February 2014 brought an additional aspect to my world of creativity. The kiln that I have is an *annealing (see definition at bottom of this post) kiln for beads and also can be used for fusing. I had been a bit nervous about fusing for a few reasons. 1 – I had to learn how to program the kiln which I anticipated would be difficult. 2 – I would need to buy fusing glass and tools (both different from that used in lampworking). 3 – Fusing temperatures for the kiln get into the 1400-1550 degree range! However, I definitely enjoyed the fusing classes I had taken back in July and October so wanted to give it a try.
Note of reflection: I have noticed that throughout this glass adventure I tend to resist adding something new to what I’m already doing. I’m not exactly sure why this is since all of these new things I am actually excited about trying. Maybe I will get more insight into this puzzling resistance as time goes on. Anyway, it was a piece of cake to program the kiln, not a big deal to buy a few pieces of fused glass for practice, and the heat of the kiln was just initial fear of the unknown. Here are some initial fused pieces I created.
I quickly bought more glass and wanted to make more – so I did 🙂 (pendants & earrings)
*annealing = a process of slowly cooling glass in a temperature-controlled kiln to relieve internal stresses after it was formed. If glass is not annealed it is liable to crack or shatter when subjected to a relatively small temperature change or mechanical shock and it’s overall strength is significantly decreased. Annealing glass is critical to its durability.