Now in color! MICROGLAZING


I would like to share my initial results with laser “engraving” in color.

Being inspired by great NWT method - lack of color can be limiting to some creativity. I love B/W photography and know that b/w art is great. Color is just another dimension to the art. I had conversations if it is possible at all and heard skepticism if temperature necessary for this actually achievable with simple diode lasers. My earlier observations and calculations supported this possibility, that 2KC is achievable. Finally I’ve ordered bottle of ceramic glaze and tried it today. Just run simple calibration grid, picked what appeared best and most uniform fusion of the silica in glazing to the tile and run this burn presented here. Not much trial at all.

While sample below is full of defects, obviously, technically it is a robust demonstration of feasibility of creating color artwork on tiles with lasers.
What I did exactly:
Use this glaze.
Applied as received. I use paper float to smear it over tile. I did not thin anything. Slurry coat appeared pretty thick and cracked in many places while dried with heat gun. I did parched it with another coat as thin as I was able to smear for complete coverage.
Run cal grid on one tile. With my 4W optical - best was 100% at 425mm/min.
Then I got this burn:

That rose is 30x50mm
It is completely fused to the tile (well, little corner is not but I know why), feels as solid as glass (it is glass, I mean Silica).
It has very interesting texture. Sand like but smooth.

Has very pastel color but this is expected. Most glazing requires x3 or more coats to reach desirable saturation. I did not try yet to do multiple coats/passes but I see no problem with it.

Perimeter appeared to have some black burn products. It is very flaky and most come off with tooth brush. It does not spoil fused areas. I do not think this is a big deal.
I guess biggest challenge here will be application of slurry. It feels like watered mud. It can be tinned with water. I will try spray on.

Technically this is neither, engraving nor burn. This is laser fusion. It is additive. But texture is very comparable to engraving. Pretty much all dried slurry is converted to glazing. (to compare - NWT most of material is burnt and small volume of TiO2 is diffused with Silica. Glazing leaves much larger added volume than TiO2 with white paint. But there are some similarities. NWT texture is significantly finer.)

Image below is after I use toothbrush with toothpaste trying to remove black edge. Some success.

I think this opens a lot of creative possibilities. Ceramics is an old art and a lot can be borrowed and learned from there.

I’m also thinking: after creating tile, it can be fired as other glazed ceramics.

I would love to see some folks with CO2 lasers able to replicate this. One of the challenges I see is heating coat of slurry to melt and at the same time tile below to fuse to it. On my test grid -cells with less power have glazing cooked but not adhering to the tile. CO2 IR goes deeper and I expect should be able to heat it more evenly, which in turn should yield better and easier fusion.

I guess I will order bottle of blue glazing and see what I can do with two colors.


Aha!!! you beat me to it! I mentioned trying this in another post here. I bought some metallic compounds as well as a couple of overglaze colours to try out but I haven’t had a chance yet. I’ve been too busy messing about with TiO₂ in various mediums but i’m hoping to do some colour tests in the next few days. I got my overglaze colours here.

Glaze race! :grinning:

Well, there is plenty of work ahead, race is not over.

Marcus, are you planning to make some effort with it? What laser do you have?

I think first objective is application of slurry. Already glazed surface of the tile is not as porous as bisque and adhesion is a challenge. I found that in pottery they use hairspray to get slurry stick to already glazed surface. Unless I’m missing something. This does not work for me. The best so far appeared to apply in realty thin, watered layers. Need a way to apply thin and consistent layers without cracking/crazing.

Another idea is to use stencil, similar to thick film ICs or PCB solder paste. Can be cut on the same laser. Then squidgyed over.

Hehe :laughing:.

I’ve got an Ortur LM2 Pro 20W (5W real output).

I don’t quite know what my plan of action is regarding the metallic compounds yet but I’ll post my results on the forum when I’ve done some trials. Hopefully as the glazes I bought are ‘overglazes’ and designed to be applied on top of already glazed items they might be easier to use than other glazes which aren’t. Hopefully I’ll get around to doing some trials over the next few days. I’ll keep you posted.

About 4 to 6 months ago I watched a vid on u-tube where a gentleman used powder coating powder on
his etchings. he used multi colors and it turned out looking good. He sprinkled color over where he wanted it. Then he used a plastic card, (bank, credit) to scrape the powder over the etched area and off the glass. He then burned over that part of his etching. Repeated for each different color. I checked the cost of powder coating powder and it is not cheap at all !!! So I have not tried it yet. Also I don’t remember the mans info on his equipment and speed/power. One of you fine folks might try that powder coating stuff and let us know the outcome.


