29 July 2010

gonna set the night on fire

I overcame my trepidation of torch firing enamels and I am ever so happy I did.

Here is the first layer on a poppy.

I chose flame orange because it seemed appropriate. 


For some reason I had thought I would need a different set up for using my torch to fire enamels but my kiln trivets worked just fine. {shown is a little stand I made to hold pieces with a hole drilled into it.}


This was an experiment and I soon came to realize that the enamel will have more oxides in it if you put the flame directly on the glass powders. When I read about this method I assumed the oxides were due to using copper, but I learned otherwise. Sometimes the oxides produce lovely colors and this is a great technique to use. It wasn't a big deal to remove the thin coat of brown with some pumice sticks so this worked just fine for me.


Here is my poppy cooling. It is great fun to see the colors change as the piece cools. The whole process is fun. You feel more involved than just putting a piece in the kiln and shutting the door. You get to see all of the transformations taking place. And you control the heat and where the flame hits. Did I mention this is far cooler than sitting in front of a 1500 degree kiln?


I sure love the results. Everything seems more immediate with torch fired enamels. I moved along with these little poppies. Craftland has been waiting a long time for their order and this process will speed things up. And, I don't have to put firing enamels off for a cooler day. Good thing, since I don't see cooler days in the near future.


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