Paragon Kilns Paragon Kilns
a brief introduction to glass or smaller kilns at electrickilns.co.uk or tumblers at electrictumblers.co.uk
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Glass is used to make things such as beads, bottles, electronic components, insulators, jars, light bulbs, mirrors, optical instruments, ornaments, tableware, windows, and vases. Glass is inexpensive and versatile and can be used at a basic level with very little skill.

UK To EU Plug Adapter
Ceramic Block
Corfe Castle In Dorset
Cherry Heaven Shop In Corfe Castle
Ceramic-Fibre Cloth
Bullseye Kiln Paper
CR1 Professional Motor Base
CR2 Professional Motor Base
CR5 Professional Motor Base
Large Rubber Drum 2000gm Open
Digital Pyrometer
Cherry Heaven Digital Alarm-Timer
The Dremel Engraver
The Dremel Engraver In Use
EU Plug
Fire Extinguisher
File Set
File Set
Glare-Resistant Glasses
Heat-Resistant Gloves
Cutters
Flush Cutters
Flat-Nose Pliers
Pointed-Nose Pliers
Bent-Nose Pliers
Round-Nose Pliers
Knife Set
Knife Set
Large Plastic Drum 700gm Closed
Large Rubber Drum 950gm Closed
Large Rubber Drum 950gm Open
MiniDrill
Digital Multimeter
Magnetic Polisher
Magnetic Polisher
Magnetic Polisher
Magnetic Polisher
3M HEPA Dust Mask
Mains Tester Screwdriver
Magnetic Polisher Pins
Magnetic Polisher Pins
Protective Safety Glasses
Ring Guage
Bartlett Sentinel Touch Screen
Small Plastic Drum 700gm Closed
Scriber
Shot: Balls And Planetoids
Shot: Pins And Rods
Soldering Iron
Paragon SC2 Shelf Kit
Small Plastic Drum 700gm Closed
Small Rubber Drum 510gm
Stainless Steel Containers
ST4 Professional Motor Base
ST7 Professional Motor Base
ST8 Professional Motor Base
SEtch on Art Clay By Larissa Johnson
SEtch on Polymer By Larissa Johnson
South-West Of England
Rotary Tumbler Kit 1
Rotary Tumbler Kit 2
Rotary Tumbler Kit 3
Rotary Tumbler Kit 3 With Two Drums
Rotary Tumbler Mini With One Drum
Triblets
Ultrasonic Cleaner Kit 1
Ultrasonic Cleaner Kit 1
Ultrasonic Cleaner Kit 1
Ultrasonic Cleaner Example
Cherry Heaven USB Loudspeakers
UK Plug
Vermiculite
Large Rubber Drum With Vanes Open
The AX-4 Digital Controller
MiniKiln Closed
Paragon BlueBird Open
Lauscha by Carrie Fertig
Activated Charcoal Granules
Caldera A Closed
Caldera AB Closed
Fusion CS14D Open
Fusion CS14SB Closed
Caldera XL Closed
FireFly A Closed
Fusion-7 Open
Fusion-CS16D Open
Fusion 8 Open
GL18ADTSD Open
HT-14D Closed
Janus 1613 Open
KM14D Open
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Unassembled
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Suction Cup
Pearl 18 Open
PMT21
Potter & Brumfield Relay
SC-2 Black Open
SC2 Open
SC2B Open
SC4 Closed
Sentry Xpress 4.0
Sentry 2.0
Sentinel
SC-2 Pink Open
SC-2 Turqoise Open
SC-2 Purple Open
The Paragon ST-8 Table
TNF 1613 Closed
GL Table
Xpress Top Row Bricks
USB Plug
Xpress E-12A Open
Xpress E-12AB Closed
Xpress E-14 Closed
Xpress Q-11A Open
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO GLASS
Obsidian

What Is Glass?

The main component of glass is silicon dioxide, often called silica: found naturally and plentifully as sand. When it melts, at around 1700°C, it's like syrup on a cold day. When it cools, it forms a rigid brittle glass called quartz glass.

To lower the melting point, and reduce the cost of melting, chemicals are added: typically sodium carbonate and calcium oxide. Other chemicals, and different heating and cooling processes, produce a range of colours and mechanical properties.

Chemically, glass is defined as an amorphous solid but, as it's heated, it becomes softer allowing it to be blown, cast, coated, decorated, engraved, heat-treated. moulded, poured, pressed, sagged, and slumped.

A form of glass occurs naturally within the mouth of a volcano when the intense heat of an eruption melts sand to form Obsidian, a hard black-to-brown glassy type of stone, shown in the photo. Although it was used decoratively, when it fractures it has very sharp edges, many times sharper than a steel knife-edge, so was also used for tools and weapons, and the pitiful ritual of circumcision.

