As part of my journey in putting imagery onto glass, I needed a laser rather than inkjet printer to create transparencies for screen printing. As I was researching for a new printer, I remembered that I had some photo fusing paper, stuck away somewhere, that also required a laser printer.
After doing some basic research and corresponding with folks on Facebook pages, I finally decided upon the HP2035 Laser Printer – a basic monochrome printer. This printer will hopefully, meet my needs for producing screen printing stencils while also allowing me to create photo fusing decals.
The photo fusing project and processes that I went through are detailed below:
- Black and white photo or text
- Laser printer that has a cartridge with iron oxide (in the HP2035, this is also known as ferrite)
- Photo fusing paper
- Distilled water in a bowl (an inch or so will do)\
- Paper towel
- Pre-fired, light in color glass tile (recommended on the instructions)
Although I was using a monochrome printer, I chose to edit my pictures to ensure that they were crystal clear and had the tonal qualities that I wanted. Using Photoshop, the picture was opened as”camera raw”. Different function options were used: the photo was de-hazed, exposure was corrected, and the clarity was increased. Adjustments were made to contrast and highlights as well. I wanted the image to be as crisp and clear as possible before rendering into a black and white image by adjusting the color settings.
Here are a couple of the images after being adjusted.
Once the images were adjusted, each were opened directly into Photoshop and were edited further for image size and resolution. The image was resized to fit the pre-fired glass tile and I brought the image resolution up to 600 dpi (personal preference).
Using Microsoft Publisher (since I’m not 100% adept at combining photographs in Photoshop), I laid out my photos so that I would utilize as much of the sheet of photo fusing paper that I could (it ain’t cheap).
The printer was warmed up by printing a few pages and this also allowed me to make sure I knew which way to place the decal paper into the sheet feeder. It also helps to determine that your decal will fit your glass tile. The images were printed onto the glossy side of the photo fusing paper.
The glass tiles used in this foray were 3.25″ x 3.25″ Warm White Bullseye Glass that were on a Tekta base. The tiles were full fused and then thoroughly cleaned and dried.
The decals, with the exception of the text pieces, were cut close to the edges of each print. Each were placed into the distilled water and then gentle slid onto the pre-fused tile and adjusted slightly to align. This took about a minute and the decal had to be gentle coaxed off of the backer. The excess water was blotted off and any air bubble were gentle worked out by smoothing with the paper towel.
The tiles were put to the side and allowed to dry for 24 hours (although the instructions state you can fire after three hours).
The tiles were fired using the following schedule (I used a JenKen kiln and this worked for me, all kilns are different and you will need to adjust for your specific kiln).
- 200 1100 20
- 500 1310 10
- AFAP 900 60
- 100 700 off
- Allow to cool to opening temperature for your kiln
The tiles came out beautifully, with warm sepia tones, which is the color that will always be achieved using this particular product. The text tiles had additional vitrigraph stringers added for interest.
Additional thoughts: For the format size used 3.25″ x 3.25″ I think all of the tiles look good. However, I would enlarge Stonehenge, I feel that I lost some of the detail. The next tests will be to look at the different color of glasses that can be used with this process as well as adding paint or powdered glass to add spot color to the pieces.
These pieces will be slumped into small doodad dishes.