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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fusing Glass in the Microwave

Yesterday, I took a microwave fusing class from Sylvanye "Sam" Roh, who is quite an artist in her own right. I had bought one of these micro kilns on a whim and totally messed up when I tried it. Even to slightly mar the inside of the kiln by melting glass against it. Doh!

So when I saw the ad for Sam's class, I decided to chance it, and I am so glad I did. It was a blast. Sam
is a delightful and enthusiastic teacher who wants to
share her knowledge. Those are my favorite kind.

I have never been comfortable cutting glass, so Sam showed me her system and I felt good about it. She explained about her firing schedule for microwaves and what to do, (which is where I messed up before) And she gave us all kinds of hints, tips and tricks. So not only did I learn a quick and fun little thing to do, but I found someone who is as passionate about teaching well as I am.

So here's my take on microwave fusing. First of all, I wouldn't use the same microwave as the one that you use for cooking food. We discussed it and Sam is concerned about kiln paper particles getting into food.

I think this is really fun, if it's just a once in a while type thing to do for an afternoon. With the microkiln that Sam sells, you can fit up to seven 1" pendants. But I would recommend buying it from someone who really knows how to use them and gives out the full necessary information with the kiln including the safety information. Sam suggests wearing a mask. And be warned, the new kilns have an odor for the first few firings. And although Sam says the glass is annealed at the end of the cycle, if you follow her directions, I'm still a little concerned. I plan to batch anneal my creations after they're done.

So now I'm in business. I'm going to have fun dinking around with this and messing with little designs. I'm still sticking to lampwork, but at least I know how to use this funny little invention and have made a new friend.