Craft Glass Kilns

How to Select a Craft Glass Kiln

Interested in crafting stained-glass jewelry or adornments for dressers or vanities but youre not sure what you need? Investing in a glass kiln is a good first step towards learning a new hobby. These versatile appliances heat up quickly and safely to elevated temperatures to produce handmade pieces in a short amount of time.

What Are Glass Kilns Used For?

A glass kiln is used primarily to fuse glass pieces together, unlike a ceramic kiln, which is used solely for ceramics or pottery. This process, called firing, occurs when the temperature inside the kiln is high, causing glass fusion to occur. These types of devices can be used for a multitude of craft and hobby designs, making them a versatile addition to your arsenal of craft supplies.

  • Use a glass kiln to create jewelry pieces. These can range from charms for pendants to bracelets or rings made of assorted colors of glass. Kilns can slump glass together to create one-layered pieces, and when you slump instead of fuse, you can mold the glass into different shapes.
  • Make household items when you fire glass. These can range from bowls and plates to vases and cups made from slumped or fused glass. You can also use multicolored glass to produce one-of-a-kind pieces.
  • Use a glass kiln to slump wine bottles to make numerous types of crafts, ranging from interesting serving trays to circular jewelry pieces after you cut the glass before fusing. You can also etch initials or designs onto glass bottles to customize them.

How Do You Choose a Kiln?

Selecting the right kiln depends on the items youre planning to create, the amount of space you have available, and what your interests are, whether its bead making, slumping glass to mold, or fusing glass tiles.

  • You can select a kiln by size. For example, there are kilns so small that they can fit into the microwave and designs so large they are meant for crafting oversized items, such as lamps or even furniture. Small kilns work well for little products like accessories, and you can even use a microwave kiln for this purpose if youre creating a low volume of products. The lid seals the heat in from the microwave to melt the glass.
  • You can also choose a kiln by brand. Consider a Paragon kiln model, such as the Paragon Fusion or the QuikFire, while other brands to consider include Caldera and Evenheat.
  • Think about the features of each type of kiln. Some have an electric controller, and updated models work without element pins.

Which Kiln Accessories Are Needed for Crafting?

To get started with firing glass, you will likely need some supplies.

  • Glass pieces, such as square tiles or mosaics (or even beads) are good starting supplies.
  • A cutter lets you create custom crafts like vases or bottles to the size you desire.
  • Gloves are recommended to keep you from burning your hands as you work.