As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I had this crazy idea that I wanted to somehow fuse glass… anyone who knows me pretty well, knows that I often go off into these crazy ideas and before you know it I have bought all the equipment necessary (and a few dozen books) in order for me to try “something new” out! Some of the things I tried in the past are: photography (I still have my black and white darkroom set up amongst all my son’s toys), pottery, fabric silk screen printing, fashion design (actually got a degree in this), law, politics (managed to get a diploma in Social Policy and Criminal Justice – very useful :-D), beading (at least this one stuck), polymer clay (I have a huge box of unused Fimo and a pasta machine), etc…. and so it was to no surprise to any of my friends when I announced that I wanted to melt glass at extremely high temperatures. :-)
So I started researching on the net… and asked a few people for advice… and finally decided that a “proper” kiln was a bit too much money (kilns start at around $500 and go up into the thousands) to spend on a new endeavour that I had no idea whether I would like or not…. so I opted for a Microwave-kiln. I bought the kit, first because it was the same price as buying the kiln on its own, second because as I’ve never done this type of thing before I had no idea what I needed to get me started.
Well I finally got my kit yesterday… and was extremely eager to start!!!!
My first attempt was a joke :-) I stupidly thought that glass would be transparent so I sandwiched a piece of dichroic glass in between 2 blue ones… see below… that little black thing in between is the hidden dichro…
…..I laughed… and learned…
the second attempt, although I managed not to bury the detail, looks like… well… like someone had too much to drink and brought last night’s party back up :-)
and the third one…. well…. at least heading in the right direction…
….still not a great thing of beauty… but at least it doesn’t look like something you bring up after a bad night of drinking! :-)
So here is what I have to say about the microwave kiln:
It’s fun and quick and definitely recommend it if you just want to try it out and make really small pieces of fused glass (max 1 1/4”), which is limiting, especially for me, as I like working on a larger scale.
If you buy the kit make sure you buy a separate selection of glass and dichro because the selection that comes in the box is pretty naff!!! and make sure you buy some clear glass (I assumed it would come in the kit but it didn’t) because I think that is the trick to finishing off the piece making it look a bit less “crafty” and a lot more professional. Also, make sure you buy some extra kiln paper (which I did), because the kit only comes with enough paper to probably make about seven or eight 1” squared cabs… and I promise you they will be used up within the first 2 days!
I’ve only been using it for a couple of days now and I’m glad I got it but it’s given me a taste for wanting more and wanting to make bigger pieces…. so here we go, I have to start saving up for a kiln!!! but until I managed to save up the money for it, this will do me fine and will let me experiment (with limitations) a bit!
Now back to my microwave! :-)