So, collection of the kiln is imminent, so the question of where to put it ! I have started to clear out an outhouse. Hubby has helped to replace the ceiling in it and add roof insulation and it is turning from a junk store into some sort of studio. Luckily it already has electrics. I’m not sure it will be ready for when the kiln arrives , but at least we have a plan. The pictures show the early stages of what we are working with. From what I have read, important issues are to be able to plug the kiln straight into the socket with NO extension leads being used and to have a good clearance (30cm at least) around the kiln. It needs to be sited on a flat surface and away from kids. The outhouse has an ideal socket right next to the electrical circuit box but it is sited near the door, so on consideration, that actually seemed the craziest place to site the kiln – right where people would come into the studio! The HobbyFuser3 manual gives some of the main tips. I’m trying to start pretty uncluttered , so I have ordered a lino so I can keep the floor clean, and I have an old table lined up for my cutting table. I’ll obviously need some storage as we go along, but my only other ‘wish’ is to get a sink into the studio. I think this will be useful , if only from a health and safety angle and for making cups of tea 🙂
Hence, although I had deliberated, should I start with Float, System 96 or Bullseye Glass (the main options for glass fusing), the fact that my kiln seller also had a bundle of glass to sell meant I would be starting out with Bullseye. It was a relief to have this decision made as I knew that different glasses DON’T mix (see Creative Glass Guild explanation). In order to prevent cracking and losing the integrity of your piece, the glasses being fused together must be tested as being ‘compatible’ (or it all gets very complicated to test this yourself) or you can only fuse one piece of glass with itself (e.g. a wine bottle – see Glass with a Past). Bullseye and System 97 and some Float Glass suppliers guarantee this compatability and that the glass they sell can be safely fused together.
I had found the following suppliers in the UK:
And so, I start with nothing…… check out the Info Topics section for the list of equipment I accumulate as we go along. I watched these useful free videos from Bullseye Education and made a note of the equipment being used in these.
As for kiln choice, I found Warm Glass UK useful, for their sheer diversity of kilns and descriptions and videos. I figured if the kiln was being sold on this website that it had a certain credibility and spares and servicing in the UK would pose no problem. I then searched eBay and Facebook Marketplace for kilns for sale. I also googled for kilns and found several websites that advertised second hand / refurb kilns either on their websites or facebook pages (e.g. Kilncare , Northern Kilns). Although I had also read that ceramic kilns could be used to fuse glass (cheaper option judging by eBay) , I decided to go for a plug in ‘starter kiln’ and eyed up the HobbyFuser and the Skutt Firebox 14. Given my inexperience I thought it wise to start with a recognised, common, hobby glass fusing kiln. Also, given I hadn’t yet decided on the location of the kiln, a plug-in again seemed most flexible whilst I sorted out my space. I set up a saved search with email notifications for eBay and set up a notification on Facebook Marketplace for kilns. Then I watched and waited……
Thanks to Facebook, I am now due to collect a HobbyFuser 3 along with a selection of Bullseye Glass and some basic equipment within the next week or so.
I am based in the UK and am completely new to glass fusing (and also to creating websites!) and so here begins my journey. I am a researcher by trade and so as I began to research fusing, it struck me that I needed to collate all this info somewhere. There’s so much to learn, read and ask. What do I need?, what can I do?, how do I navigate through firing schedules and keep good logs of both my successes and failures!? Well, I’ve decided to put it all here for you all to see, (and for me to refer back to). This isn’t a blog of ‘how to do glass fusing’ but more a ‘learn by mistakes’ approach, until I hope I reach a level of competence and knowledge in the art of glass fusing. Feel free to join me on my way through the bubbles and cracks of my attempts at creating fused glass……..