November 19th, 2007
||Why I do sample tiles!
This is supposed to be a transparent golden-yellow. On my monitor, it looks more golden and less burned-mustard-y than it does in real life. The bubbles ought not to be happening- it's raised over the surface of the metals sort of like it has leavening in it or something. Enamels generally don't do that!
I'm very glad indeed that I did a test and didn't use it directly in a piece, because the piece would have been ruined.
That looks like a crunchie (cinder toffee?). Glad you did a test run for sure!
yes- "burnt butteerscotch" would also be an accurate way of describing the color.
It is, however, supposed to be TRANSPARENT. And NOT BUBBLY.
I immediately thought of sponge candy- both color & bubbles- but that's supposed to be a local thing that the rest of the world hasn't heard of. That's one crappy-looking sample tile, for sure.
Isn't it awful? It's not even usable for counter-enamel, because of the bubbles.
I am peeved that Rio has not seen fit to get back to me on this. brand-new container of enamel, used just like every other enamel I've used for the past 15+ years, and this is the result. NOT user error. Bad enamel. I fired 4 other samples at exactly the same time, using exactly the same technique, and the rest were lovely.
I plan to pursue it, and to post about what satisfaction I do- or do not- get.
But yeah- it does look like sponge candy! :)
Hmm. Maybe. Would that be different than just putting in damp enamels? because I do that pretty often, without that effect. (I know- a fine ex-chemist I am, not knowing the difference between bound water content and just damp!)
Still- I would expect the water to be driven out and the enamel to settle down if that were the case. The small square was fired for almost 5 minutes at a nominal 1425F (which meant it went down to the high 1200s when I put it in, and went up to almost 1450).
Anyway- that might explain the bubbles, but not the opacity. This is supposed to be a transparent enamel, firing between 1350-1500F, more or less. There is no sign of any transparancy whatsoever.
I suspect the 2 problems are related- but they may not be. And in any case, this jar of enamel is pretty sadly messed up!
I haven't heard from Rio Grande about it yet. I plan on sending them this picture, though!