Setting Up the Glass

The setup for our project is includes a lot of clear glass and some strategically placed transparent colors.  One of the best parts about kiln-pressed glass is that transparent colors that often seem too dark to be useful in typical fused glass projects dilute to wonderful hues in kiln pressed glass.

 Glass Setup

When stacking your pieces of glass, make sure that there are three or more equal high points.  This ensures that the top kiln shelf is level when placed on the glass.

Although not required, the base piece of glass makes it easy to build your piece and move to the kiln.  It will also help you to achieve the smoothest possible surface after firing.  In this example, the base is about 6 inches across.

Place your setup on a freshly primed (kiln washed) shelf as shown:

 Glass on Shelf

Note the fiber paper strips that have been placed near the edge of the shelf.  The height of the fiber paper (once fired) will determine the thickness of your final piece.

We are now ready for the top shelf and weights.


thank you

Hi Paul,

this is incredibly good and I don't thing anybody else has done this before. You would think that everybody has two clay shelves around and I'm sure everyone but me. I would have never thought that the day would come were I need two Embarassed. Thank you so much for sharing, have a wonderful Christmas.


petra kaiser - - NEW Blog:

Beautiful effect

Great idea and as always, great direction too Paul. Very cool idea...thanks for sharing.

Thanks, Scandia

Excited to try this project!

This looks like a nice way to use up some of my scrap! I have some Bullseye Transparents that are pretty dark and hard to incorporate into other pieces, so I'm going to try this!

I started with a 9" round clear base. I added striker red, purple, yellow and green. I was really careful to have clear between each color so I don't get unwanted reactions.

I didnt have as much kiln furniture to weigh it down-13" shelf 1/2 in thick. 4 small bricks, 4 dams, some extra posts. I think it should work well enough. I used 2 layers of 1/8 fiber...I was going to use only 1 layer but I chickened out--I was afraid it would be too thin, and would spread out more than I wanted.  I assumed that the weight of the kiln furniture would squish the 2 layers down to the layer of a single sheet of standard glass anyway.

I used the same firing schedule as recommended...I guess I won't know the final results until tomorrow!  Crossing my fingers!  I took pictures of the set-up and will take pics of the finished blank, then the final slumped piece.

One more thing ...

Be sure to place the lower shelf DIRECTLY on the kiln floor.  I normally put 1/2" spacers under the kiln shelf, and I left them there for this project.  Unfortunately, after adding the glass, the top kiln shelf, and the weights, and using the recommended firing schedule, the lower shelf cracked.  Fortunately, the floor of the kiln was kilnwashed, so there was no damage.

kiln shelf on floor

Putting a kiln shelf directly on the floor is not appropriate for glass fusing - you need to have the air circulating under the shelf to ensure even heating and cooling of your glass - it won't anneal properly if the shelf is on the floor.  Use additional posts or other supports to accomodate the additional weight.


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In certain cases you can

In certain cases you can place it directly on the kiln floor. This glass will be so thin that it should not harm it. If you use Kaiser Lee Board you can also place the shelf on the kiln floor. I think they want it on the floor since they are putting so much weight on it with all the kilnfurniture needed for the press.

It is a fun project.




petra kaiser -

Spacers for kiln pressed glass

I made myself some thin clay bisque "pads" to use as spacers instead of fiber. I made sets of several heights and marked each set with undergalze pencil to indicate height. This makes sure that your glass is even thickness and you don't mix pads of different heights. LAB

pressed glass

Any suggestions for stacking several pressed pieces in same kiln?

Several presses in same kiln firing


I'm thinking the same thing and would be interested to hear if anyone has done this yet.

Just ordered another, larger kiln shelf and more bricks. Soon as they arrive I'm forging ahead.

I hope to post results...


firing multiple pressings at the same time

I have since done many loads of pressed glass with more than one pressing in the load, usually 3 or 4.  I have a 23/27 pottery kiln with a Bartlett V6 controller and set the controller at normal settings for 1 pressing.  The iffy part is how to load it all without too much weight on any level.  I wanted to hear from a professional person how to best do it.  I have not heard from anyone else.  So maybe I am now that professional?

I start on the bottom of the kiln with the smallest shelves and work my way up using larger shelves as I go up.  That way there is room on the bottom of the kiln for posts so that no layer is resting on a lower layer, giving it too much weight.   If I am doing some very small pressings, it is possible to do 2 together--like club sandwich.  I have taught 2 groups to do this.  I am having good results most of the time, but this is a tedious process.  I am doing at least 2 to 3 pressing per piece and then they often need a devit or fuse to regain some shine.  I love doing it, but is all the work worth it?  How are you doing it??

firing multiple pressing at the same time

Fusefooey: thanks for the response.  You may well be the seasoned pro.

Kudos on your brilliant stacking engineering!  I have an Olympic glass kiln: 20"x20"x9"deep clamshell. I hadn't considered "club sandwiching"  since most of the depth is needed for the addt'l weights but now I'm wondering...

My diabolical plan was to start with 2 presses on the same kiln shelf, plan for the correct sizes using the pot drop calculator (so they don't flow together), close the lid and, in the fashion of Dr. Evil, just assume everything will go to plan  :-)

Seriously, the bottom shelf is 18". The one I have on order is 16". I also already have an 8" and a 12".  I was toying with the idea of stacking the glass, placing the primed 16" shelf on top then proceeding to evenly distribute addt'l weight across that larger shelf. My only other concern is wondering if the pressure would break the bottom shelf.  That'd be a disaster.

I always use  2 half

I always use  2 half shelves to protect the kiln floor.  I place extra 1/2 inch supports under the bottom shelves to help even out  the weight.  I use 16 inch square shelves for my larger pressed glass, but the posts to support it must be placed towards the center somewhat, not along the edge as is normally done or the extra weight above might crack the shelf.  I learned that the hard way.  So, my smaller pressing go on smaller shelves and each layer up is a slightly larger size.  That way there is room for all the posts to rest on the bottom kiln shelf not the kiln floor.  It is a tricky business and needs some planning.  With the club sandwich method you have to gamble that the bottom layer won't be too thin.  It is all a gamble anyway, right?  The thing is needing to conserve on electricity, so we try to jam too much into a load.  Be nice to have more kilns and unlimited resources!

multiple presses in a single firing

I know, right?!  I also have a Jen-Ken fiber kiln (which I LOVE but certainly would NOT use for presses, but) somehow there are never enough.  Now I want a front loading Paragon. I figure I'd represent all the quality brands that way :-)

Thanks for the information.  I've enjoyed our conversations.  I'll be sure to check back.

Happy 4th!


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