Back to Back Issues Page
Issue #009 - Low and Slow
May 31, 2009

Hot Out of the Kiln

May 31, 2009


Hot Out of the Kiln 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 Hot Out of the Kiln:

1. Feature Article
2. Quote of the Month
3. Since Last E-zine
4. Reader Question
5. Tips and Tricks
6. Additions to Site
7. Product Review

Feature Article - Low and Slow

Low and Slow is a term you hear a lot in glass fusing. In this world of instant gratification, it can be a lesson in patience when we are use to getting things quickly.

Glass, much like wax or chocolate, starts to expand and soften long before it is actually melted. The more heat that is applied the softer and runnier the material gets. It also does the reverse as it cools down. When heating glass inside a kiln, the outer edges receive the heat first and are expanding and softening faster than the middle of the glass, which is still brittle. Glass needs to be heated slowly enough so that the inside of the glass has time to catch up with the outside of the glass.

When cooling down, the inside of the glass is not cooling as quickly as the outside, so it is still soft and expanded, while the outside is now stiff and contracting. If cooled down too fast, that expansion or contraction is frozen into place and causes stress on the piece. Eventually this stress will cause the glass to fracture.

That is why the annealing process is important for each piece you fuse. This cycle is simply going slow enough to allow the temperatures to equalize inside and outside the glass, allowing them to contract at the same rate. Therefore, the thicker the glass, the more time it will take to equalize the temperature.

When attempting to fuse or slump glass, slow and low makes sense for any design. There is more control over the glass and small pieces, such as frit or stringers are less likely to shift position. When slumping into a mold, slow and low allows the center of the piece to fall in first and pull the any overage right down into the mold.

When you get the urge for instant gratification when firing, just keep repeating to yourself “low and slow”. Glass is a tremendous flexible medium that can be fired many times if handled correctly.

Quote of the Month

"Life is rapid, art is slow..." by Henry Fuseli

Since Last E-Zine

We have just come back from a vacation in Hawaii. We are still adjusting to the time change and the faster pace of life where we live. Vacations are wonderful! Not only do you get to see new places and experience new environments, but you find out just how fast a pace of life you are living. It takes a few days to slow down that pace and actually start to relax. And of course the reverse is true in returning home.

That is why I think the topic this month should be on the slow and low process of glass fusing. So many times we are in a hurry to see our final product, that we don’t slow down and take all the appropriate steps in making a project that is not only going to last for a very long time, but also come out of the kiln looking like we envisioned the piece.

Before leaving for our trip, I finished up all of my Mother’s Day projects. I have a daughter that expecting next month and these projects had a special meaning for me this year. I know she will enjoy the one that I have selected to give her for this upcoming event.

Reader Question

Hello, I have a small kiln and am curious to know when loading it for glass fusion if you can use a shelf for firing a second plate at the same time.

I can't find anything saying one way or the other.

Thank you, Kathy

Kathy.... To achieve better control over your pieces, you are better off only using 1 shelf...two or more shelves don't achieve the same temperature exposure and therefore fusing is not consistent...


Tips and Tricks

The best way to evenly heat all of the glass is to slow down the rate of getting to a set temperature.

Additions to the Site

05/10/09 – Mother’s Day Projects – An alphabetical listing of the newest projects for Mother’s day. This list will be added to each year with new patterns and designs.

05/18/09 – Crinkled Dichroic – Crinkled dichroic glass has such texture and depth. Read more about this new glass from CBS.

05/19/09 – Cameos – Cameos have been around for a long time. Learn more about this layered glass technique.

05/19/09 – Glass on Heating Element – If you have ever experienced this mishap inside your kiln, there are a few suggestions on fixing this problem.

05/20/09 – Mom Etching on Glass – This design involves a few steps to achieve the etching and fusing of this fabulous piece. An attractive design for mom!

05/20/09 – Flowers for Mom – Want to give some flowers to Mom for Mother’s Day? Well, this is a cute design that will last a lifetime.

05/21/09 – Mom and Child – A design that displays this special union between Mom and child. It can be made out of any desired glass, but I have chosen the new crinkled dichroic for the texture.

05/22/09 – Memorial Day – This United Stated holiday is celebrated at the end of May. There is currently only one pattern, but more will be added each year.

05/23/09 – Memorial Day Poppy – The poppy flower is a remembrance symbol of all the men and women who have fought for out freedom.

05/30/09 – Mother and Child Heart – Joined together to form a heart pattern, this mother and child design is sure to be a favorite.

05/31/09 – Motherhood – A motherhood design where the mother and child are curved together in a solid piece of glass. Simply elegant!

Product Review

Reactive Cloud by Bullseye

Reactive Cloud glass provides a exclusive impression in fused artwork. It has a subtle off-white tint which contains elements that react to the metal content in other colors. This hue creates an intriguing color shift and halos around the contrasting pieces. This product can be found on page 13 of the Bullseye catalog.

The reactive cloud Opal sheets need to be fused with the other copper-bearing glasses, copper leaf or sliver leaf or foil. The reactions can range from subtle to dramatic and are generally in an earthy or rustic color palette. Bullseye is still experimenting with this product and have observed that not all copper-bearing styles develop reactions with these sheets.

Individuals that have used this product have found the results are pretty much exactly what Bullseye shows in the catalog. Have you used this product? What were your results? Please share with the rest of us….thanks!

Thank you for subscribing

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? Have an idea that you would like to share with the others? I would love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think!

See you next month…


Back to Back Issues Page