My beautiful Kingpin kiln firing over 1000 degrees F

As I mentioned briefly in my article ‘design of a lampworking studio‘, I decided not to lampwork in my current studio environment and instead learn the arts of warm glass using my Evenheat Kingpin 88 kiln as the primary heat source. My intention to use my fantastic little kiln for more than just lampwork annealing was always on my mind, but I didn’t think I would be initiated this year!

So, in an extension of my original studio, I now also have a glass cutting workbench with tools for breaking glass, a selection of fusing glass and glass accessories like frit, powders and stringers (this is different COE to my lampwork glass so these are all labeled and stored separately), various kiln papers and fibres, a sickle stone for hand grinding, various tools for coldworking to prepare glass before and after the kiln process, and a book or two [1] holding my hand as I learn!

1. First pieces cut and prepared for the stacking in layers (3 layers of 3mm thick fusing glass are stacked together, along with a piece of fibre robe to create a pendant hole)

The first experiment I did in July this year took place after I had performed the necessary pre-firing for my brand new kiln. I referred to a glass project [2] to create this red pendant and I didn’t worry too much about the glass colours and potential firing outcomes.

Learning to score the glass, use the running pliers to break it, construct the layers to form a pendant and prepare it for the kiln were all overly absorbing for the first-timer!

2. Layers stacked and ready for the kiln

Once the kiln has completed the firing (circa 10 hours including annealing), then the pieces can be removed once the kiln has reached room temperature and the power supply is off. The piece in image #3 was photographed straight after its firing; you can see the fragmented fibre papers that must be very carefully cleaned up (mask, safety glasses and gloves to the ready!). I soak the pieces in water for while before carefully removing any remaining fibres.

3. Piece fired and photo taken straight after it is taken out of the kiln. Next step is coldworking!

The piece can then be coldworked, which may include more filing and polishing.

The kiln firing schedules for Bullseye glass are available from several sources, including the book mentioned above [3], as well as the Bullseye website. The Evenheat Kingpin 88 has plenty of programs to access via its integrated Set Pro programmer and the accompanying Evenheat documentation has very detailed firing schedules for glass thickness, size and firing types (full fuse, slump, tack, etc.).

Another series of glass pieces for firing contained 3 white pieces with 1mm stringers set on top, as shown here:

Cute little glass sushi, with cycling world cup stripes, ready for firing!

Fired little glass sushi, with cycling world cup stripes

The surface of the backs of the glass pieces above are smooth enough to create a cufflet for the wrist, as show below. I intend to rewire these pieces later using 2mm rubber hose and black velcro as memory wire is not quite strong enough for prolonged wear.

Wired up ‘world cup stripes’ glass pieces to create a cufflet

The following firings may look like just a series of pendants and key-rings but they are in fact hosting a myriad of experiments I wished to try out in cutting, gluing, chemical reaction, layering, bubble control, pendant hole sizing, etc.

More little glass sushi ready for kiln firing (comprising of stringer placement, gluing, chemical reactions, colour therapy and sizing experiments)

 

More little glass sushi ready for kiln firing (comprising of stringer and frit placement, gluing, chemical reactions, colour therapy, bubble control, dichroic glass and sizing experiments)

I wired the pendant above (middle centre) as a gift for someone, using 2mm rubber hosing and sterling silver findings including a strong sterling silver magnetic clasp:

Wired glass pendant using rubber and sterling silver… making it as veggie-friendly as possible!

Wired glass pendant – back view (Thinfire Paper is placed on top of the eco fibre paper before firing to create a smoother surface)

More experimental glass sushi! (comprising of Bullseye ‘reactive’ glasses, glass paint, frit placement, stringer placement, gluing, chemical reactions, colour therapy, bubble control and sizing experiments)

Footnotes
  1. Contemporary Fused Glass by Brad Walker
  2. The Glass Artist’s Studio Handbook by Cecilia Cohen
  3. Op. cit., Footnote 1

Originally published: Saturday, November 17th, 2012 at 22:50 in Atelier, Inspiration

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