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Powder Printing

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Re: Powder Printing

Postby Chris_Petrauskas » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:04 pm

Hi Steve,

I think there are a few issues at play here. I don't think anything is wrong with the materials you have and a 137 mesh should work fine, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

• First off, it's important to know that a given container of -0008 powder is not made up of one particle size but a wide range of them. A majority of them in a given batch should pass through a 137 mesh but it is reasonable to expect that 20% or more will not. You want to be sure that after each session of powder printing that you reclaim and store the "exhausted" powder separately for use in another technique or with a larger mesh (smaller #) screen. For this reason you should always use a generous amount of powder to print with since you know a percentage will not go through a given screen mesh size.

• You mentioned that you just tossed a spoonful of powder on the screen. Since a given jar has a mix of particle sizes, during shipping, the particles will tend to self separate with smaller particles sinking towards the botom of the jar and the larger particles floating towards the top. For this reason it's always good to mix a newly received jar to turn-over this settling process and make the material more homogeneous.

• You described yourself "squeegeeing" the powder. I'm not sure exactly what you mean here but please let me clarify to be sure: While this looks similar to printing with a liquid medium like enamels, the action you want to take with the cardboard is more of a horizontal "bulldozer" action that tumbles the powder and allows it to fall through the screen more so than pressing it downward and through the screen like you were using a rubber squeegee. The pressing motion is bad in that it will actually compact the powder against the screen and act to jam larger particles into the mesh blocking a percentage of the mesh openings. Furthermore this action abrades the screen more severely and will shorten its life.

A tip to consider if you really get into doing powder printing:

• Pre-grade your powder to just isolate the particle size you need for your mesh. In the case of a 137 screen mesh you could use a #80 sieve to pre-grade the powder. Then, almost all of the powder will go through and you will find the feel of the printing to be smoother. For tighter meshes you could consider a #100 sieve. These sieves are commonly available from ceramic supply stores for the use of glaze makers.

Thanks,
Chris
Chris Petrauskas
Bullseye Glass Co.
Portland, Oregon, USA
http://www.bullseyeglass.com
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Re: Powder Printing

Postby suds » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:01 pm

Thanks Chris!

Well, I got a chance to experiment a bit this afternoon and had much better luck.
It seems that the big reason so much powder stayed on top of the screen is because of settling, like you said.
I dug down and pulled some frit up from deeper in the jar and that worked much better. Much more of the frit was willing to go through the screen this time.

I have my first "powder printed" piece cooking now. Looking forward to seeing how it comes out. :D

Thanks much!
Steve
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Re: Powder Printing

Postby suds » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:40 am

Here's my first attempts at powder printing. I kept it small and simple so I didn't wreck too much glass on the first go around, and the cats could use some new plates anyway. :)

I used a 137 mesh screen and cut the pattern out of vinyl shelf paper.

This one is 224 Deep Red Opal on 013 White. It came out much lighter and more orange than I expected from 224.
Image


This is 216 Light Cyan Opal on 137 French Vanilla. The 216 powder reacted completely, with no trace of blue left...
Image


I also made plates with 216 Light Cyan on 013 White and also with 1417 Emerald Green on 013 White but they both came out very pale and washed out.
Here's the Emerald Green one still waiting to be slumped. The Cyan one is in the kiln now.
Image

I guess my next project is to make some test plates with samples of various colors on different backgrounds so I can get a feel for what colors give enough saturation to work well.

I can imagine some fun applications for this.
Steve
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Re: Powder Printing

Postby Chris_Petrauskas » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:29 pm

Wow Steve, super cool! Thanks for sharing the pics.

I strongly encourage you to follow your idea of building your own sample set so over time you have a reference to all of the various combinations of style, application density, and firing cycle you might need. I'd try to come up with a small piece of art that tests for thin lines, solid fields, and halftones and then use that stencil to print at a few different loading densities and then fire those at tack, full, and somewhere in-between. Obviously if you did that for all of your colors your house would be stuffed with samples but I think if you created the full range of samples on a few key colors you could infer the behavior of colors you made fewer variant samples of.

In any case, great job and please keep us posted!

