Clear Leaded Crystal Glass Powder
Clear glass powder made from leaded crystal glass and ground into fine powder can be used in all media to give colors added luminosity or to create textural effects on the surface of paintings.
Colored and clear glass powder can be used in all media, such as oil, acrylic dispersions, lime, and all kinds of glues. In specific mortars and cement, the colored glass may cause blooming. For application in exterior environments, it is advisable to do trials first.
Origin and History
National Gallery of Art conservation scientist Barbara Berrie and art historian Louisa C. Matthew of Union College found that glass powder was used in the “Venetian palette” to give it extraordinary luminosity. The Venetian glass industry, centered on the island Murano in the Venetian lagoon, flourished in the late fifteenth century. According to Matthew and Berrie, painters obtained superior quality pigments from “color sellers” and added pulverized glass to add brilliance to the hues in their pictures.
Glass powder is produced by crushing leaded crystal glass and grinding it to a gritty powder of less than 0.25 mm particle size. The powder is then sieved into three different grades:
Fine: Less than 63 microns. The finest glass powder is easily worked with the brush in any media, such as watercolor, oil, acrylic dispersion, etc.
Medium: 63–106 microns. Fine powder can be used in all media; its coloring strength is better than the fine grade. The coarse powder gives brilliance and body to paint, but it may be too coarse to be applied in watercolor or glazing techniques. The glass particles are visible in thin layers.
Coarse: Greater than 106 microns. These glass particles have a sandy texture and can be strewn onto a surface; the glass particles create a glittering surface. The particles can be moved around on the surface, which is ideal for fresco techniques and sand-like textures.
Permanence and Compatibility
The lightfastness of all colored glass powders is excellent. Colored and clear glass powder can be used in all media, such as oil, acrylic dispersions, lime, and all kinds of glues. In specific mortars and cement, the colored glass may cause blooming. For application in exterior environments, it is advisable to do trials first.
Oil Absorption and Grinding
Fine clear glass powder absorbs very little oil (18 grams of oil per 100 grams of pigment). It has a drying effect on oil paint because of its lead content. It is difficult to grind because of its hardness.
Glass powders contain lead. Avoid dust, do not breathe in dust. The dangers of lead have a cumulative effect. Utmost care should be used in handling the dry powder pigment to avoid breathing the dust. It is only moderately toxic in contact with the skin.
DANGER! CONTAINS LEAD. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. Avoid ingestion and skin contact. Wear protective clothing and gloves to prevent contact with the skin. Never use near children or pets. Conforms to ASTM D 4236.
CONTAINS LEAD / CONTIENT DU PLOMB
DO NOT APPLY TO SURFACES ACCESSIBLE TO CHILDREN OR PREGNANT WOMEN.
NE PAS APPLIQUER SUR UNE SURFACE ACCESSIBLE AUX ENFANTS OU AUX FEMMES ENCEINTES.
Must be used exclusively as material for the purposes of arts, crafts or hobbies, not for use by children. Utiliser uniquement aux fins suivantes comme matériaux pour les besoins d'art, d'artisanat ou passe-temps, pas pour une utilisation par les enfants.
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