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Reworking Fused Glass

The disc that was refired in the kiln.


Reworking Fused Glass

Reader Response: Vincent van Gogh painting; a friendship pendant

Recent Q&As: A gap under the kiln lid; element pins

A Kiln Story: The Hot Lid



By Diana Chase

Many beginning fusers get frustrated when their fused glass doesn't match the vision in their head. In fact, seasoned veterans like me still have the occasional disappointment when we open the kiln to see a project that did something unexpected.

Don't give up. Stay flexible and see what you can do to change the design into a success. For example, one of my students made an 8" disc to be slumped over a flower mold. We balanced the disc on top of a steel column with fiber board as a separator. The glass slumped down into four prominent folds, but it closed so tightly that we couldn't get the steel out. Undaunted, we inverted it and slumped it again to open it up and release the steel column. But the steel made the glass heat unevenly, and it cracked in half on the heating-up end of the cycle. So we took the two halves, fit them together, added a bit of iridescent bronze, and voila! It's a beautiful bowl, and it's recycled too!

(Diana Chase has made some of the most spectacular glass art in Dallas, Texas. She is one of the pioneers of glass fusing. –Arnold)



In the last Kiln Pointer I wrote about a glass jewelry artist who visited Auvers, France to see a church that Vincent van Gogh had painted.

Bonnie Hellman of Ouray, Colorado wrote, “Reading about Auvers reminded me of my visit there in June, 2004. In the cemetery where Vincent and Theodore van Gogh were buried, there are a number of grave markers that look like stone caskets with ceramic flowers resting on top. I had never seen this anywhere else.

“We saw the church from the Van Gogh painting,” Bonnie wrote. “When we were there it was the wrong time of day to take a photo from his painting's vantage point because we were facing the sun. There are several signs around town about him, including a few with a small reproduction of his painting at the spot where the painting had been created.”

Larry Pile of Kessler Craftsman in Dallas, Texas wrote, “As a glass artist, I was intrigued by the mention of traveling and 'connecting' with other artists.

“I, too, seek out other glass artists and glass manufacturers. Recently on a trip to Portland, Oregon, I took a dozen small fused glass pendants with the Japanese Kanji symbol for ‘friend’ painted on with Glass Fire enamel. Imagine the delight when we gave these to friendly hotel folks, the tour guide at the Bullseye factory, and a glass aficionado at the Portland Museum of Art.”


Q. Why does my new kiln have a gap between the lid and top of the kiln?

A. Most Paragon kilns have a gap (approximately 3/32") under the lid near the hinge. This is to compensate for expansion of the firebricks. At high temperatures, the gap closes. The gap allows the lid to fit better as the firebricks expand.

Even after the gap closes, though, the lid will distort slightly as it gets hot, causing a line of light to appear under the lid. This is normal and results in very little heat loss, because at high temperatures, heat is no longer affected by convection. This is why there is little heat loss from an open peephole.

Q. What type of computer connection is required for the Sentry 2.0 computer interface kit?

A. The interface kit is designed for an RS232 connection. However, with an adapter, it can be plugged into a USB port.

A Kiln Story: The Hot Lid

Judi Emerman of Pepper Pike, Ohio wrote, “The lid of a kiln is a great place to keep a coffee cup warm.”

But not a good place for a cell phone. Todd in Lakewood, Colorado wrote, “I had a friend over who was watching me work. I told her to be aware of the hot kiln. She didn’t take me seriously and set her cell phone on the kiln for a minute or two.

“The cell phone stopped working, and she took it in to see if it could be fixed. The repairman looked at it and told her it had somehow gotten very warm and the components melted. My friend put two and two together and remembered the kiln.”

Thank you,

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 /

PRIVACY NOTICE: Under no circumstance do we share or sell your email address.

Copyright 2008, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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