Chris
Chris Petrauskas
Bullseye Glass Co.
Portland, Oregon, USA
http://www.bullseyeglass.com
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Re: Powder Printing

Postby rorgren » Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:11 am

I had someone make screens for me using yellow mesh (137 I assume); the bullseye powders do not go through at all. What am I doing wrong?

Rosemary
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Re: Powder Printing

Postby Chris_Petrauskas » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:29 pm

Rosemary,

Confirming what mesh size you have will be the first step in getting this figured out. Will you be able to ask your friend?

Chris
Chris Petrauskas
Bullseye Glass Co.
Portland, Oregon, USA
http://www.bullseyeglass.com
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Re: Powder Printing

Postby steelo » Sun May 17, 2015 5:58 pm

Hi I'm from NZ and when wanting to order the mesh sizes I was asked whether the sizes I was quoting (110 - 195 mesh) are imperial or metric. The frames and mesh sizes readily available here are wooden framed in either white or yellow mesh sizes
11T 32T 42T 49T
55T 61T 68T 80T
90T 100T 120T

Can someone please clarify for me what mesh size (metric) I should be getting for powder printing as well as the size for enamel printing. Many thanks from down under
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Re: Powder Printing

Postby Chris_Petrauskas » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:00 pm

Hi Adrienne,

I will start with my default profound apologies for the US continuing to be bass-ackwards when it comes to measuring units!

Since we're talking about "threads per inch-or-cm" the conversion is pretty easy as 2.54 is the factor dead-on.

So in our case of talking about a US 135 mesh screen (for powder) we divide by 2.54 and get 53 which is right on for a 55T screen.

The 230 mesh screen we use for enamel would convert to 91 giving us a 90T screen to use. Easy peasy!

I pasted a list of of common conversions below.

One thing to note is that the "T" in metric screen counts indicates medium thread thickness. That would be the most common screen you'd run into but there are also "S" screens (small thread diameter) and "HD" screens (heavy thread diameter). Those would let in respectively more or less ink (larger or smaller particles) at the same thread count.

The US helpfully hides that info but for general use screens you can assume they are effectively "T".

Here's a good resource for way more than you'd ever want to know about screen mesh sizing:
http://www.catspitproductionsllc.com/screenmeshconversions.html

Re: the wooden frames my advice would be to look around a little further to find aluminum frames. They are so much more light, durable, and easy to maintain. They might cost a bit more in the short run but I think you'll be much happier with them over time.

We recommend using yellow mesh. It can require some more exposure time but it should lead to a more crisp stencil overall.

Good luck and please share what you discover!

Chris

US <> METRIC

38 <> 15T
61 <> 24T
86 <> 34T
110 <> 43T
125 <> 49T
140 <> 55T
158 <> 62T
196 <> 77T
230 <> 90T
255 <> 100T
280 <> 110T
305 <> 120T
355 <> 140T
380 <> 150T
Chris Petrauskas
Bullseye Glass Co.
Portland, Oregon, USA
http://www.bullseyeglass.com
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Re: Powder Printing

Postby paulmcgarrie » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:38 pm

hi there

have to say a real novice here ,
but i was powder printing ,
and put the powdered printer tekta glass
on top of rainbow irid 3mm coating side up
but unfortunately the irid coating has disappeared completely ,
is the powder printing fusing temps to high , or to long in the kiln ,

thank you
paul

also have to say your videos are fantastic
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Re: Powder Printing

Postby Chris_Petrauskas » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:19 pm

Hello Paul,

Thanks for the kudos! Glad you're getting to try powder printing!

Re: what you can expect when firing irid sheet capped with powder or sandwiched between sheets is covered in our lesson "Clear Powder on Iridescent Sheet Glass".

https://videos.bullseyeglass.com/videos/clear-powder-on-iridescent-sheet-glass/

In a nutshell the qualities of the irid can be reduced or enhanced depending. I wouldn't expect it to disappear though. It's a metallic material that melts a higher temp then the glass itself.

Please look at the lesson and let me know if what you see there echoes what you experienced.

Thanks,
Chris
Chris Petrauskas
Bullseye Glass Co.
Portland, Oregon, USA
http://www.bullseyeglass.com
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