Stained Glass Kilns and Firing Schedules
Firing stained glass is no more a science than cooking is a science: kilns vary, just as household ovens vary. But of course it matters: it matters greatly.
So the most important thing is, when you’re doing something new, you should always fire some test pieces until you get the results you want. But don’t get too precise and dogmatic about it: if you’re not making your own glass (who is?), and not making your own paints etc. (again, who is? we all buy ‘off-the-shelf), then there are always unknown variables which might – just might – affect your firing.
In other words, keep it in perspective: firing glass paint, and even firing silver stain, is nowhere near as complicated or unpredictable as firing ceramic glazes. Each day I count my blessings I’m a glass painter (not a potter).
And if you’re looking to buy your own kiln, take your time and research the subject first: yes, that does mean reading through a lot of technical material. Here, things will get unavoidably scientific. Enjoy the ride!
Stained glass firing schedules
Firing shouldn’t be a problem.
Yes, I know there are times when, no matter how experienced we are, everyone gets anxious about it.
I’m just the same.
But really it’s far easier and more predictable to fire glass paint than ceramic glazes for example.
There’s also much less to think about than if you’re fusing.
What I’m saying is, we’re actually very lucky here: it’s important to keep things in perspective.
So here are 12 quick points I always run through before settling on a particular stained glass firing schedule.
These points let me get a good night’s sleep (because I mostly fire overnight, you see).
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If you’re researching kilns, look into this site here: browse its section on kilns, because it’s very good indeed. OK so it gets quite technical in places. But just because you’re a stained glass painter doesn’t mean you won’t sometimes have to study hard. Your stained glass kiln is a big investment, so read up on it before you buy. (It’s also a very good idea to experiment with someone else’s.)
For firing schedules, get this free guide to the stained glass firing schedules we use here for stained glass paint and water/oil and silver stain.
A colleague from Australia – wanting the smoothest possible surface for his kiln-fired painted stained glass – wrote and asked us how we prepared our trays … [click to continue…]
Ivo de Croock wrote to us from Antwerp, Belgium, and asked what we meant by the term “fire-polishing”.
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