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Thompson Enamels

 

This 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.

 

A complete sample kit (very small quantity of each color) for the Bullseye/Spectrum compatible enamels is around US $20.

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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.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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