using wire in a microwave kiln
- October 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm #10028bonnie ricondaParticipant
does anyone know about using wire (sterling or gold filled) with glass to be fused in a microwave kiln?
would it melt the wire? will it be a problem with sparking in the micrcowaver, or will the kiln prevent that?October 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm #13073AnonymousInactiveOctober 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm #13074beckelleyParticipant
I am just getting started with fusing and want to know if microwaves work well instead of investing in expensive kilns?
Thanks.October 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm #13075AnonymousInactive
Microwave kilns allow you to fuse small amounts of glass into round blobs – that’s pretty much it. They offer no temperature control – which is critical to any fusing bigger than a small pendant or where you want to control the final look.
They are not a substitute for a real kiln with a controller.
Helios Kiln Glass Studio
PaulTarlow.comFebruary 25, 2014 at 6:47 pm #13076katkramerParticipant
I own both a microwave kiln, a couple of smaller jewelry kilns, and a larger kiln. My response is based on that.
I got the microwave kiln thinking it would be cool for making jewelry, but the lack of control is an issue. I’ve tried to fire dichroic glass in it, but one of the problems is that if dichro gets too hot, it disintegrates into a grayish haze in your glass. But with no control, it’s hit or miss.
It’s GREAT FUN for having relatives’ kids over during the holiday season…you can give the munchkins a few pieces of glass, fire them in the microwave, and they have something to take home.
I currently use mine for firing small “nuggets” from frit…it does it quickly.
However, if you want to do fused glass jewelry, or even have ambitions of selling jewelry, invest in a small kiln. There are small kilns that are great for fusing that start under $400. It seems like a lot when you’re starting out, but you can do a lot with it. I bought my first small 9″ kiln for annealing beads, but later realized with the computer controller that I could fused glass. I’ve also used it for Precious Metal Clay and enameling. The 9″ kiln was perfect…I could fuse four nightlights in it, an 8″ square dish, or a batch of jewelry. I think I paid around $650 for that one.
If you use the microwave kiln as a stepping stone, it’s fine. But a microwave kiln kit is around $100…and that’s $100 you could put towards the real thing.
Also, the smaller kilns can be plugged into most regular outlets…
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