Does it seem to you that time goes faster as we get closer to Christmas? I never seem to have enough time to make/buy what is needed, wrap, ship, decorate, … And since I try to make many of my gifts with glass, there isn’t much time for new creativity. I think one of my New Year’s Resolutions is going to be to try one new glass technique each week!
Here is some helpful information for all you glass fusers that is timeless.
Have you ever pulled something out of the kiln to find:
1) You didn’t clean your glass well enough and you can see a smudge, blemish or worst of all a finger print;
2) You ended up with devitrification* (looks like scum) somewhere on your beautiful piece;
3) Some of the smaller pieces that you placed on top ended up with a shadow around them.
The easiest way to solve this is to sift clear powder over the top of the entire piece and refire it. To do this, I usually put a piece of wax paper (any paper will do) down on the flat surface. Then I use something to hold my piece of glass up from the bottom like a small plastic container I put upside down. This helps me later pick the piece up to place it on the kiln shelf without affecting the powder on the edge.
Make sure you clean your glass well before placing it on the upside down container. Then using a sifter, put a nice coat of clear powder over the entire piece including as close to the edge as you can. Then I transfer it into the kiln onto the kiln shelf ready for firing.
The finished piece
I did experiment with using a slightly lower fusing temperature when adding the powder (1425 degrees F rather than 1450 degrees F). The result was still very pretty and interesting, but it left more of a matt or sandblasted look to the finish. Up to you the look you want.
A word of CAUTION: I have recently had issues using this method on black and dark brown glasses. I got great feedback from charlie in the Bullseye Forums indicating that some colors melt at lower or higher temperatures than others and so for black, perhaps I need to fuse with the powder at a higher temperature.
You can also fix such blemishes using coldworking by hand sanding the bad areas or sandblasting the whole piece. These techniques also allow you to be more creative in how you fix the issues. But the above is the easiest method if you want to stick with your original design and just get rid of the issue.
* Devtrification is defined as, “The exterior of the glass forms a scum that is whitish in color instead of a smooth glossy shine” by Glass Fusing Made Easy (http://www.glass-fusing-made-easy.com/devitrification.html).