Glass Fusing Basics
Glass fusing is a great method of creative expression, while making a beautiful piece of art that can last a lifetime. When preparing to fire glass for the first time, pick a simple, small piece.
Once you’re ready to go, first prepare your kiln and shelves with kiln wash and then run the kiln empty one time. The purpose of this is to:
- Burn off residue and excess moisture
- Loosen particles to vacuum afterwards
- Establish a protective oxide coating on the elements
- Grant you familiarity with the kiln's controls
Next, consider cutting squares/rectangles or creating small stacks for your first glass-fusing project. Dip the glasscutter in cutting oil and run it across the glass in one even motion a single time. Break off the piece by either placing a hand on either side of the newly created score or using your hand and glass pliers. Clean the glass of oil and fingerprints as fingerprints will linger after firing.
Arrange the piece in the kiln on the prepared shelf and close the lid. Heat your kiln to 1000 F, soak for ten minutes, then heat up to 1450 F.
Every 10 to 15 minutes, observe the glass with the correct eye protection to ensure the readings of your kiln are correct and to watch for the desired result of your glass piece.
When the firing is finished, cool it to 950 F and maintain that temperature for an hour, so that the internal temperature may match the outside temperature (annealing). Cool it slowly from there, at about 300 F an hour and allow the glass to reach room temperature before removing. Rushing this process can result in the shattering of your piece due to thermal shock.
Can I Glue the Pieces Together First?
You can use thinned Elmer's glue, which will evaporate when things get hot in the kiln, the glue will hold the pieces in shape before you begin firing to prevent them from shifting.
What is Devitrifying?
At 1300 F and above, the glass becomes brittle and begins to fuse with other glass pieces around it. The glass will appear bubbly and white. To reduce bubbles between layers, hold the piece around 1175 F.
For high-quality glass fusing kilns, consider using a Tabletop Furnace. Our portable, strong kiln is versatile and an excellent choice for glass projects. For more information on RapidHeat technology and portable kiln usage, please contact us today!