Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Compatibility Shift at Higher Temperatures

People experience breakages of their pot and screen melts that do not seem to have anything to do with annealing or glass sticking to the shelf. The common suggestion is that there has been a compatibility shift of the glass. This view is re-enforced by the opalisation of the transparent hot colours experienced by most.

Bullseye indicates in their glass notes that some colours are not suitable for high temperature work. This probably applies to other fusing glasses too. My experience leads me to believe that this compatibility shift occurs with all the opalescent glass colours as well as the hot ones. Further work will appear soon. is required to determine if there are any general indicators of the kinds of glass that are likely to develop incompatibility at high temperatures.

If you are concerned about the lack of durability of your piece due to possible incompatibility, you need to include tests with the firing. To make this test, place a piece of each colour used in the melt on a double layer of clear. If you are using a single base piece, ensure you leave space between the colours. It is best to place each colour on its own stack of clear. Also place a stack of clear glass as thick as your blank along side the other test pieces. Put all those pieces somewhere within the kiln out of the way of the area the melt will occupy and fire the lot together.

When cool, take all the pieces from the kiln and check the test pieces for compatibility. Do this check with a polarising filter to determine whether there is any incompatibility by looking for the halo showing the degrees of incompatibility.

If any or all, of the the pieces show stress, check the clear stack for stress. If the clear also shows stress, the annealing has been inadequate, rather than just the compatibility shift. Ideally, this process should be conducted in every firing.

Performing these tests will give you confidence in the durability of your piece, as it will show the levels of stress in the finished piece.