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Mixing Glass Enamels

 

Click here for a page with basic information about enamels.

 

Although it's possible to buy pre-mixed glass enamels, it's more common to find them in powder form.  Enamels can be sifted or used dry directly on the glass, but in many cases it's preferable to mix the enamels with a binder to create a liquid mixture that can be painted, airbrushed, or otherwise manipulated wet on the glass.

 

There are a number of ways to mix glass enamels, but this is one of the easiest and most straightforward.  It requires the following supplies:

 

Enamels

 

Use a good, high quality enamel powder that has been formulated for use with glass. 

 

A glass palette

 

This is just a small piece of smooth (usually clear) glass upon which the enamels are mixed.  Many people use a small rectangle of float (window) glass; because it is very smooth, it's generally easier to use than piece of  textured art glass.

A spatula or palette knife

 

Easily found in craft shops and artist supply stores, the palette knife is a small, flexible tool which is used to mix the enamels.  Make certain the palette knife is clean and dry.  It's also possible to buy a thin piece of wood (such as a popsicle stick), but a flexible metal or plastic tool is preferred.

 

Binder

 

The binder is the medium which is mixed with the enamels.  You can use either an oil-based medium (such as pine oil, clove oil, etc.) or a water-based medium (such as Thompson's Klyr-fire).  Water-based binders are easier to clean, but oil-based binders tend to do a little better job of mixing with the enamels.  Most people choose to learn the process with a water-based binder.

 

Once you have gathered these supplies, you're ready to begin mixing the enamels.

 

Click here for the next part of this tip, which deals with instructions for mixing enamels.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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

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