Trautman Art Glass Working Tips
Fade to Black 033-58
Fade to Black (FTB) is truly a unique and remarkable colour within the coloured glass palette. The black rod can go clear, white, blue, green, and back to black as it is worked. This is a soft working black that sculpts nicely and can strike into bolts of blue/white lightning in re-heated areas. The final version of this colour is much more stable than our experimental batches, however, this is an advanced colour, and there are some important guidelines that can help you get the most out of it.
· Maintain an even heat base and employ a soft flame to keep a uniform temperature. Also avoid moving Fade to Black in and out of the kiln while you work it. A great way to achieve this is to complete your piece in one session, and by occasionally bathing your work in a bushy annealing flame or annealing burner.
· Apply clear glass to Fade to Black carefully and conservatively. Thin dots and layers result in the colour turning a nice white, however heavier applications like a clear encasement can result in cracking. Artists will commonly use a “buffer” of an intermediate colour like TAG Black Jack or TAG Whiteout between FTB and a clear section. To bring the unique whites, blues, greens etc. out of Fade to Black, the colour must be selectively re-heated. This is best accomplished by using a small hot flame, such as a mini torch flame, quickly bringing areas up to white hot. The various colours will appear in the heat gradient created between hotter and cooler areas. Fade to Black’s colours can only be attained at higher than annealing temperature, and the colour must be selectively struck in the flame to preserve them.
Enjoy playing and experimenting with this amazing colour. You will quickly learn how to use heat gradients to bring out the many colours of FTB. Trautman Art Glass, Inc would be grateful to hear about your adventures with this mysterious colour!