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All tutorials on this site are copyright protected. They are part of a book that I am currently working on and will  publish  in the near future.

In order to keep our tutorials simple for this web site, we have kept the verbiage to a minimum  There is a lot left up to the viewer to discover. We hope you enjoy these and find them useful.


Kaiser Glass Design


Jewelry Fusing Made Easy!!


No we are not going to impart secrets of glass upon you. We are only going to use common sense and experience to try to demystify the fusing of smaller pieces. We recently attended a Silver Metal Clay conference and asked people there if they fused glass. Many said they didn’t because the fusing schedules were too complicated with ramp speeds and annealing times.

Well I am here to tell you that, for jewelry,  fusing is easy!!! Slow ramps and loooong anneals are made for larger pieces. When you get down to 2x2 inches (5x5cm)  or smaller you can almost (not quite) ignore them..

The full schedule


We break our fusing of small pieces up into 3 parts. First we determine the overall type of fuse we want to do. Second we determine the ramp type. Third, we anneal. Put these three together and you have a simple schedule.


1)Types of Fusing


We break our jewelry fusing into 3 types (a fourth, Glass Clay, is not covered here).

1)Tack Fuse (also for fusing  glass paint or mica)- Just getting the glass to stick together. Top temperature- 1400°F hold 12 minutes

2) Full Fuse- A fuse where the glass completely fuses and forms a stable cabachon. Top temperature-1500°F hold 12 minutes

3) Medium Full Fuse- A fuse that can be used on thinner pieces (less than 6mm) to form a  gentle curve on the edge (used on the last fuse after cold working). Top temperature 1460°F hold 12 minutes

See the comments below on the effects of kiln type.


2)Ramping


In addition to each of these, we add 4 types of  “ramping”

1) Bubble Squeeze ramp- 2 or more pieces fused together (on first fuse only)

   AFAP to 1050 .hold 10 minutes

   100dph to 1250 hold 10 minutes

   AFAP to Fuse temperature (see above)

2) Stabilized ramp  When fusing in a subsequent firing,  this gets the glass heated through.

   AFAP to 1250  hold 15 minutes

   AFAP to Fuse Temperature

3) Surface ramp. This is where we have a surface decoration such as paint or mica that is to be  fused on to the glass.

    AFAP to fuse temperature


3)Annealing and Cooling


This is the same for all fusing of small pieces. Once the kiln has finished its fuse, crash the kiln to 900°F and close the kiln (a second crash to 900°F can be used if the temperature rebounds over 1050°F).

Wait until kiln is at 300°F (we open at 500!)and open it. This is a place where you may have problems. If the air current in the room blows into the kiln you may crack a piece. We have a top loading kiln with no air vents near the kiln and have never had a piece crack in the kiln.




Effects of Kiln Type


The largest variable in the fusing schedule is caused by the type of kiln. You need to change the top temperature based on the type of kiln that you have. This can be quickly learned by experience with your kiln.


Larger kilns heat up slower and the top temperature may be lower than smaller kiln (more heat work into the glass during ramp). Most of our jewelry is made in an 8x8x6 brick, top loading kiln. The fuse temperatures above are the ones we use. We  also fuse with a 15x15x6 brick top loading kiln and the final fuse temperatures (in each of the 3 types) are 15° lower.

We also find that kilns with top elements fuse a little lower (in temperature) than side firing kilns.


Is this difficult?  NO


Are the pieces going to be ruined if my temperature is off by 10 to 20 degrees?  NO


If I screw up will I ruin my kiln?   No!


Example


Example: You want to tack fuse 2 pieces of glass , one of which is decorated with paint.

1)Tack fuse (want the pieces together and the paint to fuse on)

2)Bubble squeeze  (two pieces of glass)

3) anneal

AFAP to 1050 hold 10 minutes

100 dph (degrees per hour) to 1250 hold 10 minutes

AFAP to 1400 hold 12 minutes

Crash to 900 and close kiln until temperature is 300.

Done:


Disclaimer


Are these schedules good for every firing? No they are not. But they are good for 90% of what we fuse. Experience will teach you the rest.


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