Enamels become transparent after firing. They are said not to be as permanent as tracing black and mattes, and are historically used sparingly. However, they are so cheerfully pretty, I can't help but look forward to this step. Enamels fire at 1050-1080F - under my conditions, the enamels don't fully develop their transparency with a 1050F, 5 minute soak, and I found that 1080F for 15 minutes worked more reliably. To get a vivid orange, I like to overlay some enamel (Carmine 2777) over the silver stain. It is very important to note that even a bit of carmine will totally obscure the silver stain beneath it, and the carmine enamel must be used sparingly when trying to create orange.

Special note: enamels are NOT blendable colors, some may react unattractively with each other if touching when un-fired. Once a color is fired, another color can be superimposed safely.

For this project, I will create a matte of carmine, with more intense areas for the flowers than for the butterly wings.

enameled glass

Now I brush off the excess powderd enamal after the matte overlay has dried:

enameled glass

This is what it looks like with in reflected light:

enameled glass

After the last firing, the enamels once heated to the right temperature (I like the upper range, 1080F) become translucent. The painting now needs to be set a leaded frame of glass and zinc.

gulf fritillary