Student Research – Jennifer Pelkey

Kiln Fused Glass

Glass has always interested me. I love how the light plays through, and how it can be both functional and sculptural. Beading has also been a hobby of mine for a while as well, so to be able to combine both ceramics, glass, and glass beads really excites me. I have spent around $1500 to $2000 in supplies, including the kiln.


This glass kiln is just a smaller version of the electric kilns that we bisque in. There are many types of glass kilns, and many that can fire up to or over cone 10.

First melt test

Here is a fusion test, I took several types of glass that you can find for different types of home decoration. These were fired to 1465 degrees Fahrenheit. Only three small mosaic tiles did not melt during this test, though they did soften around the edges. From upper left, going clockwise we have: two blue marbles, three mosaic tiles; a glass pebble; two clear glass marbles, two colored glass squares; two light blue marbles, and two textured glass pebbles and one clear pebble.


The kiln at top temperature. This is a picture from the window in the kiln.

Yellow fusion test

This is a combination of cut sheet glass, glass beads, and glass pebbles. This is from the firing you see above.

circle fuse

This is a test with opaque sheet glass, translucent sheet glass, and glass beads.

         Cut-scored-web Cut-break-web Circle-cutter-webCircle-cut-web

To cut sheet glass, you have to first score it with an oiled glass cutter. You then use a special pair of pliers to finish the break. Glass wants to break in a straight line, so cutting a curve can be tricky. You have to make sure that you have the middle of the pliers angled so that it follows a line outside of the shape you are cutting out. Otherwise the glass will break straight through the shape. Here in order from left to right you see: a straight line scored; that piece then completely cut using the pliers; the circle cutting rig with the glass scored; and lastly the circle cut out with the pliers used to trim off any small angles that the breaking pliers could not snap. You can also see the difference in the two types of pliers used. The pliers used to snap the glass after it has been scored are shaped so that the bottom has a slight bump in the middle. The top has a split in the middle for ease of alignment, and both top and bottom have a rubber coating as to not mar the glass as you are snapping it. The snipping pliers are used to get pieces off that the snapping pliers cannot. These pieces are typically too small for the snapping pliers to get the right leverage needed.

If you are interested in working with your own kiln fused glass, here are a few of the suppliers I have used to buy the various tools and materials needed:

Kiln and books:

Cutting tools:

Book used: Book

Glass: Can be purchased anywhere home decor is sold. I spent anywhere between $5 to $15 per type of glass.