I*totally* love my Hot Pot microwave kiln. I always end up feeling like a cross between Delia Smith and Professor Brainstorm (showing my age now!) or perhaps.. an alchemist! Mr Mad Cow says I look like a witch with a cauldron - but I think he's just being mean :-)
One of the things I really like is how the colours change in the glass. A few tiny scraps of dichroic glass and a few minutes fusing and an original piece of art is produced!
It's also not completely scientific - every microwave produces slightly different results.
My top tips for using the Hot Pot Kiln are:
- Just enjoy it - experiment - it rarely goes wrong. You may have unexpected results, but not 'wrong' ones!
- Keep a 'firing journal' of firing times and results
- Precut glass shapes - particularly the circles and hearts - mean you will waste less if you are not confident cutting curves. They are more expensive than sheet glass, but remember there is no cutting waste at all.
- Start with small pendants. Leave earrings for a while, unless you like the 'asymetric' style - it's quite difficult to get matching pairs.
- Using a black base with dichroic (see picture) gives a really rich glow
Hot Pot have made two short films about using the microwave kiln and cutting and preparing glass for fusing and also some useful tip sheets - you can access them from the Hot Pot site here