Using Lava Cloth To Protect Shelves
And Leave A Textured Surface.
How textured lava cloth is used to prevent glass sticking to kiln surfaces during glass fusing as well as leaving a textured finish.
This cloth does not stick to glass, kiln shelves or kiln bricks.
The cloth is placed directly onto the surface you wish to fire on and the glass then placed on the top of the cloth for fusing.
It is textured on both sides and when glass is fired on top of it a textured imprint is left in the fused glass.
As well as the bottom piece, cloth also be placed on top of the glass and held in place with a kiln post to give a top and bottom effect, or just a texture on the top if you are using a primed kiln shelf.
If you fire above 1700 degrees F the glass will become soft and liquid, the cloth will become part of the glass, if this happens you will not be able to remove the cloth from the glass.
Lava cloth is re-usable and you may possibly get up to 12 firings at approx 1485 degree F before the cloth starts to break down.
As the cloth tends to shrink it should be pre-fired. Pre-fire at 500 degrees F/hour up to 1400 degrees F hold for 10 minutes and then switch off and let cool.
The cloth should be cut slightly larger than the glass and the edges of the cloth held down with kiln posts otherwise the glass will curl up at the edges as it contracts.
The glass tends to stay in the weave and the cloth does not move with the glass. If you are going to slump the glass curled edges may be OK but for fused glass jewelry this can be a problem.
Once the glass has cooled to room temperature the cloth should be easily removed from the glass.
If the texture appears too rough, use a diamond sanding pad to buff the glass under running water.
In order to minimize the depth of the texture some users sprinkle dry kiln wash on to the cloth using a flour sifter.
It has also been reported that mica powder can be sifted into the cloth to reduce the texture and to give the glass the pearl effect of mica as it is fused into the glass.
The cloth should Always be stored flat to prevent the cloth creasing. Creases can not be removed.
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