Fusing glass in a kiln is a fascinating technique that enables artists to create unique and gorgeous projects.
In this instructables, you will learn to make fused glass earrings at home.
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Step 1: Tools You Will Need
1. A Pair of Safety Glasses
2. Glass Cutter
3. Measuring Scale
4. Running Pliers
5. Mini Nose Pliers
6. Microwave Kiln - http://goo.gl/ZSsvYW
7. Heat Resistant Gloves
8. Kiln Shelf Paper - http://goo.gl/NJsu3x
9. Microwave Oven
Step 2: Cutting and Arranging Glass Pieces on Kiln Base
NOTE: Before you start cutting glass, make sure you wear a pair of safety glasses. This will protect your eyes from small and sharp glass pieces flying around while cutting or breaking glass sheets.
For added safety, use a pair of gloves.
1. Measure and mark the size of the glass pieces that needs to be cut out from the glass sheets using a Sharpie or a Marker pen.
2. Using a glass cutter and with help of a measuring scale, run a consistent score on the glass sheet with constant pressure. You should hear a scratching sound to ensure a good score.
3. Use running pliers to break the glass pieces. Place the center line of the running pliers on the score and apply a gentle pressure. This will break apart the glass pieces.
Arranging/Placing Glass Pieces on the Kiln Base:
1. Once you have cut the glass pieces of desired length, place them together to see how the colors go along with each other and finalize the design.
2. Cut a piece out from the Kiln Paper sheet and place it on the kiln base. Make sure that the paper is big enough to accomodate the glass pieces. This is a special type of paper which can withstand high heat and avoid glass sticking to the kiln.
TIP: Glass when hot, can stick to the kiln base and damage the kiln if kiln paper is not used.
3. Place the kiln paper on the kiln base and arrange the glass pieces on top in a pattern.
4. Put the kiln base in a microwave oven and then place the kiln cover.
Step 3: Fusing Glass
Fusing glass in a microwave kiln is very easy, but it requires some practice in order to achieve a desired shape and texture in glass. You can vary the fusing time and obtain different results.
1. Following are the techniques you can employ when fusing:
a. Full Fuse - All the glass pieces are fused well together; they form a round and curvy shapes. This is done by increasing the fusing duration.
b. Tack Fuse - The glass pieces are fused just enough to join together while retaining its shape. For example If you fuse a square piece of glass, the edges will smooth out but retain its shape. Fusing time is less as compared to full fuse schedule.
2. Microwave Settings and Fusing Time:
I have a small microwave of 700 watts. To full fuse the glass pieces, it takes about 4 minutes on high power level.
I often increase the time by few seconds to obtain a desired shape.
3. Removing and Handling Hot Microwave Kiln:
Please take extra precaution while removing the hot kiln out of the microwave and always wear the heat resistant gloves.
NOTE: The inner temperature of the kiln can go high up to 1600 degrees fahrenheit and cause serious injuries if not handled carefully.
Place the kiln on a heat resistant platform/surface in a well ventilated area and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
Step 4: Youv'e Got a Surprise !!
Once your kiln is cool down to room temperature, it is safe to open and remove the fused glass pieces.
Rinse the fused glass pieces with water to wash away the remains of kiln paper.
Glue Earring Findings:
You will need super glue for sticking up the earring findings on the back of the fused glass pieces. I use E6000 industrial strength adhesive to glue my jewelry products.
1. Collect some glue on the edge of a toothpick and apply it to the earring bail and press it down onto the glass piece. Let it dry.
2. Attach the earring hooks to the bail with the help of mini nose pliers.
Congratulations !! you have made a pair of beautiful fused glass earrings.
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