Topics: Glass supplies, Enamel, Multipen

Q.
I am trying to apply multipen enamels to domed glass. The enamel seems to "roll" around and not stick to the glass. I'm also seeing loads of tiny bubbles.
- Carol
A.
It is recommended to use the fine-point metal tip on the multipen enamel bottle when applying enamels to glass. If the enamels still roll off the surface, try blending the contents in the multipen further.

Bubbles are caused by trapping air during the mixing process. When mixing, try to fold the contents, working the glass particles up from the bottom and incorporating them into the liquid, rather than using a stirring motion. Once blended, allow a little bit of time for any trapped air to work its way to the surface. When you are ready to apply the enamels, invert the bottle, hold over a paper towel and squeeze so you release a little bit of enamels as well as any trapped air. If bubbles are still present after applying the enamels to the surface of your object, be sure to use a fine tipped tool to "pop" the bubbles before the enamel dries.

To have a successful fuse between the enamel and glass, you need to allow the enamels to dry thoroughly then fire the kiln for a full fuse. Suggested firing temperature range is 1,300 - 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit/Cone 014. It is recommended to fire any glass product, including the enamel pens on a kiln shelf, as well as to either place a piece of kiln paper on the shelf or treat the shelf with kiln wash before firing to prevent fusing the glass to the walls of your kiln.

Here is a firing schedule for you to test:

Ramp 1 - 300 degrees Fahrenheit
Fire to - 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit
Hold 20 minutes

Ramp 2 - 300 degrees Fahrenheit
Fire to - 1,150 degrees Fahrenheit
Hold 15 minutes

Ramp 3 - 600 degrees Fahrenheit
Fire to - 1,250 degrees Fahrenheit
Hold 30 minutes

Ramp 4 - 600 degrees Fahrenheit
Fire to - 1,480 degrees Fahrenheit
Hold 20 minutes

Ramp 5 - full speed
Fire to - 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit
Hold 1 hour

Ramp 6 - 90 degrees Fahrenheit
Fire to - 960 degrees Fahrenheit
Hold 1 hour

Ramp 7 - 120 degrees Fahrenheit
Fire to - 750 degrees Fahrenheit
Hold 10 minutes

Ramp 8 - 300 degrees Fahrenheit
Fire to - 100 degrees Fahrenheit
No hold time

Note:
  • The number following the Ramp is the temperature increment the kiln should increase by hour.
  • The number following the firing temp is the maximum temperature you are ramping up to.
  • The hold time is the length of time the kiln should hold the temperature at before going to the next Ramp.
- Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator

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