Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the difference between the NT Colors, Artisan Colors and the Original Colors?
A. The NT stands for non-toxic so the products are food safe. The NT Colors were specifically designed to be fused on top of glass - but have nice results when fused in between glass also. They come in a powder form and can be mixed with UGC Medium and applied as a liquid or used in sifting techniques in their powder form. The Artisan Colors come in powdered form and are also non-toxic and can be used both with UGC Medium and in dry form. Most of the Original Colors come in liquid form and contain lead. The "D" series colors - Deep Red, Lite Red and Orange contain lead and cadmium; Brite Yellow, while it has no lead, contains cadmium. They are also mixed with UGC Medium for use as a liquid.
Q. Can I mix the NT Colors with each other?
A. Yes, all the NT Colors are inter-mixable. Both Vanilla and Brite White can make wonderful gradations of color. Remember that all NT colors begin with a number 1.
Q. Can I mix the Artisan Colors with each other to form new colors or shades?
A. No. The chemical composition of this color line does not lend itself to mixing to make a new color or shade. However, this line is very application dependent and a variety of effects can be had by different application techniques. The Artisan line was developed to be fused between glass - but has very different and interesting results when fused on the top of a piece of glass. The Artisan Colors begin with a 6.
Q. Can I mix the Original Colors with each other to form new colors or shades?
A. The Original Colors have color "families" and they can be mixed only within their own color family. There is a letter after the product number that denotes its family.
"A" means the colors are semi-opaque.
"B" means all the colors have a matte finish.
"D" means the colors contain cadmium.
"T" means the colors are transparent.
Q. Can I mix NTs, Artisan and Original Colors with each other to form new colors or shades?
A. No, they are not compatible.
Q. Can I use NTs, Artisan and Original Colors on the same piece?
A. Yes, they can be laid side by side or even dragged into one another as long as they are not mixed together to try to form a new color.
Q. I love the bubbles I get when using the Original Colors between layers of glass but notice the NT Colors do not have those same bubbles. Is there any way to get the NT Colors to have bubbles?
A. Yes. You can mix 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of Bubble Powder into 1/2 ounce of dry color and then add UGC Medium. Test the color you wish to use as some will stay true, some fade and some go white. And if you really want bubbles - then the Artisan Colors will give you lots of those!
Q. Are the Artisan Colors just the NT Colors pre-mixed with Bubble Powder?
A. No. Each Artisan color is a special blend of chemicals that create the transparent/translucent and bubble properties that are unique to this color line. When adding Bubble Powder to the NT Colors, the colors, although with bubbles, remain opaque.
Q. What is the proper application for vibrant colors and even coverage for the NT, Artisan and Original Color Lines?
A. The powdered colors are mixed with UGC Medium to the consistency of melted ice cream (the Original Colors are already in liquid form - make sure they are stirred well). The color is then applied (not painted) onto the glass in the "Puddle, Push, Pull" method. The colors should self-level. If they do not, then your mixture is too thick. To check for even coverage - hold the piece of glass up, look on the underside and this should appear opaque. If uneven, then the fired color will be uneven, if too light, then the fired color will be thin.
Q. I want a watercolor look, how do I achieve that look?
A. This can be achieved in several ways. The simplest is either to thin the color mixture with some water, or wet the glass before applying the colors and then move the glass around so that the colors run into each other. Likewise, by making the colors touch, when placed on the glass, they will sometimes diffuse into each other - this can be encouraged by also tilting the glass.
Q. My color is streaky after firing, what happened?
A. Either your mixture was too thick and it did not self-level, or you painted it on and this left the coverage uneven. Remember to check your application by lifting the glass and looking on the underside to make sure it is opaque - if you are looking for even coverage.
Q. What should my kiln shelves and firing forms be coated with to prevent glass and other fired items from sticking to the surface?
A. Kiln shelves should be treated with kiln wash or lined with fiber paper before firing. We like to also treat our molds/ forms and shelves with Glass Separator - which is finely milled kiln wash - which gives a nice, smooth surface. Glass Separator can be found under "Firing Supplies" under the Shop tab above.
Q. What is FREE used for in the firing process?
A. FREE is a fine powder that we dust over the molds and forms (on top of the Glass Separator, not in place of it), which allows the glass to move freely over the form. FREE can be found under "Firing Supplies" under the Shop tab above.
Q. What temperature do the UGC Colors mature?
A. UGC Colors mature at 1425 - 1550 degrees Fahrenheit (770 - 845 degrees Celsius). UGC Colors will still do well at much higher temperatures - example - when boiling glass (1700F or 925C) UGC Colors are still vibrant.
Q. Should the kiln be vented when firing UGC colors?
A. It is recommended to vent the kiln during the initial stage of the firing process.
Q. On what types of glass can UGC Colors be used?
A. UGC Color Lines were developed for float (window) glass (CEO 84-87). They may be used on other glass - but you must test before doing any project - especially since some colored glass may change the appearance of the colors.
Q. What are the most commonly used types and thicknesses of float/ window glass?
A. The most commonly used types and thicknesses of glass are as follows:
a) Framing glass - very thin and is good for very small items where weight is a problem. It is usually hard, has a tendency to be brittle and is harder to cut;
b) Single strength window (float) glass - is light weight and is good for smaller items and dishes less than 10" in diameter. Two pieces are great for fusing. It is about 1/8" thick;
c) Double strength window (float) glass - is thicker, about 3/16", has better flexibility and is more durable. Best to use for draping over cones to form vases/candleholders;
d) Stained Glass - varies greatly and needs to be test fired before using in a design as colors can change.
Gold Leafing (Non-fired)
Q. What is Simple Leaf?
A. Simple Leaf is imitation metal leafing that is attached to a piece of waxed paper so it stays in place as you are using it. If you try firing/ fusing Simple Leaf, it will burn off.
Q. How do you apply Simple Leaf?
A. You first must apply the Leaf Adhesive and allow this to sit for approximately 20 minutes (although you can leave for much longer). When this has become tacky, you place your Simple Leaf with the leafing down onto the adhesive and rub. The wax paper is then lifted and the leafing should be adhered to the surface. Using your cotton gilding gloves, then rub the leaf into the adhesive - this gives it the nice luster.
Q. What is MUD?
A. MUD is a glass product with many neat properties; it can either be fused or air dried. When applied to surfaces and allowed to air dry, it dries very hard and cannot easily be chipped off. However, if soaked in water it will lift off. When fused it becomes a solid piece of glass and part of your fused piece. It can be colored and/or mixed with different sizes of frit for more texture. The use of MUD is virtually limitless as you are only limited by your imagination and creativity. It can be applied with a brush, palette knife, pastry tips, etc. It is fired at 1425 - 1525 F. The lower the temperature, the more matte and texture you get; the higher the temperature, the shinier and more loss of texture.
Q. What do you do with Glass Sand?
A. Glass Sand, when mixed with liquified colors gives a matte finish and a rough texture when placed on top of the glass and fused.
Q. What causes the blackened edge on some of my Deep Red firings?
A. Reds are notorious for being a "rogue" color. Of our two reds, Deep Red and Lite Red, the Lite Red is the easiest to use. The blackened edges can be caused by a number of things, but here are the most common causes:
a) Too thin of an application
b) Volitized chemicals in the kiln from previous firings ( i.e., firing on a shelf that has been used for other fired materials besides glass colors)
c) Not venting the kiln