Wednesday, 25 October 2017

CoE of Paints for Fusing

CoE of the glass carrier for paints is a distraction.

Paint has been applied to glass and fired for at least seven centuries – long before CoE measurement.  The earliest enamels were intensely coloured glass powders applied to depressions in the base metal (iron, gold, copper, brass, etc) and heated.  More detailed images began to be created when the powers were mixed with a liquid binder and painted on either in a single, or multiple layers onto glass and metals.

Silver stain became popular in the 16th century and has continued since.  This is a different way of colouring the glass, as the colour does not laminate with the surface, but is chemically combined with the glass.  Various silver salts produce different colours and vary in intensity at different temperatures.  This can provide a variety of effects at fusing temperatures where it “metalises”, providing ambers and blues.

CoE in relation to paint does not matter.

The amount of paint is miniscule in relation to the mass of glass to which it is applied, and so any incompatibility would not have sufficient strength to break the glass. If the paint’s glass carrier was too incompatible, it would come off instead of breaking the glass, in any case.

The composition of the fusing glass paints is largely unknown, although commonly supposed to be powdered glass frit. Some may be the same as enamels used in metal enamelling. Some others may be the same as the on-glaze ceramic colours. They all have glass as the carrier of the colour.  Still, the amounts of glass involved are very small and compatibility is not a concern.