15 April 2018

Ready. Set. Fire with Shelf Paper!

We all know that glass will fuse to an unprotected ceramic kiln shelf. And, nothing is worse than opening up the kiln to find that your project is stuck. Kiln wash or shelf primer will work but, as an alternative, you can also use shelf paper. Shelf paper is a heat-resistant light weight ceramic-based paper that provides excellent separation between your kiln shelf and your glass. It's easy and has some great benefits!

Reduces Prep Time - No need to mix or stir the primer, buy or clean an applicator brush. No need to wait for the fusing primer to dry between shelf coatings. Just cut to shelf size, place on the shelf, insert into the kiln and start firing!

Achieves Exceptional Separation - A single layer of paper will prevent glass from sticking to the shelf at full fusing temperatures.

Reduces Breakage - When shelf primer is applied unevenly, glass may stick to bare or unevenly coated areas during expansion. When this happens, glass can pull apart and break. Shelf paper ensures an even coat between the glass and kiln.

Reduces Air Bubbles - Shelf paper is porous, allowing air to circulate. This reduces the probability of air bubbles from forming between the glass and kiln shelf.

Now that we understand the advantages of shelf paper, let's look at your two options:

Bullseye ThinFire Shelf Paper provides excellent separation between glass and kiln shelf in firing applications up to 1600˚F (871˚C).  Compared to other ceramic fiber materials, ThinFire is lightweight, creates less binder burnout odor, and produces a glossier finish on the shelf side of your project. Bullseye ThinFire Shelf Paper is a single-use material that is reduced to a fine layer of ash after firing. For best results, download the Bullseye ThinFire Shelf Paper PDF.

PAPYROS Shelf Paper is a ceramic-based paper specially formulated for glass fusing. It is quite durable, and can be used multiple times as tends to retain its paper-like qualities during firing, rather than decomposing into loose dust. This is a great quality as is allows for fast and easy clean up. PAPYROS is available in a wide variety of sizes including rolls, pre-cut rounds and sheets making it super user friendly! For best results, download the PAPYROS PDF.

Whichever you chose, they both provide an excellent substitute to shelf primer or kiln wash, reduce preparation time and improve surface release. Happy fusing!

08 April 2018

New Vitrigraph Kiln from Paragon

We have been in Vegas at the Glass Craft Expo all week and one of the most exciting things we found was the introduction of the new Vitrigraph 1 kiln from Paragon. It's really innovative and, we think you are going to fall in love... just like we did!

Let's start with the size... it's big! This kiln is 12" wide with a depth of 11.5, making it the biggest true vitrigraph available. Think about how happy you will be using a bigger pot!

Power... Since it's based on the Home Artist kiln, it is 120v and only 15 amps so, it will plug into a household outlet!

Design... Made with ceramic fiber firing chamber, this kiln is super fast! It also has a removable bottom for easy replacement.

Stand... It's included! At 31¼" high, it's the perfect height for vitrigraph!

Anyone else ready to start playing with some hot glass?

30 March 2018

What is the biggest kiln available on household current?

The number one piece of advise we give to someone looking to purchase their first kiln is... "purchase the biggest one you can afford".  We say this, not because we are greedy but, because we all know that once you start... it's impossible stop! The creative juices start flowing and you just want more, more, more!!!  

The number one question we get in return is... "What is the biggest kiln I can run on 120v household current?"  That is a great question because the answer is not that easy.

Before we get to the list, it's important to talk about power and performance. To provide the performance it was designed to give, a kiln must have the proper outlet and matching breaker to supply adequate voltage and amperage. An incorrect connection may cause disappointing or even hazardous results.

Smaller kilns (under 13”) typically run on household 120 volt, 13 amp household current. This will allow the owner to plug the kiln into just about any plug in the house. Most standard household breakers are 15-20 amps, so a 13 amp draw on that breaker will not overtax or “blow” the breaker.

When the firing chamber increases in size, the amperage required to heat the chamber will increase to 15-17 amps. These higher amperage requirements will dictate the need to install a dedicated circuit of 20 amps to be installed. This new circuit will be dedicated specifically to the kiln, and will not have anything else attached to it that will draw power.

Most homes in the U.S. are wired with a combination of 15-amp and 20-amp, 120-volt circuits. Because 15-amp receptacles (5-15R) can be used with 20-amp circuits, most of the receptacles you see in homes are the standard 15-amp variety, with two slots and a U-shaped grounding hole. 

Twenty-amp receptacles (5-20R) have a horizontal slot branching off one of the vertical slots. Plugs designated as 20 amp will not fit into 15-amp outlets. If you have questions, we always recommend talking to a licensed electrician.

Now that we got through all the technical talk, here is the full list of all 120v kilns: 

5-20R KILNS 

24 March 2018

Wheels up!

Did you know that all Paragon 7, 8, 10, and 12-sided top-loading ceramic and glass kilns now include a Deluxe Rolling Stand!  That means you can have wheels at no extra charge!

The new Deluxe Rolling Stands have locking casters, a mounting bracket for the Orton Kiln Vent, and a greenware/mold drying rack. We love the convenience of effortlessly moving the kiln out of the way when not in use.

The ceramic kiln stands are 12” high, and the glass kiln stands are 18” high. The Ovation oval kilns will receive two stands per kiln.

The Deluxe Stand replaces the discontinued standard kiln stand which had four legs, four horizontal side pieces across the top, and plastic feet. The new stand are easy to assemble and have two side frames, two shelves, and four locking casters.

17 March 2018

Think your glass art can handle a little more heat?

Last week, we talked about colors and how they relate to emotion... now, let's look at an easy way to add color to your glass!

Fuse Master Easy Fire High-Temperature Enamels are an exciting collection of bright colors that are easy to fire and provide an alternative to traditional sheet glass. As they don't require special venting to get rich strong colors, you can just pop them in the kiln and go!

Easy Fire Enamels are a very finely ground powder... it's actually 300 mesh which is much finer than powdered frit and most other enamels. It can easily be brushed, silkscreen printed, stippled or airbrushed onto a base glass. They are lead-free and are compatible with Bullseye, 90 COE, 96 COE and float glass. Most importantly, they are able to withstand temperatures up to 1650F so, they can be used for full fuse firings, glass blowing and lamp working without burning out!

Check out the amazing pieces that Gail made using Easy Fire Enamels!