Using a microwave kiln for your art projects is a big and important step that needs preparation and proper training.
There are differences between a microwave kiln and a conventional kiln. In the conventional kiln the material is heated from the outside. The microwave firing can be shorten the firing time as the material itself generates the heat by microwaves and there is no energy waste in traveling from the outside.
The surface temperature might lower the inside temperature in microwave firing, but the special materials (self-consistent isothermal barrier) keep the microwave energy and heat inside- thus the temperature rises fast in a kiln. This makes the glass easier to fire, much more evenly internally and externally.
When using a microwave kiln it’s important to play by the rules of safety, first of all!
You need to wear clear safety glasses when you visually check the glass in your hot kiln as it’s possible for glass to break apart during the firing and cooling.
When you lift the top to check the hot glass, keep in mind to stay at arm’s length from the kiln.
As tempted you might be, try to only fire glass in the kiln and not ceramics, metal or precious stones- they may explode giving the high speed of heating.
Even with glass you have to be cautious as only fusing-compatible glass (you can find it in art glass suppliers) may be used in the kiln.
While removing the hot kiln from the microwave oven, wear heat-protective gloves and hold the kiln top and the base with both hands. Do this the minute the firing is done and don’t let the kiln to cool inside the microwave.
Use a heat-proof surface to place the hot kiln once you took it out from the microwave-never ever let the hot kiln under an overhead cabinet and keep it 8” away from any combustible area.
Avoid over-firing the kiln as the warranty doesn’t cover this. It’s better to under-fire and then gradually increase the firing time, if you’re not sure about the firing time. All microwaves ovens fire differently and the firing time varies as a kiln that is still warm takes less time to fire than a cold kiln. Fluctuation in voltage can determine also the firing time, but usually it takes at least 5 minutes for firing time.
Once you removed the kiln from the microwave, let it cool for 45 minutes. When you open it, lay the kiln top upside-down on a heat-proof surface. You might hear some plinking noises but do not worry about it, as it’s normal.
For obvious reasons, don’t leave the kiln around children and pets as the inside of the kiln can get to 900°C.
If you see sparks inside the microwave, it’s better to turn it off.
Try to use the kiln in a well-ventilated room as the fuse from the painted glass may produce fumes.
Long story… short
When using the microwave kiln always wear eye protection and heat proof gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, with heatproof surface to work on. Use the microwave for glass only for glass and not for food also.
As in everything, using the kiln takes some practice until you get the right results- keep a log of glass used, the timings, and thickness to learn from your “exercises”.
Keep your kiln in a good shape by cleaning it after use, when it’s cold. Remove the embedded glass with a pocket knife and repair gouges in the ceramic fiber base using a sheet of sandpaper, in a circular motion. Don’t overdo it and recoat the base with glass separator.
All in all, here are some microwave kiln reviews and you can take your pick, accordingly to your needs and likings. And money pocket, of course!
Top 5 Microwave Kiln Reviews
Since you discovered the joy of glass and jewelry fusing, you can’t stop and want to go larger and bigger… Go for the Professional Large Microwave Kiln as it allows you to go extra large for your craft items.
This professional kilt included a kiln with clear wash instructions and also a brush for priming.
The kiln is 4 ¼ high and 7/58” wide and you can go extra large with your craft projects as the fusing platform is 4 7/8”.
This extra large microwave kiln gives you the chance to fuse larger pieces more slowly. Thus, the pieces fuse better and the risks of cracking is low.
This kiln is large enough to use the fit mold just as well.
For those of you who intend to dedicate a lot of time to their art hobbies, no matter if it involves glass or not, then the Fuseworks Beginners Fusing Kit gives you the complete experience, with just a simple buy.
You can use this to create pendants, earring, bracelets and all kind of jewelry pieces.
It’s better to use a 800-1200 Wats microwave for this.
The kit contains kiln, bits, glass, earring, bails, kiln paper, glass paper, hot mitss and instructions.
Even though the kit consists in everything you might need when using the microwave kiln, some complain about the glass cutter and the instructions that give you hints on only hot to use the kiln per say.
Some noticed also that the kiln paper of the kit creates some rough surfaces on the edges and the bottom, thus having to use the sandpaper to smooth those areas.
On the other hand, this kiln lets you create multiple items at the same time.
This comes as a gift-wrap so keep it in mind for the next you’re gift hunting.
All in all, this is a kit that gives you the chance to create all yout artistic glass projects, from the second you get it at home.
If this is your very first time when using the microwave kiln and want to start simple, then this Fuseworks Beginner’s Microwave Kiln would be a good choice.
Small, light weight, easy to use and to move around this is definitely the microwave to begin with when art crafting.
This comes as a gift wrap so you can surprise your loved ones anytime.
The kiln is 3-1/4 inch high and 4-1/2 inch deep and has an internal fusing platform of 2-3/4 inch.
You can fuse jewelry pieces or embellishments in about 3 minutes in this.
You need to buy the kiln paper as this contains only the microwave kiln.
It’s better to use 700-900 Watts microwave for better results.
Follow the safety instructions and keep in mind that practice makes perfect.
This is also a easy to store kiln, economical and safe product.
Since you’re just starting out with glass fusing, and you don’t want to invest much money in this new hobby, you can give it a go with the Sago Brothers Professional Microwave Kiln.
This kiln is great for fusing jewelry pieces, embellishments in less than 3 minutes.
The diameter of the kiln is 4-3/5 inch and the internal fusing platform is 2-1/4 inche.
This is a small an compact, easy to store and use kiln, safe and economical at the same time.
For better results, the microwave should be at least 1000 Watts and you should clean the glass and the kln tray before use.
Some complain about this kiln breaking too easily, but, for the money you pay, you don’t expect a long lifespan after all.
From the moment you got the hang of firing glass, it’s clear you are ready for something more special, as the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln Kit.
This kit contains all the important tools and accessories, including glass for fusing and kiln paper. It doesn’t include, though, protection glasses or glass pliers.
This is an easy to use kit and it may be used by children, under adult supervision of course.
You can create your own jewelry items like bracelets, earrings and hoe decor items in minutes.
This kit is git-wrap available so keep it in mind the next Christmas.
For the money you pay, this is a great value kiln kit that gives you plenty of material to start practicing with.
As it’s clear by now that creating jewelry or home decor items is your no.1 hobby and you skills have improved, you can take it to another level with the Dia-Lap Large Pro Stained Glass Microwave Kiln Fusing Kit.
This is a large microwave kiln (fusing platform is 4 7/8”) and the kit contains kiln paper, fusing glass assortment, confetti glass, glass rod bits, dichroic bits and pieces.
You can let go of your imagination and put in practice your skills as this kit comes also with Milliefiori glass, glass cutter and the useful hot gloves.
The instructions give you tips on how to use this large microwave kiln and the kiln wash and brush help you maintain the kiln in a good condition.
This is an easy to use kiln that gives you to create the pendants, earrings (and so much more!) that you had in mind.