It appears I am on a trend of getting back to basics and thought I would share my effort to close the gaps between pieces of the same color. Bonus though because I will also share some thoughts on using fusing photo paper. I have been working with fusible photo paper using local images for some art sculpture.
Let’s start with the base glass fusing which is what took me back to the basics.
For the blue Siuslaw Bridge piece below I cut a piece of french vanilla 8 inches square. I then cut strips of Bullseye Sea Blue 1 inch wide and staggered them. I put all of this on a sheet of clear and fused it. While I had made very nice seems between the blue, I still ended up with some clear gaps after firing. I thought of using the same blue for the entire back piece rather than clear glass, but then sometimes my colors might react and the back would not look as nice. Since I wanted to put this piece in a stand, I wanted the back of the piece to have an appealing look. I then figured out that if I cut the clear also into an 8 inch square, cut 8 strips of color and then staggered them when I lay them down, the same color would show through any gaps and look solid. Check out the corners of the pink Rhododendron piece above.
I was trying to figure out if I could retrofit the blue one, but my husband thought it had an artistic flair so I left well enough alone on this piece.
Now, if you are also curious about the photo paper, it comes in 8-1/2” x 11” sheets and you print onto them just like any other sheet of printer paper. The gotcha is that you have to use a laser jet printer that has a good amount of iron oxide in the toner. And you have to use a printer that is not too hot. We have a very old HP Laserjet 5 printer and it was just too hot so the toner did not adhere well and came off the paper easily and was blotchy. I then pulled out an HP Laserjet 2200 and this worked like a charm. If you want to see a list of HP printer cartridges/printers that have iron oxide, check out this HP forum: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Inkjet-Printing/iron-oxide-in-current-laser-toner-cartridges/m-p/1788717#M16053.
After you print onto the paper, it is a fairly easy task of soaking the print in distilled water just like any fusible decal and them sliding it off the back paper and onto your glass. Use a towel or squeegee to get the water out from under the decal and make sure it is smooth. Then I let the glass dry until the next day as my prints are large and I want to ensure the decal is truly dry.
The decal only needs to fire to 1300 degrees F to fuse onto the glass and works best if it is left uncovered, so you should fire your base first if you want it to go to a full fuse. Then fire with the decal on a second firing.
One lesson learned is that there appears to be a film between the photo decal and the back paper and so if this film gets onto the glass (in my case the strips of colored glass around the border) it leaves a weird shadow after firing. So make sure to re-clean that class before you fire the piece again in the kiln.
I am busy getting ready for my very first art show in which I will participate in two weeks. Can’t wait to share my experiences from getting ready and share pictures of the show!