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What is the Difference Between a Glass Kiln and a Ceramic Kiln?

Kiln Differences

So, what is the difference between a glass kiln and a ceramic kiln? 

Glass kilns are used for working with glass, and ceramic kilns for working with ceramics, so you would think they are not interchangeable. 

Well, it’s not that straightforward. 

I’ve had this question about kilns a few times now, so I thought it was about time I did some research and published this article. 

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My Station for Cold Working Fused Glass

Glass Fusing Cold Working

Can’t say I’m a fan of cold working fused glass. It can be a bit tedious and also a little stressful. But it has to be done and the easier it is, as far as I’m concerned, the better.

So what do you do if you only have a small budget? Well, you make do, a lot. I do have a smaller budget and can’t just buy all those nice things like belt sanders etc, so I had to find a few alternatives. This article is all about how my station for cold working fused glass came about.

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Recycled Textured Float Glass Fusing Test

Textured Float Glass Test

Curiosity finally got the better of me and I just had to test fuse some textured plate-glass. This is the type of glass used in doors, and other areas where privacy is an issue. In fact, the pieces I used came out of an old door I had sitting around under the house for some time.

So how did it go?

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Bullseye Glass Training Videos

Most of the glass we use here at Rocket Rose Art is Bullseye COE 90. The only exception is a small amount of recycled glass used in some tests. This may change in the future, but for now we will stay with Bullseye.

One of the best things I found about Bullseye is the library of training videos they have online.

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Testing Glues for Aanraku Bails for Jewellery

E6000 V Araldite Ultra Clear

The subject of which glue to use for aanraku ‘Glue-on’ bails for jewellery is a common one and one that is hard to find definitive answers. The result of my research was confusion, mainly because there were many conflicting reports.

The most common glue used seems to be E6000, but while the majority of users seem to like the glue, there were also many that did not have great experiences.

To check my options I made note of other glues used and did find references to several. However, here in Australia I found it almost impossible to get these. No use finding a great glue I couldn’t purchase.

A check of our local outlets and some discussion led me to Araldite Ultra Clear as a possible alternative and it was readily available. I did call the company and ask which of their glues would be most suitable for my need and they did confirm that the Ultra Clear was the best solution.

So here are the results of my tests comparing E6000 and Araldite Ultra Clear.

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Cool Spots in Your Glass Kiln

Cool Spot in Glass Kiln

All kilns, as far as I know, have cool spots. Areas in the kiln that never reach the desired temperature. The result is that anything in those areas will not be processed to the same degree as the rest of the kiln.

After many firings I knew this to be the case in my kiln, but wasn’t sure just where those areas were.

A recent fire polish gave me the opportunity to look at this a little better.

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Origins of Glass Fusing

Roman Glass Jug

First, my apologies for the lack of posts lately. A number of personal things have been getting in the way, hopefully not any more.

For a while I have been reading a number of references to the start of glass fusing, historically. I suppose it depends on the literal meaning you adopt for ‘glass fusing’, but for me it is simple when someone started fusing pieces of glass together to create a useful or decorative object.

A little research has uncovered a couple of interesting facts.

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Fixing Staining under Cabochons

200 Grit Sanded Cabochons

Yet another mistake with using Super Spray. This one came about when fire polishing some fused glass cabochons for jewellery sets.

Each set consisted of a single pendant piece and a pair of drops for earrings. When I made them most turned out well, but a few had a little devitrification.

So I decided to grind off the devitrification and fire polish the pieces again.

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Fixing a Mistake with Super Spray

Grind Marks in Cabochon

In one of my attempts to fix devitrification on some of my fused glass cabochons I made a mistake. As a result of that I found myself trying yet again to rescue these cabochons.

So what was the mistake? It was to cover ground cabochons with Fuse Master Super Spray anti-devitrification solution. The result was the encasing of what appeared to be grind marks below what is otherwise a wonderful polished surface. I expected the glass to all fuse together and obliterate the grind marks, but I suspect the marks were simply too deep and minute air bubbles were trapped below the surface.

So now I find myself trying again to remove not devitrification, but those encased grind marks.

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Bullseye Glass and Devitrification

Just a quick post about the devitrification I have been experiencing on my fused glass work

I have been having quite a bit of trouble with devitrification on a number of items, not just cabochons. My first thought was to blame the firing schedule, then specific colours of glass.

In an effort to work this out I I talked to a much more experienced artist and found out something that was a little disappointing.

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Coaster 2mm Fusible Glass Test

Fused Glass Coasters

In our current stock of glass we have a lot of 2mm Bullseye fusible 90 COE glass. This is fine for some projects, but for others there is the problem of not enough glass volume.

If you are not aware, surface tension tends to try and make glass conform to a thickness of 6mm. For example, if you full fuse a 10mm piece of glass for long enough it will flow out and form a larger piece just 6mm thick. Alternatively, if the piece is less than 6mm it will try to pull in on the sides to reach that 6mm thickness.

So if you start with 3mm clear as a base and then add a 2mm layer, a total of 5mm, a full fuse will probably result in the sides of the piece pulling in. To see if we could make a piece with a 3mm base and a deco layer just 2mm we decided to make some coasters like this as a test.

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