Kiln carving is another really versatile way to add texture and design to recycled glass artwork. Kiln carving refers to “carving” in the glass that takes place in the kiln during a firing cycle. Kiln carving utilizes fiber paper to make the actual design.
Fiber paper is a refractory material, looks much like paper toweling of felt, and is made from ceramic fiber with an organic sugar binder. This means it will smell funny when the binder burns off, I suggest venting the kiln to the outside if possible.
Fiber paper can be cut into shapes with scissors or with an X-acto knife, then placed under the glass and fused. I like to put the fiber paper in the mold, fire the glass using a full fuse schedule, but with a top temperature of 1485 (top fire) or 1500 (side fire). This gives you enough heat to full fuse, without slumping too far, and gives a nice finish on the edge.
Here are some examples to inspire you:
You can use this technique on other kinds of glass, here is an amber recycled bottle glass bowl with a spiral kiln carved in the back.
Or very complex patterns with many layers:
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