Achieving the desired color in a piece of art glass is not as simple as many people envision. The colors of stained glass have been around for hundreds of years and many talented people have tried to achieve them. Achieving both the right colors and the desired translucency can be accomplished, but it takes more than just adding a few drops of color to white glass.
Even though you are using a copper foil line instead of a lead came, you are still creating what is called an “opaque” color. Opaque means that there is no translucency (the ability to see through the glass) in this color. This means that even with all of the right pigmentation, your finished piece will not look like stained glass.
The solution to achieving an end-lustre (translucent) finish for colored glass is to create a translucent color and then apply multiple layers of clear beads on top of each layer of color until you achieve the desired depth. The clear beads need to be small enough that they don’t occlude or smother the color (hide it from view). If too much clear is added, you will end up with a milky looking piece instead of one that looks like stained glass.
In general, the only way to achieve end-lustre glass is through a series of transparent coatings in various colors and transparent opacifiers. These coatings are applied to the surface of the glass during the process of making it.
The exception to this rule is copper-based color, which is applied to the surface of the glass after it has been finished. The result is a beautiful and brilliant finish that takes on a patina with age that creates a unique feel for each piece.
COLOR is not just the icing on the cake, it is a critical factor in the success of your glasswork. And the way you achieve color plays a big part in how successful you are as an artist.
But getting color right can be tricky. It involves some important choices, and some important techniques. And it is different for each kind of glass. So I have written this blog to share what I have learned over many years of making colored glass and helping other artists make their work look as good as possible.
Many people think that achieving great color is all about choosing the right colorants. But while that is important, it is not enough. The real key to great color is knowing how to get a uniform concentration of color throughout your work.
And that means knowing how to get good results from each of the three basic methods for applying color to glass: dipping (and marvering), frit coating, and painting with floating coatings on the surface of the glass. In this blog I will talk about each method, and show you what you can do to get good results from them.
Color is a very important part of art glass. It is also the part that causes the most frustration for many people, including me.
I’ve been working with color for over 30 years and I still find it difficult to get the exact color I want. The problems are a combination of chemistry (trying to predict what the color will look like before you make it), technology (colors that look great in the flame don’t always fire well) and psychology (colors that look great to me might not look so good to a customer).
To make matters worse, color affects all of us very differently — some of us see colors more vividly than others, some of us have better memories for colors than others and some of us are just plain better at making decisions about color than others. So if you think that all you need to do is read this blog and success will be yours, you’re going to be disappointed.
But better informed color decisions will lead to happier glass and happier customers, so I hope you’ll find the blog useful.
As a glass artist, one of the coolest things that can happen is when your pieces get clear. Whether it be clear glass or clear enamel, achieving a really clear finish on your work is a great feeling. I have been working on this process for almost ten years now and I am still learning something new every day.
When I first began to experiment with this technique, I started by using the same kind of glass that I made my art with. This seemed like the best way to go because it was easy to obtain in large quantities and often came in boxes or sheets (which made it easy to handle). I experimented with fusing the color into the glass by heating the object at different temperatures for different amounts of time. Sometimes these pieces would turn out beautifully but much more often they would end up with a greenish-brown hue which was not very pretty. In order to achieve that wonderful colorless state, I had to find another way to achieve clarity in my work.
Color can be tricky in glass. It is a complex material, and it is the artist’s job to be in control of the process, not let the process control the outcome. See how to do it by reading this blog at https://www.artglassplanet.com/
Art Glass Studio also offers classes in glass fusing, stained glass, and glassblowing.
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