Trying the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln

20170727 222024686914603

With my full-size kilns put away for a bit while rooms are being remodeled, I thought I’d finally try the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln.

I remember asking my local stained glass shop about this a few years ago and they deterred me from getting it.  If you’re a real glass artist, this probably isn’t for you.  If you’re a crafter or just think the idea is cool, then you’ll probably get some fun out this.

The kit comes with all the basic supplies you’ll need to get started:  The kiln (duh), gloves for handling a potentially hot kiln, glass cutter, kiln paper and some glass products to fuse.

I’ve worked in glass for many, many years.  I actually used to work at a glass studio and taught some classes, so I’m very familiar with these items.  I generally use higher quality items (a full kiln, a top-notch glass cutter, thicker gloves, etc) but the glass is pretty standard.

One thing that annoyed me was the instructions kept showing tools you don’t get with the kit.  For instance, Figure 5, shows ‘running pliers’ which you don’t get.  These pliers are pretty essential to cutting curves in the glass.  So this kit will pretty much limit you to straight cuts unless you want to get some running pliers as well.  Considering that the items you’ll make with this kit are very small, you won’t likely be making many curved pieces.

I cut some glass, slapped down some glass confetti and some millefiori and piled it all onto a piece of kiln paper.

I then closed up the kiln, placed it in my 1800W Microwave (you can use anything, the amount of time will change depending on your microwave) for 3 minutes.  Using my gloves, I peeked into the kiln and saw everything looked fine, so I let it sit for 30 minutes to cool off.

And there you have it, my glob of melted glass products.

Overall, this was pretty quick and fun.  I plan on playing with some of my ceramic supplies in it.  Some ceramic underglazes and liners can be used with glass, so I may do some mini paintings or something.

Christmas is upon us

fused shirts

Christmas is quickly approaching and I’ve somehow managed to get roped into another project.  This time, I have to admit, I did it to myself.  They said they wanted to turn old children’s sports jerseys into a blanket and I couldn’t let them do it because I was sure they’d screw it up or just not finish it.  So I offered even though I’ve never done it either, but I’ve quilted enough blankets and seen enough videos to get going on it pretty confidently.


I started by chopping up all the shirts into halves and then began fusing each half to the stabilizer.  At the moment, I am currently cutting down each half to the largest size I can get out of it so I can figure out how much I have to work with.   Which also means I haven’t actually designed the twin sized blanket yet…  *sigh*

But, since this is my first jersey/shirt blanket, I thought I’d share a few things while I’m cutting away.

  • The fusing is quite tedious and takes a long time.  This may not be a surprise to you but I usually don’t fuse the whole top of a blanket.  It will take you a night or two alone – make sure to put on a movie or two to keep you from getting too bored.
  • This project will likely take more than a bolt of stabilizer to complete.  I had 8 children’s jerseys (16 halves) and I am almost through the whole bolt and I’m not even sure if I have enough jersey for the top of the blanket.
  • You really can’t plan out the blanket until you have all your pieces fused, cut and squared.  Unless of course you are only using the images on the shirt and can measure just those areas.  I will likely have to fill in areas with random materials so I’m using as much jersey as possible.

Cutting all these shirts down will take a while, so I’ll have updates coming.