So, how long has it been since I blogged? Mmmm…….! No doubt anyone that was following me has long given up on me!
Been thinking though and have decided to start again. Maybe just once a week; reckon that’s do-able. The main prompt for the decision has been the start of a new (to me hobby) – glass fusing. It’s been nigh-on impossible to find useful information on the web (or perhaps I’m just not looking in the right places!) and so I thought I could share my learning curve with the blogosphere. Hopefully, someone may be able to steer me in the right direction!
A couple of years ago I bought a day’s tuition for a very good friend for her birthday. We cut dichroic glass and put the pieces together and left them with the tutor to fire in her kiln. Once the
pendants arrived, I was hooked. My family will testify to the hankering! ‘What do you want for Mother’s Day/Birthday/Christmas’ all received the same response – a kiln! Then I did a PMC course with Chris Pate, which made me even more determined to purchase a kiln.
But - not an easy purchase; it costs a little more than a metre or two of fabric and needs
So, first of all – what size? Plan A was to make jewellery, so I didn’t need a large one. Now,
I take after my Dad; if you’re going to take up a new hobby, you read a book (or several) on it. The recommended title was Contemporary Fused Glass by Brad Walker. Whilst barely understanding the content at the time (it is a fab book, though and is often referred to), it did open my eyes to the possibilities. So, I didn’t want to make the mistake of getting one that I would grow out of.
Now, if you didn’t know before, I’ll bet you can guess that these things don’t come cheap. Or easy.
Or even with much information. I quickly established:
1. A kiln for glass is not necessarily the same as one for ceramics
2. They cost less to run than you think
3. Timing and temperature control is everything
4. I didn’t know nearly enough to buy one without help
5. It would be great if the help was relatively local
I checked out ebay and discovered that people do not do their homework when purchasing a ‘bargain’. Some of the kilns I looked at could be purchased new for the price a second hand one was going on ebay. No customer support, either!
So, for me, it came down to a choice of 2 – the Paragon SC2 and the Skutt Hotstart Pro. I
had some really helpful advice from Warm Glass (they must have been really fed up of me by the time I’d finished!) near Bristol and the choice was – Hotstart. So here she is.