What is Kiln Forming?
Kiln forming is the process of using a kiln to heat and form glass into various objects. There are various procedures that fall under this category of glass fusing, and each one delivers its own unique characteristics to a project. Below we have a list of these procedures to help you better understand them.
1. Full fusing is for joining two or more glass pieces through heating them to the point that they flow together. This is typically performed at 1450 to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit. All kilns are different though so your temperature may vary a bit from this.
2. Tack fusing is used just to stick to pieces together, so that they both keep their own separate characteristics. Unlike full fusing, the pieces do not flow into each other. This procedure is done at 1350 to 1450 degrees Fahrenheit. Make notes on this process in case the glass you use requires a different temperature for this. This is one of the simpler methods of Kiln forming.
3. Slumping shapes the glass by allowing it to bend into or over a prepared mold. Some unique shapes can be created using this method. Just choose the right mold to get your desired result. This process is done at a heat of 1200 to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Combing is where a stainless steel tool is raked through the surface of molten glass to create various effects. Only the top half of the molten glass should be raked through, as the kiln shelf has wash on it and you do not want any of the wash mixed with the glass. Do this procedure at temperatures ranging from 1650 to 1750 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not for the beginner at glass fusing.
5. Fire polishing is another procedure in Kiln forming. In this procedure, the glass is heated just enough to make its edges round and add a shiny look to it. It takes temperatures from 1300 to 1400 Fahrenheit to accomplish the desired results.
6. Kiln casting involves fusing frit (small pieces of glass) inside a prepared mold. This is typically done until the mold is filled with molten glass. Sometimes more than one firing is needed to get the desired results. This requires temperatures of about 1500 to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Pate de verre is a process in which glass paste is fused using a mold. The temperatures needed for this process range from 1300 to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Glass casting involves melting liquid glass into a prepared mold. This takes heat at temperatures ranging from 1500 to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.
Not all these processes are for beginners, so make sure you skill and knowledge of glass fusing fits the process you are attempting. You not only want to be safe while doing the process, but you also want your project to come out right the first time. Learn the techniques before attempting to do them. This way, you will not get hurt or be disappointed in the outcome of your project.