Fused glass decals come in low-fire and high-fire, so determine which product you are purchasing so that you will know which schedule to use for these ceramic decals. Low-fire decals are generally fired to between 1034-1074 degrees Fahrenheit, while the high-fire decals go up to temperatures between 1300-1425 degrees Fahrenheit.
The preheating process is very important in achieving the desired outcome on your particular piece. There are materials in the medium that need to be burned off slowly. Ventilation is important so that these materials will not end up back on the glass. Ventilation can be achieved using kiln posts to keep the lid open during the heating up stages. The lid should be open about 1-2 inches.
Placing decals on pre-fused glass will give you a smooth even base for them to adhere to. This will help to prevent bubbles from forming and ruining the final product.
Prepared kiln shelf
1. Determine which glass you want as your background and fuse two or more pieces together to a full fuse to achieve a smooth piece.
2. Cut the decal to the desired shape and size.
3. Cleanse glass with desired glass cleaner. Dry the piece with a lint free towel.
4. Remove sheet of paper that is protecting the decal.
5. Pour distilled water into clean container.
6. Soak pre-cut decal in water until it can be easily slid off of background paper.
7. Slowly and delicately slide decal onto glass.
8. Blot decal with paper towel removing any unwanted bubbles from under decal.
9. Allow piece to dry thoroughly. All the moisture must be removed from the piece before firing in kiln. This may take up to 24 hours. Dry for a minimum of 12 hours.
10. Place piece on kiln shelf that has been either washed with kiln wash or protected with kiln paper.
11. Shut the lid or access. Use kiln posts to vent kiln about 1-2 inches. The posts should be placed so that the kiln lid is open about 1-2 inches to vent the kiln until 1000 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the materials from the medium to burn off. Ventilation is key for a perfect gold or silver finish.
12. Start the kiln.
13. Heat kiln at approximately 250 degrees per hour to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and hold at this temperature for 10 minutes.
14. For Low Fire Decals Heat kiln at around 500 degrees per hour to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and hold for 10 minutes. For High Fire Decals heat the kiln at 350 degrees per hour to 750 degrees Fahrenheit and hold for 20 minutes.
15. Take piece up as fast as possible to final firing temperature. This would be 1034-1074 degrees Fahrenheit for low fire decals and 1300-1425 for high fire decals.
16. Soak at this temperature for 8-10 minutes for low fire decals and 12 to 15 minutes for high fire.
17. Bring piece down to annealing temperature (900 degrees Fahrenheit for Bullseye Glass and 950 for System 96 glasses) and hold for about 1 hour depending on thinckness.
18. Turn off and unplug the unit. If the unit is built with heavy fire bricks, you can allow it to cool off by itself. On the other hand if it is assembled with ceramic fiber, the unit must be kept on and monitored so that it does not cool down more than about 300 degrees Fahrenheit per hour. 19. When the temperature drops beneath 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the kiln may be opened
Decals go on your FINISHED, fire polished piece. DO NOT cap the decals with a top glass layer. Decal firing is the last step to your piece.
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