Using Microwave Fusing Kilns To Make
Fused Glass Jewelry
Microwave fusing kilns are one of the newer items on the market. Specially designed, these small kilns fit inside a standard microwave oven.
Made from high temperature ceramic fiber they resemble a small pot and are capable of fusing small art glass jewelry pieces.
Depending on the brand and wattage of the microwave oven the kiln can reach 1500 F (815 C) in 5 to 8 minutes. The kiln will fuse normal fusible glass as well as dichroic glass.
Before purchasing a kiln you should check the electrical specifications and dimensions of your microwave to ensure it meets the needs of the kiln.
You also need to check the operation of the turntable in case it jerks as it rotates as this will result in the glass moving inside the kiln. If the turntable is removable you may be able to support the kiln on small kiln posts.
You will need a ceramic tile or a kiln shelf to support the kiln in the oven as well as kiln wash, safety glasses, protective heat gloves and a glass cutter.
A rotating turntable is preferable as this ensures a better heat distribution within the kiln.
The heat build up within the kiln is very rapid but is not transferred to the interior of the oven if you remove the kiln after the glass has fused.
When fusing glass the pieces should be no more then two layers of 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" or smaller. Larger pieces will need to be pre-heated at 50% power to prevent the glass from breaking.
The manufacturer states that you can still use the oven for cooking provided it is cleaned after each firing and you do not fire fiber paper in the kiln. Fiber paper produces fumes and can be a health hazard.
If you wish to make small pieces of fused glass jewelry and don't want to invest in a warm glass kiln then this type of kiln may suit your needs. It will make fused dichroic pendants and earrings in a very short space of time.
There are a number of brands on the market and you should check them out carefully to ensure they are suitable.
The information on this page relates to only one American made kiln. Other available kilns are from Japan and Switzerland and their operation may vary.
These kilns require your attention through the fusing process, they do not have the control, capacity and flexibility of an electric glass fusing kiln. Depending on your needs a secondhand glass kiln may be a better option.
You need to do your homework to see if your oven is suitable, compare your oven with the kiln maker's details to ensure it is compatible.
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