Today we filled the frit cavities of CF01 Ceramic Fusion cross with primarily medium grain transparent amber accented with a dash of ivory opal, a dash of transparent red, a dash of chestnut opal, and a dash of transparent yellow frit (all coe 96). We placed the piece in a glass kiln next to a pot melt that we are testing product with. This kiln will fire to 1675 degrees and hold for 60 minutes. We hope to go in the morning to find the glass flattened out in the frit cavities much as the glass in the pot melt would be.
We also are experimenting with underglaze combination on the Ceramic Fusion Crosses. It is our hope that the matte underglaze will be a great counter point to the gloss of the glass.On one cross, we sponged underglazes in hues from the terra cotta family on the top surface of the cross, avoiding getting the underglaze in the bottom of the frit cavities. We then coated the outside perimeter of this cross with Mayco Astro Gem Golden Sand. (This is the first time we’ve used a Astro Gem in many years, and it is nice to see them in the studio again.) The next cross was finished very similarly but with green underglazes and Mayco Burnished Steel on the outer part of the cross. We filled the cavities with the mix Amber frit with various accent colors of medium grain frit, accenting the terracotta cross with bits of persimmon and the green cross with bits of Amazon green. We topped each cavity with several pieces with coarse clear irid frit pieces. These pieces will be cone 06 glazed fired in tomorrow. A glaze fire runs up to 1820 degrees F. The glass will flatten out completely in this firing.
It will be very exciting to see how all of these pieces make it through the firing process! Oh, the magic of a kiln. For every finished project you see on our site, we have countless experiments behind them. We will post the finished images on as soon as they are cool enough to hold in our hands.
The Ceramic Fusion in the pot melt firing worked like a charm. We are a little iffy on the color selection, but the glass smoothed out nicely in the frit cavities and is secure on the ceramic surface. We used black, copper and green stains to apply a wash to the bisque. The ceramic fusion crosses with glaze are in the kiln glaze firing. Below you should find the image of the cross after the glass kiln firing and stain application post firing on the bisque.
The crosses fired with underglazes, glazes and frit in the ceramic kiln to cone 06 are pictured below:
The glass flattened out more, as expected, in this higher temperature. We still plan to toy with color selection. At this time, we have a Ceramic Fusion cross in the glass kiln with our glass enamel, Hues 2 Fuse and frit. We are firing it to a full fuse. It will be exciting to see if the Hues 2 Fuse covers the ceramic bisque with satisfactory results.
The glass kiln used to create the ceramic fusion cross in the first image was fired at 350/hour to 1675 held for 20 minutes and then annealed. We took the kiln this hot and held it so long to help spread the glass in the cavities..
We have discovered that putting Hues 2 Fuse in the frit cavities helps the glass disperse in a lower firing. An added benefit to using Hues 2 Fuse on the Ceramic Fusion bisque is that the Hues 2 Fuse can add color and shine to the bisque area of the Ceramic Fusion pieces! Below you should find a picture of a Ceramic Fusion butterfly painted with Texture Black Hues 2 fuse and filled with amber/orange/red/yellow combinations of COE 96 frit and fired to 1465 in a glass kiln. We are excited about the vast possibilities!
What we learned:
- It is possible to place glass frit in the Ceramic fusion cavities and fire to a cone 06 firing and the glass will stick nicely to the ceramic and crazing is barely visible. Cone 06 glazes can be applied to the entire ceramic surface and then frit can be placed on the unfired glaze allowing for a single firing process. The glass flattens out to a very thin layer.
- If frit is placed in the frit cavities of Ceramic Fusion bisque and fired to a lower temperature (COE 96 glass fusing temperatures 1460-1480) the glass rolls into a ball and sometimes doesn’t adhere properly to the ceramic bisque. A hotter longer firing (1600 degrees) helps the glass to spread but has adverse effects on any dichroic glass placed in with the frit.
- Hues 2 Fuse (Creative Paradise, Inc. glass enamels) placed in the frit cavities of the Ceramic Fusion bisque prior to the frit will help the glass spread in the frit cavities. The Hues 2 Fuse can be applied to the bisque outside of the frit cavities add color and shine to the bisque.
- Texture Black Hues 2 Fuse is premixed and can be applied to the outer area of bisque. Texture Black should not be applied to the frit cavities beneath the frit because it will discolor the frit. The powder Hues 2 Fuse should be mixed with the Hues 2 Fuse Glass media (roughly 1:1 by volume) and one coat should be brushed into the frit cavities before the frit is placed in the frit cavities to help the frit to adhere and to spread in the cavities.
- The Hues 2 Fuse matures at glass fusing temperatures so the glass retains volume and any dichroic glass retains its quality.