HOW TO USE FUSIBLE GLASS DECALS
Tips for successful application and firing fusible Decals to your glass.
This is a simple process but we recommend you read through the following information to insure successful firing.
STORAGE OF DECALS
- Decals should be stored standing on there edge and not compressed by stacking on top of one another, pressed in book pages, etc.
- Decals should be stored at room temperatures and avoid extreme ranges above 80 degrees or freezing. In addition, avoid high humidity conditions above 60%.
- CLEAN GLASS is 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.
- Use a good pair of small 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.
- REMOVE THE WAX PAPER 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.
- When working a good pair of curved-tipped tweezers is handy.
- 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.
- 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 until ALL THE WATER AND AIR BUBBLES ARE COMPLETELY GONE. A small squeegee (i.e. an old credit card will do) is sometimes useful. 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.
- ALLOW COMPLETE DRYING TIME. The smallest amount of moisture can steam the decal from the glass surface, resulting in a partial transfer.
- OVER-FIRING IS A MAIN SOURCE OF DISAPPOINTING RESULTS. Fusible Glass Decals are temperature sensitive; some colors more than others. The best results are achieved with lower temperatures and longer soaking times. LOWER, LONGER, not HIGHER, FASTER is a good habit to cultivate with most glasswork.
The cure range for Hi-Fire Decals is 1325 to 1440 oF
The cure range for Low-Fire 22 K Gold Decals 1075-1140 oF (recommended by the MFG)
NOTE: If you have trouble with the LOW FIRE DECALS rubbing off then you must fire to at least 1200 to 1250 degrees and hold for at least 5 minutes so the Gold can bond to the glass.
- GOOD VENTILATION in the studio is important for your health. GOOD VENTILATION in your kiln during the burn-out phase, (500-900 oF), 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, setting it up out side and leaving the kiln lid vented during the burn off stage (500-900 oF), when the backing of the fusible glass decal is vaporizing, is a much simpler way of protecting yourself from any fumes.
Encasement metallic decals require that you pre-fire up the lower end of the curing range. Polishing lightly with a soft cloth after cooling helps to get rid of impurities. Gold and platinum, unlike enamels, do not melt at fusing temperatures. Because of this, as the uneven layers of the glass are moving about during the fusing process, distortion is more problematic with the metallic decals. Using smooth glass, stacking layers a close to a 6mm, (1/4 inch), fused height as possible, and taking it up to nearly a full fuse will produce superior results!