Bringing Home Your New Kiln

Many artists assume they need to rent a dedicated space to work on kiln-glass projects. But you can accomplish a lot in a home studio with just a kiln, a table or bench, and some basic tools.

In this Bullseye Glass short 4-part video lesson, they set up a home studio around a Paragon Fiber Fuse-16, a compact top-loading kiln used in many home studios. Plus, they cover basics like tools, furniture, and other equipment; where to place your kiln; and how to prepare for your first firing.

Additionally, safety in your new studio is always important!  Here are some things to consider:

  • Good housekeeping and common sense go a long way toward ensuring safety in the kiln forming studio. Ventilate your studio well, keep dust to a minimum, and confine hazardous materials to a limited area. 
  • Avoid eating and drinking in the studio. Toxins and dust are easily ingested when you handle food and kiln-working materials in the same space. 
  • Wash your hands upon leaving the studio. If you can’t change clothes, wear a smock or apron while you work. To avoid tracking dust and toxins to other locations, consider dedicating a pair of shoes to studio use only. 
  • Thoroughly read the manual and other information provided by the manufacturer. 
  • Operate your kiln in a well-ventilated area. Full-fuse firings of glass on primed shelves will not release fumes, but firings that involve fibers, enamels, glazes, and other materials can. 
  • Avoid burns by wearing protective clothing. Use heatresistant gloves whenever opening a hot kiln. 
  • Always turn off the power before reaching into a hot kiln (for example, during glass combing or other manual forming). 
  • Protect your eyes. Looking into a hot kiln for prolonged periods of time exposes your eyes to potentially damaging infrared light. Excessive exposure can cause cataracts. Wear safety glasses with protective ANSI shade 1.7 lenses. Didymium glasses used for flameworking DO NOT provide protection from infrared light.
Want more on specific hazards, check out Bullseye Safety in the Kiln-Glass Studio!

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