Link would be nice.

I can imagine a lot of stuff can be melted and fused to the tile, maybe even glass. As it is obvious now that 2.000C and more is reachable and not that difficult - It is a matter of experimenting and finding more practical application.

I hate any powders for safety and health reasons. Glazing slurry kind of dust free, at least until not trying to brush it off. Excess after burning comes off under mild pressure of garden hose. I feel safer working with it.

Price of glazing slurry also much less than most other materials. That one bottle I got so far is size of soda can, it can last very long time. I will get couple more basic colors. This is fairly affordable, unlike most other materials. I’ve looked at metallic overglazes that Markus has - beyond my budget, at least not for experimentation. Maybe when this process polished - on special occasion I may try that.

This thread does not appear to get much excitement. Or maybe everybody got their glazes and quietly experimenting on their own? :slight_smile: Time will tell.

One interesting observation:

While most applications of laser over tile produces micro cracks (more on larger fills than on dots or thin lines), even NWT method when run on hotter end of usable settings, I see zero cracks with glazing. I can speculate that glazing flux has something to do with it.

For NWT method, this is a reason to pick not the most black but coldest acceptable just dark enough, where there is a minimum or no micro-cracking.

hello Sal: here a couple of links to look at on u-tube. There are several of them.
Do a search for “color laser engraving with powder coating”. You will find several videos.
You have to put up with adds or hit the skip button sometimes.

I have some color pigment that you add to epoxy and other stuff. I going to try a little of that in dragon that just finished burning in wood, about 10 minutes ago. I just finished putting blue epoxy in an eagle that I burned early this morning, will be ready to sand down tomorrow. (my first try with epoxy).

I found a site that had their version of heves paint for about 10 to 15 bucks cheaper. Not paying attention
I closed the my tab. don’t remember the name. I’ll get back to you later.

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Wow it’s soooo cool!

it’s cool alright, but did you look at the prices? Not cheap !!!


Thanks for the links!
It is certainly interesting. For less (than ceramic and glass) durable engraving - powder coating is interesting option.
All powder coats I know are polymers. Meaning they are less durable than silica or glass and more compatible with other polymers, like engraving on plastic or wood. I think it is a great option to engrave plastic instead of silk screening.

Use of these polymers on durable surfaces like tiles or metals I would consider challenging. Biggest problem is reliable adhesion. Transition temperature for polymers is Much smaller than silica or metal. Another challenge is even heating: powder will get more heat first while tile or metal surface probably will stay too cold for good adhesion. If durable surface heated enough then polymer powder most likely will be burnt.

Even if powder coat successfully fused with metal or glass - they probably will deteriorate much faster that silica, though might be just enough for some applications.

My direction is to create durable bond of two Silica material - glazing of the tile and glazing powder (slurry). These are essentially the same materials and are durable when fused, same as NWT method. This is my attraction to it.

But I certainly can see very good applications for powder coat compounds fused by laser, especially on plastics.

Some other ideas I’ve seeing:
Burning out black paint on light surface (shiny metal or bright white.) That resulted in very high contrast artistic image. Looks beautiful on glass! One of the ways is two-coat spray, high temperature white then regular black.

Another one I’ve seeing: cooking and hardening but not burning black paint with laser, then removing uncooked paint with soft solvent like alcohol. Looks exactly like silk screening. I’ve tried that and it works, but you have to have light hand wiping uncooked paint vs cooked as different is not huge, but it works and it is cheap.

I also read about using laser toner from printers.

So there are more ways.

I will stay focused on glazing aspect of it, thus I call it MICROGLAZING.

This is pretty cool! Eager to see how it gets used by the community

Sal, Colin: Ok, I found this site the other night. It looks like they are selling Heves paint for as much as 50% off. Now I see what is going on here. Go to and see their prices.
Then go to and they are about 50% cheaper. I think that it is Heves paint that they are selling. Here is their link (below) and in their web site you will see a “download Excel file” link for their prices. I think I’m going to order a bottle or two so I can see how well it works with my 4.5W toy.
Laser Engraving Inks

I just remembered, Black Diamond pigment mix didn’t work. I hit it with 1000mm/m & 50% power, (OLM-15w, ((4.5w). It burned a heck of a black mess in wood. I going to make a burn chart just to see if I can get it to bond to the wood. I don’t think it’s going to work, (now that I think about it) the stuff I used has metallic flakes in it. That’s no good. Up date later.