Personal preferences play a huge role in our lives. It impacts what we actually see when we look at something in nature or even a person we pass on the street. We quickly form judgments on what we like and dislike based on our personal preferences. We use our personal preferences everyday as with the objects we choose to surround ourselves because they make us feel good and sometimes even elicit a smile.
Just as with paint finishes and stains, we can choose gloss finishes or satin or matte finishes, glass can be made to have different finishes. My husband prefers the pieces that have a matte finish; I believe because most glass pieces are shiny and he tends to like things in life that are different from the norm. Each finish has its benefits and so with each piece you make you get to decide which best exemplifies the features of the piece.
There are several ways to get a matte finish on your piece. If you know in the beginning that you want a matte finish, you can always fire the piece with the colors against the kiln shelf (this side will later become the top) as it will then pick up the texture of the shelf and leave a matte finish. Below are two pieces using the same glass (black with silver iridescence). The first one was fired with the black side facing down, the second with the black side facing up. It is a little hard to see in the pictures, but there is a big difference in how the glass looks.
However, if you don’t know in the beginning, you can fire with the colors up to get the glossy finish and then after seeing it, add a matte finish by sanding or sandblasting the top. Then after slumping at approximately 1200 degrees F, you will end up with a nice matte finish. This can work well for jewelry pieces as well.
And last, one additional piece with a matte finish that just makes the colors pop! What’s your preference, glossy or matte or both?