but exploring materials is the heart of art isn't it...
Thank you so much for the responses... I can't tell you what a relief it is to be able to ask & get answers.

* Kristina, optimum firing temp for the blacks and bistres is 1333 degrees so you may be firing a tad low and not curing out all the way. Try a little hotter. If I want to cool faster, I pull a few of the plugs on the big kiln. The little Duncan cools down in a few hours anyway, but I don't usually prop the lid until temps have reached about 500 degrees. Better safe than sorry and it's a real pain to replace a piece of glass three years after install! Interesting feedback on the flux, Bert.... I may try the glycerin with the Johnson Matthey colors now that you've said that..... hmmm.

* Glossy or flat surface depends on the paint used. Some full fire with a gloss, others flat. You can add zinc (Reusche) to the paint mix to get a gloss paint to fire flat at full temperature.
Neither oil or water effect firing temps. It burns off. The temp depends on the manufacturers recommendation for that particular paint.

* The Stained Glass Association of America will be having it's summer 2005 conference in Denver. The focus will be on all types of glass painting.
contact
for info

* The only info on the site is for the Boston conference... also, could you tell someone that they spelled "Association" wrong on their homepage?

* Dani,
When I fire 1250 & up the whiting starts to fuse into the back of my glass, looking like grit. I also have the Duraboard, & it puts a texture in the back of the glass as well.
What surface should I use to fire higher with no imprint or grit?
Can I just fire on the bottom of the kiln with no other product between? I don't mind a soft pebble texture I guess... thats what the kiln bottom would give, right?

* I use "cordierite" kiln shelves and kiln wash. The sheleves last forever and are flat. Ceramic Supply of New York. 973-340-3005

* Dani
try
Jenkyn Powell is the guy who is putting the conference together

* Dani,
When I fire 1250 & up the whiting starts to fuse into the back of my glass, looking like grit. I also have the Duraboard, & it puts a texture in the back of the glass as well.
What surface should I use to fire higher with no imprint or grit?
Can I just fire on the bottom of the kiln with no other product between? I don't mind a soft pebble texture I guess... thats what the kiln bottom would give, right?
I fire painting for s.g. windows on kiln shelves washed with Bullseye kilnwash. This should give you a nice smooth surface. Add a layer of whiting for when you fire the silverstains to protect your shelf from contamination, then throw away the whiting after firing.

* Thank you for the information & numbers.
Do kiln shelves come in wide widths - to cover the bottom of the large oval Evenheat kiln?
I am hand lettering DS glass with memorial texts and they are 21" x 23" square. Does every kiln shelf supplier offer shelf sizes to accomodate such large pieces?
Also, will they come with instructions on mixing the kiln wash & applying it?

* I have been searching the Old Archives on shelves & wash. Thanks for referring me to them - what a resource!
Heres a question... if I am only firing hand-painted Reusche colors & stains, regardless of the glass type, can I just sprinkle dry kiln wash on Shelf Paper on the bottom of my kiln?
From what I read in the Old Archives, they fire to 1400 without sticking, and you do not have to clean & recoat shelves.
Any counsel?

* Sorry for this 3rd question post - please reply to the above 2 as well if any would be so kind.
Can I just sprinkle the kiln wash thickly over my Duraboard (instead of using the shelf paper)?

* You can sprinkle kiln wash or just plain alumina hydrate, or... Firing to 1250 on duraboard, you probably don't need any kiln wash. If you do this, I highly recommend cleaning enamel off the edge of the glass so it does not have a chance to stick to the board. Enamel is quite a bit softer than the glass.
BTW you haven't mentioned much about the glass you are painting on. Antique hand blown glass is far and away the best glass to paint on. Lamberts is the Cadillac. Fremont and Blenko are interesting as well. These glasses are formed in the air and have a look that is much brighter and livelier than machine made glasses. They lose their sparkle if you fuse them, so are not applicable to the hotter processes. 1250?oF is probably the max for antiques to keep the look.

* I am using GNA, & DS clear for flesh pieces. Do you have any counsel on their use & firing using the Reusche paints?
Also, Dani was recommending I fire to 1300 I think, to be sure the stains are properly fired in. I would need to use the thickly sprinkled kiln wash then, right? And should I layer it over the Duraboard or the bottom of my kiln?

* I use a kiln shelf and Bullseye kilnwash for a smooth firing surface. As mentioned earlier, I sprinkle the whiting on the shelf to protect it when firing the silverstain. The only time I use a sprinkle at higher temps is when I intentionally want a granite bottom on a fused bowl for example. The flesh-tone mouthblown glasses are nice for face/hands/feet. There are various ways to approach the skins tones including a fine matting of paint.

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