Etched and enameled fused glass art

I finally got around to exploring art glass etching, then applying enamel before firing in a kiln. I am tickled with the results of my experiment!

It’s a set of three panels: 7x19.5x.25 inches.


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Oh wow, can you elaborate a bit on your process? This is really interesting.

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I created a file in Inkscape to etch and score the glass in a birch pattern. Then I placed a 11.5x19.5 inch piece of white fusible art glass into Pyretta and let her do her thing. I cut it into sinuous, birch-like pieces, then applied enamel to the entire surface of each piece, then rubbed most of it off with a cloth. I placed the birch tree pieces on to pre-fired background glass and fired it in my kiln to about 1350.

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That’s really cool. It’s also way outside of my experience, so Ill have to do some googling just to catch up with what you just wrote :wink:

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Striking! What a great fusion.

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I think you are pushing back the frontiers of laser art here! Very cool piece, and I can’t wait to see more of your work.

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Such a large piece of fusible art glass raises so many questions. One presumes that coefficient of expansion (COE) issues may be pre-worked out, and since Lead glass so favored for enamel has a very high COE, It would not be used in this case which is very good as I would not want to see it in a Glowforge. I once had some tested for food safety and the first response before technical details was “I could make a bullet”. In the laser blast I would expect lead vapors that would not be good for the machine or living things.

As such the chemistry of the glass would be a big question that both the glass and enamel would need to be matched in COE so to not crack the work. I did make plates of Lead enamel between two layers of window glass and since the enamel shrank far more than the window glass it had the effect of tempered glass and strong enough for usual use but it would shatter if put in a microwave.

I have been wanting to explore clay or glass powder in a binder and perhaps between sheets of paper as the blower will toss stuff about otherwise. I have not to the present found available sources of materials however.

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Thanks for your comments. The COE only matters when fusing glass together. The white glass I used in this case was non-lead bearing, but I have etched other chemical bearing glass in Pyretta–so far so good. The fusible art glass I have been using in my artwork these last 10 years has been tested food safe.

The enamels used in the art glass world are fine to use on the surface of any glass regardless of COE, even regular window glass (float). There are special considerations when using enamels between sheets of glass.

I don’t use float glass, but float glass frit is available for purchase or you can make your own with a hammer. :smiley: You might want to check out the Glass With A Past knowledge base for more information.

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These are really beautiful, excellent work.

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Wow, Really beautiful and unique. And I love learning about the process.

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Thanks for sharing this stunning piece of work and for teaching me a bit about the process.

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I did a summer of Glassblowing in Penland in the 1970s and eventually had a product line of plates and dishes with enamel between slumped float glass. At Penland we got a good course in glass chemistry and I was able to buy a paperback copy of Wale “Color in glasses” that is pretty much the bible in glass colors. It was expensive then but ridiculous now if you can get it at all.

There is also a Tiffany glass museum in Winter Park and it is fascinating to see the colors that were very survivable next to each other at the time but 50 years later have cracked along those stress lines. I don’t think that they had the cross polarized light tests to look at stress, and the usual testing of pulled threads combined with several years of watching let them take chances that took 50 years to show up.

I tried flame annealing a tiny jar with no color and thought I had succeeded but after sitting about for several months just exploded.

Most glass colors are less than 5% but made into the glass body some lead glasses are over 50% lead so would be more of a concern than the colors or even the Arsenic scavengers clearing the bubbles.

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Checked out your link, Thank you very much that looks like quite a rabbit hole to check out.

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Amazing art work!

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Just wow! Love hearing about using the Glowforge in combination with other tools to come up with something gorgeous.

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Your glasswork is beautiful–I’d say museum quality! The discussion is also fascinating, I know a little about glasswork and enameling, but your work is so creative and innovative, it’s kind of over my head!

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Thank you! I sell my work in a gallery, so your comment about museum quality is very flattering indeed!

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Gorgeous pieces! The colors are so perfect! :grinning:

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Bullseye is THE source for COE 90 glass powders, frit and other art glass. And in Portland so may be open to collaboration!

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Sounds great if I was less than 3,000 miles from Portland in Tampa. :cry:

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