Examples of fused glass date back to early man. Traditionally, glass was fused using a wood- or coal-fired kiln. Up until recently, modern glass-fusing artists usually fused glass using an electric kiln. Recently, a kiln was created that can be used inside a microwave to fuse small glass projects. With a microwave dedicated to glass fusing and crafts and this new ceramic kiln, you can make many different fused-glass projects in your home or studio.
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Things you need
- Microwave kiln
- Fusible glass
- Fire-safe work surface
Sketch the design for your fused-glass project.
Prepare the glass-fusing kiln. Open the glass-fusing kiln by removing the lid from the base from the microwave kiln. Put a piece of kiln paper on the base to prevent the glass from sticking to the kiln during the fusing process.
Put a piece of clean precut glass on the centre of the kiln paper to act as the base glass. The base glass can be any size you want, but a good size for a pendant is about 1-1/2 inches by 1-1/2 inches. Arrange the piece of base glass on the kiln paper so it is at least 1/8-inch away from the edge of the paper.
Arrange small pieces of glass (called frits, stringers or chips) in the design you sketched. You can cut, form or arrange the glass to the exact size and shape you want or just arrange the pieces in an abstract design.
Add a drop of glass-fusing glue to the design if the design is complicated or gravity alone will not hold the design in place. Allow the glue to dry completely.
Place the base of the kiln with your completed design in the centre of your microwave. Check again to be sure your glass is centred and is on the kiln paper. Put the cover of the kiln on the base.
Fire the microwave kiln. Turn the microwave on "High" for two or three minutes.
Open the microwave. Using gloves, lift the lid of the microwave kiln to briefly check to be sure the glass is fused. Return the lid to the microwave kiln quickly so you do not lose heat.
Remove the microwave kiln from the microwave and place the kiln on a fire-safe work surface. Allow the kiln and the fused glass to return to room temperature before removing the fused glass.
Tips and warnings
- Use a microwave dedicated for crafts or fused glass. Do not use a microwave for both fusing glass and general kitchen use.
- Always use COE-compatible glass.
- Never leave a kiln unattended when firing glass.
- Take fire safety precautions when using a microwave kiln.
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- "A Beginner's Guide to Kiln-Formed Glass"; Brenda Griffith; 2007
- "Warm Glass: a Complete Guide to Kiln-Forming Techniques"; Philippa Beveridge, Ignasi Doménech, Eva Pacual; 2005
- "The Fused Glass Handbook"; Gil Reynolds; 1987
- "Contemporary Fused Glass"; Brad Walker; 2010
- "Techniques of Kiln-Formed Glass"; Keith Cummings; 1997