Firing Reusche Transparent Enamels?
I have tried on several different occasions to fire the Reusche enamels for the desired transparent look and can't seem to get it right. I know that I am supposed to be firing at 1050-1080 F and have done so each time with no results. It looks like the kiln is not even getting hot (which I know that it is) because when I pull it out it looks chalky still like it was not even fired.
I have checked just to be sure that I am using the right materials and glass type- I have also made sure that I am using the right technique so I think I have that down. I am mixing with plain water and gum arabic. I fire to 1050-1080 F and have let it soak up to 15 minutes on two occasions.
My question is this: Am I supposed to be letting this soak longer or should I get it to that temp and turn it off? If I fire at a temp higher than 1050 1080 is it going to ruin the transparent effect? How do I know if my kiln is calibrated correctly.
Obviously I am new to this so ANY feedback would be very much appreciated.
* You can always take the attitude that your pyrometer is the only one in the world thats accurate, and that it requires your understanding of it, and what it means to Reusche paints.
Could you tell us the Reusche catalog numbers of the enamels?
They should be shiny and transparent like you expect. Experiment some more with higher temps. Take them up to 1250??¡ãF and see what happens.
A 022 pyrometric cone in the kiln might reveal something, but you won't be able to calibrate the pyrometer with it.
* Your temperature reading is probably wrong. Chalky means that it didn't get hot enough to soften. It softens way before it glosses so I think you are way off. This means that all of your annealing is way off as well.
What kind of thermocouple and controller are you using? If it is no controller and an exposed thermocouple hooked to a meter, you need a more sophisticated setup if you want to work thicker than 1/4". If you are 1/4" or thinner, you can get away with looking at the glass. When the enamel glosses, shut off.
* Here are the Reusche enamel #'s that I use. For the afore mentioned enamel I was using just the green and the yellow because I know that any red will give me problems regardless. R P 7872MB R P 7882MB R P D26169 R P D231176. I have a brand new Jen-Ken kiln with their pyrometer on it. When I went to set the temp read out I set it to about what it was in the room. Is that right? Not sure on that one.
I will try what you said about the cones.
Also, should I be soaking for any length of time? Is this a lot more hit or miss than I thought it would be? When I set up my laborotory I really thought it would be by the book. I am having fun though, for sure.
Thank you everyone for your replies.
* I use only Reusches and you don't need to soak them. I agree it sounds like your not hitting the temperature you need to cure the paint. The cone idea to double-check is a good idea.... that's all I use on my painting kiln. This ought to be dead simple, so if it's not your equipment then I can only imagine the paint you're using maybe has been accidently swapped for a higher fire china glaze. Beats me. Let's us know what helps/works.
Ding. Another thought.... when you say "yellow" do you mean silverstain? In which case, the chalky residual powder after firing would remain.... you just have to wipe that off to expose the yellow stain underneath. Are the other color/s powderly, too? That means not fired enough, of course.... but, the silverstain will always leave a powder.
* Hi Dani, thank you for your reply. What temperatures do you use? Are you within the 1050 - 1080 range? Or do you have to go higher? I have tried higher with much better results but I still get opacity. Are you getting truly transparent glass?
Thanks a bunch!
* You're temperature range is fine.... but, the lower fire enamels will never be totally transparent. That's always been a dilemma with glass paints. Either you get a good selection of colors that fire hot and opaque or you have a limited palette.... the blacks, browns and flesh, ruby transparent and silverstains that fire relatively transparent when applied judisciously, or you have some opacity as in the blues and greens. It's just the nature of the paint. (I'm talking Reusches here not having considerable experience with other brands.) If you're relying on transmitted light, the best bet is just to paint detail over colored glass of your choosing. This is what we do with church windows. Or using the more opaque paints on opalescent glass so it integrates and rely on reflected light to show off the painting. Does that make sense or did I just totally muddle the issue?
No, you didnt miss the point at all. Thank you.
I guess I am just dissapointed because when I talked to the people I bought the paint from I made them very aware that I wanted truly transparent paints and they assured me that they were. I understand that because there is color there will be a hint of opacity but I guess I was going for more.
Seems to be a better transparency when I get higher in the temp range, but then I always get a bit of a slump.
Is there any other product that I can get that will give me the desired result?
No silverstaind. Just regular transparent Reusche.
Ding... Ha ha
You can look at Glassmasters silkscreened enameled windows and medallions for an example of transparent Reusche enamels expertly applied and fired. You can't do better than they do.
Otherwise you can work with Bullseye transparent frits. They will look more like glass than paint.