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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Experimenting with Enamels and Frits

Since there can be a limited range of colors of recycled glass (shades of green, clear glass that turns a pale mint green, blue and a few tinted colors like black), I wanted to add a splash of color to my cast dragonflies. A few companies make compatible frit (crushed glass) for float glass and enamels (Thompson enamels). Since cast recycled glass in not clear, you are not able to see colors interspersed through it (as one would see in a clear paperweight for example).

I placed cobalt blue frit in the bottom of the plaster mold (along the body core) and sprinkled black frit along the wings. The glass was then stacked into the mold and cast.

After cooling, I then mixed water and white powdered enamel to create a paint and painted this enamel on the wings and slowly heated it up in the kiln to about 1450 degrees. This temperature is not high enough to change or alter the shape of the dragonfly but it does melt the enamel paint. You can see the effects below and the amount of work required for just one of the small dragonflies (and we have not even covered coldworking!)