|ABOUT THOMPSON ENAMELS DESIGNED FOR 104 SOFT GLASS: The 9000 series of Thompson Enamels are vitreous enamels (highly pigmented ground glass), that have been especially formulated for use with any 104 COE glass (Effetre, Lauscha, Vetrofond, etc.) These are lead free colours that are produced in a 80 mesh, fine powder form, and can be rolled or sifted (see SIFTERS available under 'Equipment' list) on the molten surface of the glass to produce vibrant new colours,ombré effects or to alter existing colours. Thompson Enamels can also be used to produce stringers with new or multi colours too.The advantage of using an enamelled stringer is that it is stiffer than just a standard glass stringer and therefore easier to use in the heat. MINI TUTORIAL: After forming a molten gather roll it in enamel several times and then pull out. This stringer will be noticeably stiffer and will be slightly difficult to pull out. HINT: An easier way to grab hold of the gather is to grasp a smaller chunk of the glass at it's tip with tweezers or pliers,and then in the center area, reheat again and then pull out the stringer. A lightly enameled stringer will create lovely webbed effects while a heavily enamelled stringer will produce lucent color streaks. These stringers, when cold need to be stored carefully as they tend to be more brittle than standard glass stringers and break easily. TUTORIAL on Enamel Watercolour Effects: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/10208/209/ THE PROPERTIES Of THOMPSON ENAMELS And SAFETY: Enamels are made of finely ground glass that’s been modified with metals that give the enamel its color. The resulting material is highly saturated, making enamel a bit more brittle than glass alone. It’s this property that makes enamel work best as a coating on metals or glass. Enamels have higher working temperature than glass rod, requiring 1500° F to fuse. Making matters a little more challenging, they are also very sensitive to being heated quickly. Enamel needs time to process heat on the way up to working temperature or it will very easily boil. To avoid boiling the enamels bring them to temperature slowly, introducing an enameled bead into the back of the flame and gradually working forward until the enamel is fused. As we take precautions with enamel to avoid boiling, we also need to be aware of flame chemistry. Certain enamel colors- especially the pinks, purples, and white- are more sensitive to reduction, which leaves scummy yellowish/brownish residue on the surface of the bead. An oxidizing flame, to the other end, can cause boiling. A NEUTRAL flame is your best bet.