Fused Glass Decal Questions & Answers
How are fused glass decals applied?
Make sure your piece is free of dust, dirt, fingerprints, etc. Remove the loose protective wax paper or film divider from the decal (if there is one) and discard. Trim around the decal fairly close to the design. Have a soft cloth or squeegee handy. Put about an inch of warm water in a shallow dish that is big enough for the decal to lay flat. Soak the decal until it slides easily off the paper backing, this should only take a few seconds. Hold the decal, while still on the paper backing, near where you want it and slide the decal off the backing onto your piece. Use a soft cloth or squeegee to remove all the water and air from underneath the decal. Turn piece this way and that way in good lighting to make sure there is nothing trapped beneath the decal and that the decal is wrinkle-free. Any water or air that remains trapped under the decal may cause the decal to burn off in the area during kiln firing. Let the decal dry 24 hours before firing in a kiln.
How are fused glass decals fired?
All Kilns Are Not Created Equal: Different kilns require different firing schedules. Take notes. Learn what works for you and what does not. Repeat the things that work and learn from the things that don't. You are creating a work of art...and it may at times feel like work, but once you've got that wonderful, beautiful, amazing piece of art in all its glory, it will be worth the effort.
Basic Firing Schedule: This is by no means absolute, but here goes: Preheat is imperative. Decals must burn off slowly. Leave kiln lid open 1" or 2"; leave all peep holes open for ventilation. For the best results, firing must be slow and well ventilated with the first 800 degrees being the most critical.
DPH = Degrees Per Hour AFAP = As Fast As Possible
250 DPH to 350°F, hold for 20 minutes (kiln vented)
500 DPH to 1000°F, hold for 10 minutes (close vents)
AFAP to 1290°F, hold for 10 minutes
AFAP to 950°F, hold for 10 minutes
Kiln Off. Let kiln cool down naturally for best results.
If after firing the decal appears gray or rubs off, it was not fired hot enough. When fired properly decals will be glossy and will not scratch off. Don't despair. You can re-fire to a higher temperature if the initial results were not satisfactory.
How long will fused glass decals last?
Decals can have an indefinite shelf life when stored at a fairly constant room temperature (between 68º and 74º F and 50-65% humidity). Store your decals 'on edge', rather than in piles. Due to the pressure, decals that are stored in stacks may stick together.
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