Kiln Carving

Kiln carving is a very simple and easy way to achieve fused glass patterns in glass.

In one of the first classes I took the instructor had a piece of fused kiln formed glass.

She had used this method to make some kiln formed glass dishes.

I was amazed when she told us how effortless and simple it was to make this slumped art glass.

She didn’t have a name for the process at the time, but Bullseye calls it “Kiln Carving”.

Basically you are cutting or punching a pattern design in ceramic fiber paper.

This can be any design you desire from abstract to simple geometric shapes.

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Please note that clear and transparent colored glasses release easier from the ceramic fiber papers than opal glass.

You might want to keep this in mind when performing this process.

Also if you are using a piece of glass that has already been fired, then the surface will release from the fiber paper more easily.

Safety precautions – Since you are going to be working with ceramic fiber paper, it is essential that you wear a respirator designed to filter out particulates and avoid contact with skin.

Supplies and Directions

Supplies:

  • Respirator
  • Exacto knife
  • Ceramic Fiber Paper
  • Glass
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Eyewear with IR and UV protection
  • Prepared Kiln Shelf
  • Kiln
  • Directions:

    1. Determine the pattern to be used. It can be drawn onto the ceramic fiber paper and cut out using an Exacto knife or scissors. If the design is a punch, use the punch to obtain the design out of the ceramic fiber paper. You can use the positive or negative impression for your design. Be sure to wear a respirator while performing any cutting or punching action on this paper.

    2. Place the pattern on the prepared kiln shelf inside the kiln. Consider pre-firing the fiber paper at 1290 degrees Fahrenheit to burn out the binder and prevent a haze that can occur. If you are going to slump this design into a mold, place the pattern in the mold and do the slumping and impression at the same time.

    3. Clean and dry glass with glass cleaner. Place a single sheet of glass over the pattern.

    4. Close and turn on the kiln.

    5. Bring up the piece until it has the desired look. The exact temperature will be determined by the desired look and your individual kiln performance. Wear protective glasses when viewing inside a hot kiln.

    6. When the desired look is achieved, bring the piece down to about 960 degrees Fahrenheit and anneal for about an hour.

    7. Allow the temperature to get below 100 degrees Fahrenheit before opening the lid.

    Once the piece is complete, turn it over. It has the look of carved glass. Kiln carving is a simple way to achieve this appearance. This can give a fused glass piece of artwork a unique design.

    These simple ceramic fiber paper designs can be reused for future kiln carving projects.

    Simply spray the paper with a hardener and pre-fire the piece.

    Spray the now hard paper with shelf primer, and the piece is firm enough to reuse several times.






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