The silver particles in this fused jewelry were sliced from a rejected silver clay piece.
Adding Silver to Fused Glass
NEWS: Founder of Paragon dies; new ceramics website
Recent Q&As: The speed of an infinite switch; Firing slower than Cone-Fire slow speed; interpreting a humming noise during firing
ADDING SILVER TO FUSED GLASS
If you ever file a fired silver clay piece for final shaping, do not discard the filings. They are beautiful when fused into glass jewelry.
Catch the filings with a piece of paper. After you have finished shaping the silver piece, fold the paper in half. Tap it so the silver powder falls into the fold. Then pour the filings from the corner of the fold onto a piece of clear fusible glass.
When fired between layers of clear glass, the silver will retain its original color and sheen, or it will turn yellow-gold. In my desk I have an ugly silver clay piece that I made several years ago. One edge is bright where I sliced off tiny slivers with a knife. The photo above is clear Bullseye glass with the embedded silver.
Frances Darby, the founder of Paragon Industries, died this week. She taught me a lot in the seven years that I worked for her many years ago. For instance, when I came to her with an idea, she analyzed it like a chess move by asking questions. After awhile I began to do that on my own.
You can read more about Frances Darby on Paragon’s home page:
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Q. Is there any documentation that has the approximate rate of speed on the infinite control switch? For example, the heating rate when the knob is set to 2.5.
A. The heating rate at a particular infinite control setting varies from one kiln to another. This is because the rate at each setting depends on the size of the kiln, amperage, type of insulation, etc. Another factor is the age of the switch.
I suggest that you use a pyrometer to figure the firing rate at each setting on your particular kiln. The rate will be fairly repeatable. However, if you change the switch, you will need to figure the rates for the new switch too.
Q. Through trial and error I've come to the conclusion that I'm firing too fast. So far, I've used only the Cone-Fire mode of the Sentry controller. I used Cone-Fire Slow Speed for my last glaze firing, and I broke only one tile out of 16. That is better than before but still one tile too many. It appears to me that I need to fire even slower using the Ramp-Hold mode.
A. There is a way to slow down Slow Speed in Cone-Fire mode. That may be the easiest way to solve the problem of tiles breaking:
1) Program Slow Speed in Cone-Fire just as before.
2) From IdLE, press the Options key until SPd appears. Press Enter.
3) Using the 1 or 2 key, select S40.
4) Press Enter, then Stop. IdLE will appear.
This will fire the kiln 20% slower than the standard Slow Speed setting that you have been using.
Q. How can you tell the difference between the humming of a relay or other electrical part and the humming of a heating element?
A. The humming noise of a heating element lessens as the element gets hot. At around 1500 degrees F, the element is almost silent. A humming from a transformer would remain the same.
With best wishes,
Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. – Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, TX 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 firstname.lastname@example.org / www.paragonweb.com
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