- December 31, 2010 at 6:12 pm #9530
I am relatively new to fusing and new (just joined today) to the forum. Currently I fire my glass pieces at the community center where I took my first fusing class in 2009. I am now ready to purchase my own kiln, but the amount of information is overwhelming. I tried to use the selection tool on this site, but could not figure out how to use it, so I decided to just ask the membership here. I do mostly jewelry – pendants and earrings, but would like to branch into bracelets. I might also like to do small plates and some slumping. I have read pros and cons regarding removable kiln lids and side-versus-top element coils, especially as it applies to making bracelets. (It seems bracelet artists prefer removable lids with side coils??) I am looking at the AIM94J, the Skutt HotStartPro, and the Paragon Fusion 7 (unless someone has another selection to throw into the mix). I know that this site prefers the Paragon, but I’d like to hear about the experience artists here have had who are using (or have used) any of the three kilns I mentioned above. All feedback and comments are immensely helpful. Thanks in advance for your comments!January 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm #11534petra kaiserParticipant
Welcome to the world of glass and have a Happy New Year. The Aim 94J or the Fuse It kiln from us is a wonderful first kiln. I would buy it without a digital controller – since most pieces in this kiln are so small that the firing is very easy. If you get my book “Glass Forming with the Mold Block System you can make many more pieces in those kilns than just Jewelry. It teaches you to fire this kiln manually. This style kiln is nice for bracelets but also for the vitrigraph and for raking (both projects are explained in the “Fuse It book”. On YouTube you will find some videos were we are giving you some information about the books. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a94pFwFNG0E
petraJanuary 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm #11535slaneclarkParticipant
I think the main thing is to get a kiln that fits your budget and your space. You can get bogged down with all the details. I started fusing about 2 years ago and bought a used Kress ceramic kiln 1 year ago (it’s huge) for $250 on CraigsList.com. It took me 1 year to get the house wiring done (had to upgrade our electrical panel for a variety of reasons) and the electronics working. Bottom line is that it does all that I want it to do; it’s been a great learning experience — even the times I really didn’t want to learn! All kilns have their pluses and their minuses and you can find yourself obsessing over the details. I even have a little kiln my dad made 40 years ago that I use for slumping and tack-fusing (my first kiln). I’ve learned a lot from that little dinosaur as well. Good luck and my advice would be to dive in and get started. At some point, the obsession will take over and you’ll be getting an additional kiln as well… You’ll find yourself haunting glass shops for their cast-offs (the window glass/framing people are usually very generous with their scraps), dreaming up ways you can cut down on all the other bills so you can feed the addiction; I could go on and on, but you’ll find out for yourself. Welcome to the warm side! Best Wishes, ShelleyJanuary 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm #11536
I did go and look at your YouTube videos and discovered that I had just ordered your first book – Intoduction to Fused Glass. It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m looking forward to it!
BarbJanuary 3, 2011 at 5:06 pm #11537
I’m starting this endeavor a little “late” in life, so I don’t see myself ever getting more than one kiln…
When you said you haunt glass shops for scraps, are the scraps 96COE? Or are you fusing with different types of glass? Obviously, I have a lot to learn, but I’m very excited to get started with my own kiln.
Thanks for the encouragment!
Barb – Eclectic TreasuresJanuary 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm #11538bookie13ParticipantJanuary 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm #11539petra kaiserParticipantJanuary 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm #11540julboParticipant
I recently started fusing after I retired. I bought a small kiln with manual controls, which I really like because it has helped me learn more about monitoring temps, etc. But, I will probably buy a larger kiln in the future to expand my possibilities.
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