View Full Version : do i need a kiln?

09-13-2003, 04:11 PM
hi i had another quick question for anyone who might be able to help...i have been using a fiber glass blanket to cool my beads that i have been making with my hot head torch. i was wondering if i use boro glass and do a little bit larger work, perhaps tubing, am i going to need a kiln to cool the glass or will it break?
thanks in advance again :D

09-13-2003, 06:04 PM
Yes you need a kiln...

Technically you do not use a kiln to cool glass, you use it to anneal glass. In other words you use kiln to heat glass to the "strain point" where glass molecules can slide around inside glass pieces and the internal stresses are relieved. Then glass is slow cooled as part of the annealing process so one does not introduce more stress (sudden cooling) back into glass object.

Glass objects cooled rapidly (in blanket) are little bombs waiting to go off. It may be a hour or a day or a week maybe a year, maybe even 10 years, but internal stress will some day cause bead to break.

This is why annealing is stresses as part of the bead making process. Do you really want to sell beads or give as gifts knowing that some day they will self destruct.


09-13-2003, 08:19 PM
why would my non boro glass kit come with a fiberglass blanket to keep the beads from breaking then? I mean, to a certain size at least, wont this method work? if not, cheap/used kilns?
thanks for the help! :D

09-13-2003, 08:29 PM
Unless I read your question wrong... a hot head will not melt boro. It is a hard glass and needs allot more heat than a hot head can give you.


09-13-2003, 09:10 PM
sorry to clearify for you, i was using a hot head, and i just now got a nortel minor burner and was thinking of trying some pyrex
thanks guys...any ideas for kilns or direction to go in?

09-13-2003, 09:19 PM
Hi Skotiey and welcome to WC!

I second everything Dale said. Annealing in a kiln is crucial to all glass beads, soft or hard.

You were given a fiber blanket to help you control the cooling of very small items to give them a better chance at surviving long enough to make it into a kiln to be batch annealed. The people who put your kit together couldn't call it a kit really without giving you some sort of fiber blanket or way to protect your beads.

Once you get your kiln, the fiber blanket is a great liner for in there. I cut mine in half, lined my kiln floor with one half, cut a one inch strip off the other half to help seal my kiln bead door, and the remainder sits on my work surface. I put hot rods and tools on it to keep them from picking up dirt and such from my work table. Works great!

Have fun and I hope you post pictures soon!

edited to add this link:
link to annealing info from Arrow Springs (http://www.arrowsprings.com/html/annealing.html)

09-13-2003, 09:40 PM
I understand boro is less likely to shock compared to soft glass, and thus crack due to shocking. I know of some boro folks who batch anneal their stuff...so you'd need a kiln for annealing and selling, but not necessarily for working the glass.


Melinda Melanson
09-13-2003, 10:00 PM
There is a ton of info about annealing in the search feature. Just put the word "anneal" or "annealing" in the search and you'll get a ton of info.

I believe it is a general standard that all beads be annealed if they will be given away or sold. Yes, there are a few lampwork artist who do not feel that small beads need to be annealed, but I believe the majority of artists feel annealing is essential for all beads, regardless of size. If we draw the line at beads smaller than 10mm then over time that line gets pushed to 11mm and then 12mm and so on. And before you know it, "Oh, what the heck, this bead is only 13mm, it will be fine..."

Why take the risk? anneal them all.