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Kiln Carving Recycled Glass with Fiber Paper

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.

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North Rose Wolcott High School, Student Work

Last January I had the pleasure of talking with Howard Skinner, the art teacher at North Rose Wolcott High School about the possibility of his students working with recycled glass. What a fabulous surprise to get photo’s of the projects. These students are doing some seriously cool glasswork.

From an artist’s point of view, this is really about the best thing that can happen. If my work and knowledge can inspire kids to branch out and explore, then I’m doing my job right! (of course, having an expert like Howard as your teacher helps too…)

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