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Issue #001 - Fire Cleanup
August 17, 2008

The Glass Fuse News

August 17, 2008


The Glass Fuse News brings you the latest information, ideas, and resources for your glass fusing experience. If you like this newsletter, please forward it to share it with your friends.

In this Issue of The Glass Fuse News:

1. Feature Article

2. Quote of the Month

3. Tips and Tricks

4. Additions to the site

5. Product Review

Feature Article - Fire Cleanup

Who would have ever thought I would be worried about a fire cleanup inside my kiln? This is something I just never thought would happen, because I try so hard to be cautious with this hot and feverish oven. I have been working feverishly on some bracelets lately. I don’t know about you, but I am a little timid about placing my hands inside the kiln for any process, and making glass fusing bracelets does require that you stick your hands inside a scorching kiln.

I had already used the graphite tongs to bend one side of the bracelet, and had shut the kiln lid to warm it up again so that I could attempt to bend the other side. All prepared adorned with safety glasses secured on my face, long heat resistant gloves covering and protecting my hands and arms and grasping the graphite tongs, I shut down the kiln and opened the lid. Well, I am sure you are all aware of the fact that California had an earthquake the other day. Well, I guess some tiny boxes loosened on a top shelf in my craft room. Right after I had the kiln lid completely open, these tiny containers flew off the shelf and into the blistering kiln.

I thought for sure that they would immediately ignite, but they just seemed to sit there. It was like time was standing still as I tried desperately to remove the cardboard pieces with the curved and now useless tongs. The boxes seemed to be frozen in time until all of a sudden they went up in flames. I of course immediately shut the lid of the kiln. Smoke was bellowing out the sides and through the tiny gap around the peep hole plug. I don’t know what I was thinking when I again opened the kiln…I guess I was wanting the smoke to clear, but that just seemed to flame the fire and whoosh the flames rose even higher. I again shut the kiln lid.

I did get a glimpse inside the kiln and the bricks were all black with soot. Now what to do? Did I just ruin my kiln? Will I forever get soot on any future firings? How would I ever accomplish a fire cleanup and was it even possible?

A friend of mine suggested that I contact the manufacturer of the kiln to find out what I should do. So I called the friendly people at Jen-Ken. I spoke with a very nice gentleman called Randy. Since the boxes were made out of cardboard, he suggested the following:

  • Allow the kiln to cool down to room temperature.
  • Remove everything out of the kiln.
  • Vacuum the kiln out completely.
  • Turn the kiln on and heat it up to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Soak the kiln at this temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Shut down the kiln.
  • According to him, the now black bricks will again be totally white again. I am anxious to try this and really glad that it was a simple fix. I had visions of having to purchase another kiln, or taking back one that I gave my youngest daughter.

    Quote of the Month

    Where there is fear, there is no creativity. - Christopher Lowell, host of the Christopher Lowell Show/interior designer

    Tips and Tricks

    Running a small fan in the room after firing the kiln will help to disperse the external hot air and can cut an hour or two off the cool down time.

    Additions to the Site

    Well, I have been looking at vintage hats to make some Prima Donna pins. I have a batch in the kiln at the moment and of course am anxious to see the final results. These pins have been something I have wanted to do for quite a while now. I needed to determine what look I was going for, and I decided that just having the bottom part of the face showing under the hat would add a little mystic and glamor to the pins. Check out the page on Prima Donna Pins for instructions and patterns.

    I just finished painting some simple ladies on clear glass. These can be found on the Painted Faces page. I am anxious to paint some more, but am awaiting the arrival of some enamels to add more color and depth to the pieces. I chose to do these particular pieces on clear so that I could put a pattern underneath and then trace the image onto the glass. I am going to attempt my skills by next painting them on some colored glass to see just how steady a hand I have without a pattern. These are all painted on scrap pieces of glass, of which I have a ton.

    Product Review

    Compatibility Test Card

    Have you seen the compatibility test card offered on the Kaiser Lee website? This is a small convenient device to help you determine the compatibility of your glass. There are times when you will need to test glass to see find out what is the COE of the material. These are made with polarized film and making testing your glass a breeze. Check out the YouTube video showing Petra demonstrating how this card is used to show the compatibility of a piece of glass.

    To purchase the merchandise go to the FuseIt Store.

    Thank you for subscribing

    Lastly I would like to thank everyone of you for signing up for my newsletter. If you know anyone else that might like to receive it please let them know. They can either visit the site and sign up, or send me an email at

    Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I would love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think! I am also considering offering glass fusing classes in the San Dimas, California area. If you are interested, please let me know!

    See you next month…


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