making fused glass beads and dichroic cabs

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on Jun 23, 2008 11:58 PM

Hi all, I am just too excited about tomorrows experiment in glass fusing that I wanted to share. I have been drooling over the glass beads and dichroic cabs for sale on the web but can't realistically afford the prices. Well, I belong to a silversmith/lapidary shop in my rv park in tucson and have access to a kiln which is how I have been making my pmc pieces. Now, it seems another fellow member has caught the 'bug' for making glass items and we are going to experiment tomorrow morning. Who knew? That this would lead to a whole nother world of beading???? The ceramic shop teaches how to make beads from clay and so I am going to try that too. I've even gotten the instructor of ceramics curious and she will be dropping by to 'see' if it works. She told me if it does work for us then we will most certainly become a "hot" item in the park. I will let you know what our results will be....ohhh i'm not going to be able to sleep......BeBe of tucsonCool

on Jun 24, 2008 12:14 AM

Ooh, can't wait to hear about it.  A friend of mine used to have an art glass shop, and she gave me a box full of scrap bits of glass and said to do something creative with it.  I also bought some random cut bits of dichroic glass, and would love to learn how to fuse them, but I have no access to a kiln.  I thought of buying a microwave kiln, but haven't been able to find out if they really work or not.  I'd also like to try PMC, but just haven't wanted to fork over the $$$ to get started...




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Posts 40
on Jun 24, 2008 11:40 PM

Hi Jeni.....You are ahead of me having been given scrap glass to play with....... The experiment was a success, although one cab slipped a little and changed shape in the fusing but I thought it was even better as a 'happy accident'.  This is only the first step as we are now 'on fire' pardon the pun.

 Its really relatively easy to get started, you already have the glass scraps. The next step is to save up $ for a good kiln which I am definately going to do. We use the pmc kiln by paragon, the sc-2, which is programable for either pmc or glass fusing. has dropped their prices so that kiln costs $580.00 and includes the kiln shelf and kiln feet. Thats a very good price if you shop around.

If you can locate a stained glass store where you live then they may be able to give you pointers on how to get started and maybe they might even have classes you can take. You said your friend had an art  glass store, did she have a kiln? If she does, maybe you can make arrangements with her to use it or even buy it?

 Pmc3 isn't that expensive if you can find a good source. Mine is the, they have the best prices anywhere and they ship as soon as you place your order so that means you get it fast. Rio grande is another good source but they are more expensive on most of the same items.

I don't know anything about the microwave kiln.....I will look it up on google and see what it is. Who know's, maybe that will be a kiln we would both be able to afford.....but i do know that fusing glass needs to reach a temp of 1460f  for full fuse....BeBe of tucsonCool

on Jun 26, 2008 12:59 AM


I think the microwave kiln would be my starting point as a beginner only because I don't have access to any other kiln at the moment.  I'd like to buy one, but since we're stationed overseas I don't want to buy a 220 volt kiln and then not be able to use in when we get back to the States.  Alas, I have lost contact with the friend who gave me the glass, but I don't think she had a kiln.  My grandmother has a ceramics kiln, and I may have to ask her to hang on to it for me if she quits using it....

I haven't found any art glass or ceramic shops here yet, but the Italians are crazy about glass and mosaics, so I know they're here somewhere.  Once I learn a bit more Italian hopefully I can find out where to go and maybe try to use one.

I'm glad to hear your experiment was a success.  Keep us posted on what else you do.  I'm always interested in learning new things.




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Posts 3,375
SCB1 wrote
on Jun 26, 2008 4:54 AM


When I was stationed in Germany I made ceramics in the hobby shop on base. Have you inquired into the possibility of uing the kiln on base. Or if they don't own thier own at the hobby shop just where they have their ceramics fired. Maybe you can make arrangements with the owner to fire your glass.

Just a thought!!Wink


Happy Beading!!


Small-town USA. 




on Jun 27, 2008 12:14 AM

Alas, the hobby shop here doesn't have a kiln or a ceramics class!  It surprises me since they do at other bases.  Mainly they do quilting, photography and framing here, plus a woodworking shop.  I really do need to offer to teach classes, especially since jobs are a bit hard to come by.  They have a few bead supplies for sale, but it's pretty slim.  I suppose if there was a call for it they might stock I need to get busy and plan something!




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Posts 40
on Jun 27, 2008 2:33 PM

Hey, there you go girl......maybe YOU can get that started there, all you need to do is go to the head of that department and give them your proposal of teaching a class or classes if they would furnish the necessary equipment.

 I used to use the hobby shop in yuma proving grounds and learned alot from the teacher there. They sent her all over the states to learn techniques in ceramics to help her teach her students, all at the bases expense.  Unfortunately I wasn't into the glass fusing at that time or I would have experimented then and been way ahead now.

 Another experiment was completed today but it wasn't so successful. So we need to continue to tweak the firing times and temps to get it to be consistent, but thats half the fun in learning something new........BeBe of tucson  Cool

on Jun 28, 2008 11:36 PM


I had started to write up a proposal, and just haven't finished with it yet.  I also need to get signed up for the local babysitting co-op so I have time without kidlet to actually teach a class! I guess now I'd better get cracking so I can tell you how it goes...I had also thought of getting together with some gals in the squadron and "testing" a class out on them to see how it might work.

Anyway, that has nothing to do w/your experiment, but thanks for the encouragement!  Keep trying, I'm really going to consider getting a microwave kiln just for a cheap starting point.  I lurk on a dichroic glass group on yahoo and enjoy reading their posts, even though I don't always understand what they're on about.  You might look them up for some more specific questions.



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