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How to Fire Color Decals

HOW TO PRODUCE THE BEST COLORS WHEN FIRING APPLICATION

  1. CLEAN GLASS and HANDS are a must! Remove all dirt, oils, grime, etc. Non-soapy ammonia with micro fiber rags and alcohol works best. Avoid touching your glass surfaces with your hands, handle by the edges and with clean hands.
  2. Fire your glass first to a full fuse before applying colored ceramic decals.
  3. Use a good pair of scissors and cut about 1/6 inch away from the desired decal design to be used from the decal card. Often, the decal design will blend into the glass color when transferring, making it invisible. The outside edge will be your guide in determining the correct position.
  4. REMOVE THE WAX PAPER PROTECTIVE BARRIER AFTER CUTTING AND BEFORE SOAKING! Use Room Temperature Distilled Water to soak the decals as it is best to avoid introducing minerals. Soak time varies but approximate time is 20 to 25 seconds.
  5. When working with small decals, a good pair of curved-tipped tweezers is handy.
  6. Wet the surface of the glass where applying the decal. This allows the decal to be easily moved into position. You can use a small bottle to mist the surface.
  7. To apply the decal, slide it slightly off of the paper backing by holding the exposed paper edge with the tweezers. Position and hold the exposed decal edge in place on the glass surface with a paper towel covered finger while pulling the paper backing from underneath. Hold the decal in place and blot excess water. Continue to gently blot, using a rolling motion with the side of you finger and roll from the center to the outer edges to push out any air or excel water. Do this until ALL THE WATER AND AIR BUBBLES ARE COMPLETELY GONE. A small squeegee (i.e. an old credit card will do) is sometimes useful but it can increase the chances of damaging your decal. Increase the blotting pressure until the entire decal, including the edges, are FIRMLY AFFIXED TO THE GLASS SURFACE. This ensures that the entire design will cleanly transfer.

    Note: It is not recommended to layer decals over each other unless the bottom layer has already been fired.
  8. ALLOW COMPLETE DRYING TIME. The smallest amount of moisture can steam the decal from the glass surface resulting in a partial transfer.

FIRING CONDITIONS

1. OVER-FIRING IS A MAIN SOURCE OF DISAPPOINTING RESULTS. Fusible Glass & Ceramic Decals are temperature sensitive; some colors more than others (such as red). The best results are achieved with lower temperatures and soaking times. LOWER TEMPERATURE, SLOWER and SHORTER SOAK times, not HIGHER TEMPERATURES, FASTER and QUICKER is a good habit to cultivate with most glasswork.

The cure range for Low to Hi-Fire Decals is 1150 to 1325 Degrees F

IMPORTANT TIPS:

  • Many colored decals look like they contain white but it is really clear and the white paper backing is displaying. So clear will allow the color of the glass thru and often make the decal disappear. (A high temperature can also make the colors disappear or come out as a pastel instead of a saturated color)
  • White or Light colored glass produces better results and richer colors.
  • Never cap a colored decal as most of the time, colored ceramic decals will loose their color completely. (We test fire all of our decals before making them available.)
  • You can use glass paints with decals. Best results are achieved by firing your decal and then adding paint and firing again.

2. GOOD VENTILATION in the studio is important for your health. GOOD VENTILATION in your kiln during the burn-out phase, (500-900 F), is especially important for both the Hi-Fire and new Low-Fire, metallic decals. Maintenance of a good oxidizing atmosphere ensures bright colors and a lustrous finish. Our Studio Kilns sit directly under large window fans. We not only crack the lid 3 inches during the burn-out phase, (500-900 oF), we also place a second fan several feet away blowing directly across the kiln into the window fan, creating an oxygen rich environment inside the kiln and studio.

If the kiln is portable, set it up out side and leave the kiln lid vented during the burn off stage (500-900 oF). When the backing of the fusible glass decal is vaporizing it is a much simpler way of protecting yourself from any fumes.

9th Jun 2018 Ann Sanborn

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