Posted on Leave a comment

How to Program a Kiln

Knowledge – Confidence – Inspiration

The idea of programing your own kiln can be frightening, intimidating and possibly the reason you haven’t fired up your new baby yet. I’m here to help you move past your crippling fears. Let me guide you to the empowering realm of control where you’ll enjoy the thrills of blissful creativity. It’s a magical place where time stands still for you and dichroic unicorns do exist.   

To start, what type of kiln are you using?

Glass kilns come in many shapes and sizes handmade by skilled manufacturers.

But first you have to understand the foundation of glass fusing programs.

A firing guide is a step-by-step schedule to fire glass of a certain size and thickness to achieve a specific result. Firing guides are carried out in steps called segments. Larger, thicker projects have more conservative firing guides with more segments. The rate per hour indicates how quickly the kiln should change temperature in an hour. Temperature is the target temperature the kiln will be taken to for a specific purpose. The hold time indicates how long the kiln will remain at a certain temperature to achieve the desired results.

Kiln controllers.

Note. Not all kiln controllers work the same. This is intended to simplify the overall theory for you. It’s best to refer to your kiln manufacturer’s owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to operate your kiln.

When programing a kiln you’ll enter several pieces of information in order to write a program. Controllers can hold and retain several programs. Therefore, the first number the kiln will request is the program number. Then it will request the number of segments you want to use. It will then ask for the rate, the temperature increase you want per hour. Next it will request the hold time, how long you want the kiln to stay at that temperature to achieve the desired results.

If you have entered more than one segment you repeat the above steps for every segment in your program.   

The great thing about having a controller is it retains your information to use again in the future. In my studio, I have several kilns of varying sizes. To avoid confusion and mistakes, I hang a list of the programs in each kiln next to the kiln. Then when I fire glass, I can quickly find the appropriate program and access it with confidence.

To help clarify the kiln programing process and steps I’ve included my three most common programs here.

Make no mistake, you’re brave to enter the creative and mysterious world of glass fusing. Therefore, I know you have what it takes to program your own kiln. You got this!

Wherever you are in your journey you’re doing great! Keep learning. Keep sharing. Keep creating beautiful pieces of art.

Happy Fusing!


Follow my blog for weekly inspiration sent to your inbox! 

For new videos Subscribe to my Premium Video Subscription Membership!

Fusing for the Adventurous Webinar

March 9, 2023

Get ready to push boundaries, challenge old ideas and enjoy the thrill of limitless possibilities. Join glass me in this comprehensive hands-on webinar, and learn how easy it is to use tried and true methods in unlikely, innovative ways!

With 4 major projects and a few bonus pieces, you’ll get more than you bargained for!

Radiant Ribbons combines dichroic glass and patterned rods into three wavy sections that create beautiful wall art, a dazzling focal point for any living space.

Leaves involves cutting and layering glass surrounded by bits of dichro. Depth is produced by having all of the component parts “floating” in frit and edged in solid color to construct a scene reminiscent of a shadow box.

Fun with Rods gives you the opportunity to fabricate a light and airy project with curvy slumped colored rods.

Plus, you’ll have the fun of kiln casting with murrini creating Hearts on Fire.

All of these techniques will produce dramatic results in your art, and take your work to an exciting new level of sophistication. Beginning and advanced fusers alike will find inspiration, motivation, and a renewed sense of artistic freedom by combining the ideas presented in this webinar.

 And of course you’ll be provided with my custom firing guides.

Armed with your newfound skills, you’ll be incorporating these techniques into your work in no time, while expanding your creative visions. You’ll gain the cool confidence to turn your glass visions into reality. Don’t miss this great opportunity to take your work and inspiration to greater heights!

Tell them how you really feel with sassy mugs, Eco-totes and bold T-shirts!

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

Leave a Reply