We always include instructions with every purchase, but it’s nice to have some online too! Just follow these steps and you’ll be creating stunning pendants and more in no time!
- Make sure to thoroughly clean the surface of the glass where you will be placing your decal.
- Discard the protective top layer of waxed paper from the decal surface. It should already be loose as it is merely a divider between decals and the packaging.
- If you are using a larger pattern, cut the decal to your desired shape using an exacto knife or scissors.
- Decals go on your finished, fire-polished piece. Decal firing is the last step to finishing your glass artwork. Because our decals are made from fine glass powder, you are welcome to experiment with capping, however, as the glass layers fuse together, they will spread somewhat and pull on the decal design, diffusing or breaking apart the finer lines. While this might be used for interesting effects, it is not recommended if you want the decals to have a perfect finish.
- Soak the decal in a shallow dish of warm water until it easily slides off the paper. It is a lot easier to apply the decal straight from the paper to the glass piece, so try to pick up the decal while it’s still on the paper and gently slide the decal onto your glass from there. Leaving a decal in the water too long will result in it floating off the base paper, which can make it more difficult to apply. Change your water frequently to reduce impurities in the water and water soluble gum that builds up from soaking the decals.
- Gently blot any excess water and smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles using a paper towel. For larger decals, using a damp lint-free cloth or paper towel pat down the decal from the middle toward the outer edges until all the excess water has been removed and air bubbles have been smoothed out.
- Very important: If any air bubbles remain at all, they will form tiny holes that will pop through the decal when fired, damaging the design.
- Decals and glass must be completely dry before firing. Overnight drying is highly recommended to help ensure perfect results!
Preheating is quite important when firing glass decals, as the base medium of the decal must be burned off gently. Good ventilation will allow for a nice, clean finish, so it is recommended that you leave your kiln lid open 1-2 inches, plus any peepholes. Preheat your kiln slowly to 1000ºF to prevent pinholes or blisters and then procede with normal ramping.
Soak the decals at 1420ºF for approximately 5-8 minutes. Start with a shorter amount of time and check your results. If you can still see the outline of the base medium on the decal, you did not fire hot or long enough. If you are checking your glass every few minutes at 1420ºF, you’ll be able to find the right amount of time that works in your kiln.
Once your glass has annealed, if you still see the outlines of the base material from the decals, that’s okay! You can always refire the piece a little hotter and a little longer with no harm.
When starting out with something new, it’s better to underfire than to overfire your work. It’s always good to get to know how your kiln works and to take notes so that you can modify your firing schedule accordingly.
You are always welcome to email Michelle for help and with any other questions you may have!
Firing Schedule for High-Fire Decals: (Note: These are merely guidelines, so be sure to get to know your kiln and make adjustments as needed)
These decals are made for high-fire temperatures, which go up to around 1420ºF. This is useful because it also allows for fire-polishing any edges that may have been coldworked and touched up prior to applying the decals, removing one extra step from the finishing process on small works.
250 DPH to 350ºF, HOLD for 20 minutes
500 DPH to 1000ºF HOLD for 10 minutes
AFAP to 1400-1420ºF, HOLD for 5-8 minutes
Drop to 1000ºF, and follow your regular annealing/cooling schedule
Low-fire decals should follow a similar schedule, but only be fired up to a maximum temperature of 1040-1120ºF, as higher temperatures will burn the decals right off the glass. Followed by a regular annealing schedule.