Copper Inclusion: How to keep the shine?

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    I like to use copper sheeting and wire for inclusions in my pendants and plates. Is there a recipe for a “glaze” that can be painted on so that the copper will maintain it’s glowy shine during fusing rather than dull to a red color? If not, does anyone have a suggestion on what product to buy? Just for fun, are there solutions that can be painted on that will change the color of metal inclusions? Experimentation is so fun.


    I’ve heard that you can spray it with Super Spray before putting it between the glass.  I’ve never tried it so can’t confirm it works but I’ve had it filed in the back of my brain for a while.

    Terry Curtis


    To keep the copper from going red, try this:

    1. Prepare your copper shape/inclusion by pickling it in lemon juice; it works faster and better if the pickle is warm. The pickling will clean the copper of oils. Fifteen minutes works best for me. I usually have a small crockpot of the pickle solution going. (There are commercially available pickles, but lemon juice does work for the small bits and pieces I use, it’s not as caustic, it’s cheap and it’s at the grocery.)

    2. Remove items from pickle using tweezers. Dry. Paper towels work fine– a hair dryer if you’re in a hurry. Use tweezers in handling the copper to prevent putting oils back on the cleaned copper.

    3. Coat with Super Spray. I give it at least two coats on both sides. Paint it on in one direction, then paint perpendicular to the first set of paint strokes. Or you can spray the solution– you might be able to get away with one coat. Take precautions if you do spray.

    4. Place your dried inclusions within your design and fire away.

    This has worked for me pretty regularly. I’ve sometimes put items into the kiln and discovered that I hadn’t done a great job of coating something and have gotten red streaks. Sometimes it looks very cool — duotoned copper! Sometimes not so much.

    There’s a recipe for devit spray on this site that might work with copper, but I haven’t tried it.

    If you do pickle more than one thing at a time, I’ve found that it works better if they aren’t touching one another in the pot. And if you don’t want to invest in a small crock pot (I got two at the Goodwill for a buck each), then just set the container with the lemon juice inside another container with hot water.

    Have fun!








    Stephen Richard

    Just a question.

    Would cleaning the copper with steel wool and then washing work also?



    Stephen Richard

    blogs at:   and


    The steel wool and elbow grease will probably work as long as you get the copper nice and shiny and free of oils. But the problem is that you cannot see with the naked eye whatever oils are left. Oils will prevent the Super Spray or Spray A from adhering to the copper and allow the copper to come in contact with the glass and react to it.

    I work mostly with foils and small bits of wire so pickling is far more time-effective than scrubbing.





    I have your Bullseye Reactive Glass Chart (Excel). Can you tell me what the information means in column D (i.e. SE, S, CU, S, Pb, etc).

    Thanks, James Spainhour


    Those are the element abbreviations:

    Se = Selenium

    S = Sulfur

    Cu = Copper

    Pb = Lead

    You may also want to try this chart directly from Bullseye – it is relatively new:


    Helios Kiln Glass Studio



    This is a fastinating thread…I’m really new to fusing.  I ordered some glass from Bullseye and some are strikers which I ordered by mistake.  I checked out the chart from Bullseye that you posted and I’m looking for your excel version, but my question is; what happens or what is the reaction when the glasses are used together?  Do the colors just get darker or do they change altogether?  I just set up my kiln again after being under construction and am now waiting for the first test fire to cool completely.  I put my striker colors on a white opal base as a test just to see what happens, but it looks like there could be more changes with different glasses.  I’m anxious to see what comes out this morning with this small test.  Thanks!!


    I will be very interested to see what you find in combining striking colors.  I suspect
    it will be much the same as combining the colors had they already changed to their
    “finished” form but it’s something I’ve not done a lot of experimentation with and would love to know more about.  I remember one time seeing someone who had combined ?Royal Purple and Lemon Yellow (I believe) and came up with a totally unrelated to a spectrum I was familiar, but very delicious, color.  Let us here your results, if you can.


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