Glass Fusion

February 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

I love to explore the tremendous versatility of enameling glass over cut and etched copper, and here you can see a few examples.

Nebula Pendants. Cut copper plates, with multiple enamel glazes and firings.

Enameling is glass fused to metal at high heat. It is characterized by brilliant, non-fading colors, that create a variety of color effects depending on the process used to apply the enamel, the type of enamel glass, the lenght of firing time, and the angle of light when you view the piece. The enamel I use is finely ground glass, like fine sand, or fine powder mixed with an oil or adhesive. When fired in a kiln it may become opaque or transparent; the colors result from the addition of various minerals and metal oxides.

Blue Spash Pendant.
A rubber stamp with ceramic glaze was used to achieve the texture.

Enamels are similar to ceramic glazes, except that where glazes are in a raw state when applied to ceramics and go through chemical changes in the firing process that melt them into glass, enamels are refined and the firing process simply melts the glass and fuses it to the metal.

Cherry Blossom Enamel Pendant (right) and Tapestry Enamel Pendant (left)

An enamled pendant is fired at about 1450˚ F for several minutes and then removed from the hot kiln. After cooling, more enamel color is applied; the process of enameling, firing, and more enameling is repeated many times, producing multiple layers of color and texture. An individual enameled copper pendant may have been fired six or more times.


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