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The Technique of Traditional Glass Painting

      Glass painting is most often seen as the shading in a stained glass window or as decoration on a piece of glassware. The paint is made from a clear lead glass that is very finely ground with metal oxide pigments. It comes in the form of a powder that you can mix with various painting mediums. You can apply it as you would any ordinary paint. In order to make it permanent, you must fire it (in the same way you would fire a glaze on to a ceramic pot (only at a much lower temperature, 1100 degrees Farenheit). When working in a traditional manner called grisaille (gree-sigh ) you mix the paint with gum arabic and water and apply it as a wash of color . When the paint is dry , but not fired it is very lightly bound to the glass. At that point , you may use stiff bristle brushes to remove the paint in order to work subtractively.. Then you scratch away the paint you do not want.

      The paintings can be done on a glass "canvas" of sheet glass, a vase or cast object . The paint can be applied in many thin transparent layers. The painting is fired inbetween layers.Sometimes it may be fired as many as 10 or 20 times. This approach is similar to glazing in oil painting. The purpose is to create a sense of richness and depth.