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Fusing Glass in a Ceramics Kiln

Meagan Chaney Gumpert - Monday, January 31, 2011
I'm often asked about my firing methods. Since I work with both clay and glass, many people assume that I have two separate kilns. Nope!

Meet Lily. My L&L Kiln. (Easy Fire e23-3) I love her! We've been working together since November of 2003. I bought her in South Carolina from, and we've made several moves together. North Carolina (Raleigh and Asheville), Gatlinburg, TN and now Ocala, FL. She's a bit shorter than many "standard" ceramics kilns - only 2 sections/rings rather than 3, but she's perfect for my needs. (Purchasing her his another story that I'm especially happy to share with any recent or upcoming graduates.)An article recently went out in the Skutt Kiln newsletter Skutt Hot Topics Yes, Virginia, you can fuse glass in your ceramics kiln that discusses this in more detail. I'm not sure of the author, but it goes on to explain the difference in the two "types" of kilns, and how to load a ceramics kiln for glass.

I'd like to add a few things to the article.

1. - While you can fire glass in a ceramics kiln, it doesn't necessarily work the other way around. Glass kilns traditionally don't get hot enough to fire even low-fire clay. Here are the glass firing schedules I've worked out for my ceramics kiln.

2. - I do have two sets of shelves. The kiln wash/shelf primer used in ceramics is usually thick and gloppy. I use Bullseye Shelf Primer for my glass shelves. It's thin and goes on smooth which is important since the glass will pick up any texture or brush strokes from the shelf/primer.

3. - I also have a Vent-Sure downdraft vent system. This does several things. It helps the kiln fire more evenly - important in clay, glazing, and especially glass. It also helps remove any potentially harmful vapors. Good for your health and the kiln. Less of these volatile vapors are absorbed into the kiln bricks/walls so there's less of a chance your glass will become cloudy from cross contamination and off-gassing.

If you have any questions, drop me a comment. I'm happy to share what I've learned!

Happy Firing!

Tammy Douglas commented on 03-Feb-2016 10:58 AM
I only have one set of shelves, can I use the Bullseye shelf primer for ceramics?
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 16-Feb-2016 09:10 AM
Hi Tammy,

Thank you for your comment! I apologize for the delay; your question was buried among a list of spam comments.

If you only have one set of shelves, I would use a ceramic kiln wash/shelf primer on them rather than the Bullseye shelf primer. The Bullseye glass primer cannot handle the high temps for ceramics and glaze would still probably stick to the shelves.

Another option is glass Thin Fire or fiber paper. I'm not a fan of this because it's super stinky (toxic) when you fire it and it's only a one time use thing, but it would work in your situation.

Best of luck!
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