The fiber paper forms a channel in the glass for a cord or chain.
Making a Simple Glass Fused Pendant
Recent Q&As: Firing at night for lower rates; three-zone firing; shelf spacing
A Kiln Story: The Smoking Kiln
MAKING A SIMPLE GLASS FUSED PENDANT
Small glass fusing projects allow you to be creative without learning the technicalities of glass fusing. This project took me eight minutes to cut and assemble. Firing and cooling time is as fast as your kiln will go.
After firing, the pendant is done. You do not need to glue a jewelry finding to the back, because the design includes a channel that is fused into the glass where you can string a cord. Use glass that is rated fusing compatible.
1) Cut 2 pieces of 3/4” x 1 1/2” glass.
2) With scissors or razor blade, cut a strip of 1/8” thick fiber shelf paper to form the channel for the cord or chain. Size: 1/8” thick x 1/8” wide x 1” long.
3) Clean fingerprints from the glass. Then handle only by the edges.
4) Lay the fiber paper across one piece of glass so that it is parallel with the 3/4” side and 3/8” from the edge.
5) Gently lay the second piece of glass over the first. You can glue them together with Elmer’s white glue diluted with water 1:1.
6) Sprinkle broken pieces of dichroic glass over the top piece of glass.
7) Load the piece into a small kiln on a kiln-washed shelf. This can be fired in an enameling, ceramics, or jewelry kiln. Position the shelf so you can see the glass through a peephole.
8) Fire the glass until the glass pieces have fused together and the top piece has curled around the fiber paper scrap. Turn the kiln off before the dichroic glass flattens into the surface.
9) Allow the kiln to cool to room temperature.
10) When the glass is cool enough to touch, remove the fiber paper with a tooth pick and thread a cord or chain into the channel.
Q. Does it cost less in electricity to find the kiln at night?
A. In some areas, electricity is cheaper at night. You can find out by asking your utility company if they have a "time of use" plan. Also, ask if they have a separate demand charge. This is where they charge an extra fee when your use more electricity than usual at any given time. If they have a demand charge, you could save by firing the kiln when other appliances are turned off.
Q. How can you improve heat distribution of a three-zone kiln that fires cooler on the bottom?
A. (The answer is for the Sentry 2.0 controller. Instructions may vary for other brands.) The controller has three display lights. They each represent a zone inside the firing chamber. When a light blinks rapidly, that zone is not receiving enough heat to maintain even heat distribution. The kiln will continue to fire, though. Slowing down the firing will give the kiln more time to even out the heating. That should give the underfired zone enough time to catch up with the other two zones.
If a section of the kiln heated unevenly and the lights did not blink during firing, adjust the thermocouples with Thermocouple Offset. In this case, since the kiln fired cooler on the bottom, adjust the bottom section to fire hotter and the top and middle sections to fire cooler.
Q. I am firing tiles. Is it okay to have shelves spaced 3 – 4 inches apart?
A. Yes, you can fire the shelves as close as 3 - 4 inches apart as long as there is at least one element groove between shelves. Also, it is better to have element grooves between shelves rather than lined up horizontally with a shelf.
KILN STORY: THE SMOKING KILN
Pam East in Alpharetta, Georgia wrote, “I was teaching Enameling on Art Clay Silver at the Metal Clay World Conference last year. The conference provided me with only one Paragon SC-2 kiln for a class of 10, which I didn't think was enough. Fortunately, one of my friends, Lorrene Davis, said I could use hers for my class, giving me a second kiln.
“She arrived with the kiln not long before class started, and in my rush to get everything ready, I didn't check it. When the students arrived I walked them over to the kilns and instructed them on programming for enameling, turning them both on in the process.
“Not long after, we looked back and saw ugly black smoke pouring out of Lorrene's kiln! I dashed to the kiln, shut it off, looked inside, and saw kiln shelves, wrapped in cardboard and plastic, blackened and smoking. I used tongs to pull everything out and into a trash can and doused it with water. I was terrified we were going to set off the sprinklers!
“The inside of her kiln was a blackened mess. It looked awful. I had one of the people working the conference take the kiln to the outside dock area and fire it to 1700 degrees F for 30 minutes. When we got it back, the mess had burned out and everything was nice and white again. The kiln worked just fine for the remainder of the two-day class.
“The moral of this story is pretty obvious... If it's not a kiln you've used recently... LOOK INSIDE BEFORE STARTING IT!”
------------- Something that might help you in these times of high gas prices:
Years ago I researched gas mileage for a writing project. The most important points I learned: 1) Keep the tires inflated to the correct pressure, which is listed inside the door frame of your car. 2) Change spark plugs every year. 3) When you approach a hill, speed up before you reach the hill. Do not accelerate while you are going up the hill.
I hope you have a great weekend.
With best wishes,
Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. – Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, Texas 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 firstname.lastname@example.org / www.paragonweb.com
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