Photos on Glass
In order to print images on glass you need to purchase “Photo Fusing Paper” (available at Ed Hoys, D & L Stained Glass, Delphi or The Vinery). This is a paper with a decal coating that will accept the image when printed with a Black and White (only) laser printer that uses a carbon based toner with Iron Oxide in it. Most smaller office sized HP Laser Printers work. Don’t use the large laser printers at Kinkos – they are too hot and the paper jams in them. Remove the protective paper coating from the sheet of Photo Fusing Paper (it’s like thin wax paper) and put the paper into the single sheet feed of the printer. Print onto the glossy side of the paper. When your images are printed, cut out the image, cutting as close to the image as possible and then float the decal (image side up) in a shallow dish with distilled water in it. Let it float for about 3 minutes or until the decal begins to lift off the paper. Get your base glass ready by smearing some water on it to give the decal “slip” when it is applied. I slide my glass into the water in the dish on an angle and slide the decal (image side up) onto the glass. Hold the decal with your fingers and angle the glass to let the excess water drip off. Take a section of paper towel and fold it over several times to make a “squeegee” and gently wipe across the top of the decal to begin removing the water and any air bubbles. Do this very gently, the paper towel can scratch the image. Use a dry section of the paper towel with each wiping. Let the decal air dry for a few hours or dry gently with a hairdryer before firing. Images do not come out well when capped with clear. Always fire your image on the top of your base glass. Fire to 1350 degrees. Images will fade if fired to higher temperatures. Even though the image is printed in black and white it will fire to a dark sepia brown (because everything burns off in the kiln except the iron oxide in the toner). Start with images that have a high contrast of black and white. Images with very fine detail or thin lettering don’t work very well. There are a lot of quirks with this paper and you should try a few samples before your main project. I teach a class for this technique at The Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee (www.beadandbuttonshow.com) called Fused Photo Pendant. Good luck to you.
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