It’s the beginning of a new year, and as always for me at my shop it is a time for trying out new things, and experimenting. Sure this can be intimidating, and costly, but if you want to grow, you need to learn more, and invest. Aside from that, it is important to me to expand my arsenal of warm glass working techniques to keep it fresh for my customers and interesting for myself. I thought it fitting for my first blog, that you go on this journey of trying out something new with me! Guess what?! It’s really not that scary, and now I have some new ideas and techniques I can incorporate into my work throughout the year!
First things first, I purchases several colors of Color Line glass paints from ArtGlassSupplies.com in New Hampshire. I knew when January hit I’d have time to experiment with them a little, and hoped to create a new line of Valentine’s Day jewelry using the glass paint. I envisioned a fairly whimsical and graphic heart motif. I thought the Color Line glass paint would be perfect medium to give me the exact result I was hoping for, but I needed to test them out first. After all, I could've been totally wrong!
Before using the paints for the first time I did a teeny tiny bit of reading up about them, then jumped right in. I like to figure out the way I like to use things anyway, so I didn't want to be bound by too many rules! The first step of my experiment was to cut out some pieces of glass to work on. For fine lines, it was suggested with these paints that you buy metal tips, also available at glass supply stores, however I did not want to splurge too much on something that could be a total flop, so I went without them. I used a fine tipped no.1 paint brush to apply the paint to the glass, squeezed blobs of paint onto pieces of glass, layered colors and areas of paint, then heated them up in the kiln to a tack fusing temperature of 1450 degrees. The areas of thickly layered glass paint were unusable and looked bubbly and gloppy after heating, but what I brushed on with a fine tip paint brush looked great. This was the right thing for my Whimsical Love jewelry line for Valentine’s Day!
Here’s how I did it, and feel free to try it yourself! You will need a kiln, a non-porous palette to squeeze a bit of glass paint on, a fine tipped paint brush(again I used a no.1 paint brush), pendant and earring sized cuts of glass, and Color Line Glass Paint. Get your glass paint ready by shaking vigorously for 30 seconds and if your paint is not like a thin milkshake add a very small amount of water. Shake more to make sure the water and paint are incorporated, then add a small amount of paint to your palette. I used both a red paint and white paint for my Valentine’s Day hearts. Simply dip your paint brush into the glass paint and paint hearts onto clean and dry cuts of glass. If the paint is too thin, you’re finished product will look like a burnt out heart, instead of a solid colored heart, so make sure your paint is not super thin and your hearts look well coated with color and are opaque. If you mess up your heart when painting it, just wipe off the glass paint with a damp paper towel and start over. Your painted pieces should be dry before firing. When the pieces are ready to heat, the glass paint will have a matte quality. Move your pieces to the kiln and fire them to the fast tack fuse setting if using a digital kiln, and heat the pieces to a tack fusing temperature of 1450 degrees otherwise. When heating the color of the paint will darken, but once cooled you should be left with a vibrantly colored heart. I do suggest using a background color of glass that has a strong contrast with the glass paint, as this is where I got the best results. And that my friends is how to use these awesome Color Line Glass Paints to make cute and trendy Valentine’s Day jewelry. How you mount them and turn them into jewelry, now that’s up to you! I’d love to see your work if you decide to try this out, so send me some photos. And definitely feel free to write with any questions!
As alway, artfully made with love in Gatlinburg, TN. - Kimberly Bylo