ANNEALING
Annealed Beads Made Into A Necklace

Annealing.

During annealing, fabrication stresses are relieved as the molecules cool and arrange themselves into a regular stable matrix. Successful annealing is the key to creating glasswork that will remain attractive and durable. It's quite a long process, so a kiln with an automatic comprehensive programmer is essential.

DICHROIC GLASS
Dichroic Glass

Dichroic Glass.

Dichroic glass has two different colours: a transmitted colour and a reflective colour, both of which change depending on the angle of view. For example blue-red will be blue in transmission and red in reflection.

During manufacture, quartz and metal oxides are vapourised onto the surface of the glass using a vacuum deposition process, forming a multi-layer crystal structure.

FIRE POLISHING
Fire Polished Glass

Fire Polishing.

To fire polish glass, return the items to the kiln and melt them just enough to give a smooth polished appearance. It needs a temperature of around 700°C, and is typically used to round the edges of glass between fusing and slumping.

Fire polishing already-slumped items is more difficult because the polishing temperature is close to the slumping temperature and it can distort the appearance of the piece. So it generally works best for flat items, rather than slumped ones. It has the slight limitation that the part of the item that touches the kiln shelf won't polish.

FUSING, SAGGING, AND SLUMPING
Fused Glass

Glass Fusing.

If two or more pieces of glass in contact are heated, they begin to soften and fuse together. With careful heating and cooling, the separate pieces of glass become one.

If glass is put on a mould and heated, it begins to soften and collapse, or sag, onto the mould: a common technique for making bowls and plates.

Sagging and slumping are often thought of as being the same. Correctly: during sagging, heated glass, supported at its edges, sags down in the middle to conform to a mould; during slumping, heated glass, supported at its middle, slumps down at its edges to conform to a mould.

SLUMPING BOTTLES
Slumped Bottle

Glass Slumping.

This a simple technique but it requires good ideas. A bottle, such as those used for wine, beer, cola, or champagne, is softened in a kiln so that it begins to flatten out or conforms to a mould. There are too many moulds to stock here but there are lots available on line. Or make your own from clay.

The bottles nead to be clean and dry, with all paper labels and tops removed. Put them in your kiln on a shelf, either with shelf paper or kiln wash to prevent the glass sticking to the shelf. Paragon make a kiln designed for this: the Trio. It's wide enough for most bottles but can still use a regular socket.

LAMPWORK AND BEADS
Beads

Lampwork And Beads.

Very briefly, lamp-working is the traditional name for glasswork that uses a flame to melt glass rods and tubes. As the glass softens, it's shaped by turning and using tools.

Early lampworkers used an oil-lamp, and blew air into the flame through a pipe. Later, propane, natural gas, or butane torches replaced the lamp, although kilns are now increasingly popular, particularly for annealing.

Beads are usually made on steel rods, or mandrels. When the beads are finished, the rods are removed leaving holes for threading the beads. Cold working techniques can be used, such as etching, faceting, polishing, and sandblasting.

PÂTE DE VERRE
Pâte De Verre

Pâte De Verre.

Pâte de verre involves making a glass paste, applying it to a mould, firing it, and removing the piece from the mould. The glass paste is usually made from glass powder, a binder such as gum arabic, distilled water, and colouring agents or enamels. It allows precise placing of colours in the mould, whereas other techniques often result in the glass straying from its intended position.

I think, currently, Daum is the only large commercial crystal manufacturer using the pâte de verre process for art glass and crystal sculptures.

TACK FUSING
Tack Fused Glass

Tack Fusing.

Tack fusing is the joining together of glass, with as little change to the shape of the pieces as possible. Tack fusing may be used either decoratively, or to assemble a large piece of glass from laminations.

Where tack fusing is used to apply small decorative details to a larger piece, you might want to partially melt the small pieces so that they change shape, usually becoming more spherical under the influence of surface tension, but without changing the shape of the carrier piece. This can be done by using an increased temperature, but only briefly. The carrier piece has a larger thermal mass, so heats up more slowly than the small decorations.

VITRIGRAPH WORK
Glass Stringers

Vitrigraph.

Vitrigraph uses a Caldera-A kiln to make glass stringers. The bottom of the kiln is unclipped and set aside. The kiln body is put on a thick ceramic square with a central hole. The whole thing is lifted well away from the floor to allow moulten glass to fall through a small hole in a crucible and form long stringers. Ceramic squares are in the on-line shop.

WARM GLASS

Warm Glass.

The term warm glass refers to fusing, slumping, and other glass processes which take place at temperatures between about 600°C to 925°C. Although that doesn't sound warm, it is when you compare it to glassblower's working temperatures, which often exceed 1100°C. The term warm glass is often replaced by kiln forming.


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