Sunday, October 16, 2011

Historic Orange Stain

A student sent me these photos of a panel that came into her shop for restoration. I ran into a similar project years ago and was equally frustrated. Here is what I know about orange stain.

I understand from reading: Barley, Keith. “Trials and Observation in the Use of Silver Stain” Stained Glass, the Magazine of the British Society of  Master Glass Painters, no. 1, 1996, pp. 11-13 that there was a glass called "kelp glass" or "staining glass" that was produced in Britain in the 19th century which took silver stain extremely well and allowed the achievement of the red orange color shown in these photos. The silver stain was applied to both surfaces of the glass to double the intensity.

Unfortunately, I do not know of a way to achieve this color today using stains or glasses which are currently on the market. In my own experimentation I was not able to reach a red-orange color only shades of amber-brown.

I came close to the color using gold ruby enamel on one side of the glass and silver stain on the other, but the result lacked the transparency of the historic orange stain. Of course acid etching red or orange flashed glass would be a solution however it was not the way this color was created historically nor would it be very efficient today.

Here is another approach which I have not yet tested:
Debitus produces a copper red stain which in my experiments produces a red color on the tin side of float glass or on glass formulated to be "reactive" with copper and silver - like Bullseye's "Reactive Ice" C.O.E 90 or Uroboros "Red Reactive Transparent" C.O.E 96. Experimentation with this copper stain in combination with silver stain may produce a similiar color result on float glass. I have not tried mixing them together or applying them in layers.

As a side note, I have also petitioned Lamberts Glass to develop a clear glass which takes silver stain better. Clarifying ingredients in their current batch inhibit the development of silver stain. In my tests with Lamberts clear I found that their glass does not take stain as well as some clears produced by other factories. I would encourage others to contact Lamberts as well so they can begin to recognize there is a world wide need for a glass like this in today's market.

1 comment:

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