Firing by the Numbers
Recent Q&As: Disassembling a kiln; making a hole in a glass pendant
FIRING BY THE NUMBERS
A beginning cook can get good results by following a recipe from a book. But an experienced cook will adjust the recipe for even better results. The recipe may call for 60 minutes of cooking at 350 degrees F, but you may find that results are better at 50 minutes instead of 60.
A firing schedule for a kiln is similar to a recipe. You can find firing schedules from friends, glass companies, and Internet discussion forums. The Cone-Fire mode of a digital controller is itself a collection of ceramic firing schedules.
Some beginners feel that a firing schedule should give the same results from one kiln to another, especially if the kilns are digital. But every kiln fires a little differently, so tweaking a schedule is sometimes necessary. The firing schedule is only a starting point. As you gain experience with your kiln, you will learn to adjust the firing schedule for best results.
Q. Is it necessary to disassemble a sectional kiln to get it onto the kiln stand?
A. It is faster and easier to find several helpers and to lift the kiln onto the stand. That takes just a moment. Disassembling the kiln is much more time consuming and unnecessary in setting up the kiln. However, we recommend disassembling the kiln if you need to carry it down a narrow staircase or through a narrow passageway. You could also disassemble it to load tall sculptures or to replace elements in the bottom section.
Q. What method do you recommend for forming a hole in a glass pendant during firing?
A. Coat a toothpick with glass separator and place it between layers of glass. The toothpick will burn out during firing, leaving a channel. You can also use a 1/8” wide x 1/8" thick strip of ceramic fiber paper. Remove the fiber with a toothpick after the glass has cooled.
“If you think you can, you can.” --George Reeves
Last week my wife and I were in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware visiting our son and his wife. A block from the beach we found beautiful glass fused jewelry and wall hangings in galleries. The delicate jewelry was tack-fused. My favorite wall hanging was a turquoise ocean wave complete with white foam, made from stringers and frit. It wasn’t long ago that glass fusing was rare. Few people had heard of it.
All of us at Paragon wish you a Happy New Year. I wish you much creative satisfaction in 2009!
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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Copyright 2008, by Paragon Industries, L.P.