is one of a series of articles on enamels for glass. Click
here to go to the first item in the series.
Thompson Enamels are lead-free (the company used to make leaded
enamels, but they have been phased out). They're made for use with a
variety of materials, including copper, stainless steel, and several
different COE's of glass. It's important to make certain that
you purchase the right enamel for the material or type of glass you
wish to use.
In addition to enamels for float glass and
Moretti glass, Thompson makes an enamel that's formulated for both
Bullseye and Spectrum glass. These are available in powder
form in a variety of opaque and transparent colors. The
enamels are approximately 80 mesh (the same size as glass powder),
but they can be custom ground if you want a different mesh size.
The recommended firing temperature is 1550 to 1650F (840 to 900C),
but they will mature at slightly lower temperatures.
These enamels can be dry-sifted directly onto the glass (with or
without a stencil) or they can be mixed with a binder (Klyr-fire,
fusing glue, etc.) and applied with a paintbrush, airbrush, or
similar tool. A thin application works best; the colors are
much more intense than sifted glass powders. Once the enamels
are dry, they should be fired to the maturation temperature.
It's usually a good idea to vent the kiln until the temperature
reaches 1000F/540C; this is especially important for reds and other
colors that are subject to discoloring in the kiln.
complete sample kit (very small
quantity of each color) for the Bullseye/Spectrum compatible enamels is around
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
Thompson Enamel's website is at
http:/www.thompsonenamel.com. They offer a catalog that's
free for the asking.