Its been 5 months since Mr Wellydog gave me a microwave kiln for my birthday. So I thought I would give you a bit of an update on how it’s been going. Some of you may have seen the results of some of the things I have been making. You may have noticed that I have been using it quite a bit. It’s been well loved but unfortunately not very well cared for.
Opps!!! yes there have been some accidents, thankfully none that have caused any physical pain, but my kitchen worktop and my kiln have been deeply scarred. I guess the problem is my frustration with not being able to produce what I really want to. Having said that I have discovered I LOVE frit…… what is frit you may ask?.... its crushed-up bits of glass. The bits I like are very finely crushed, you can get course/big bits, but no matter what the size they are, they come in a whole exciting range of colours. So with just clear glass and frit I can make patterns and pictures. What I really want to move onto is powder, so I can ‘paint’ more realistic pictures. But that’s probably best resisted for a bit longer.
My kiln has been used excessively in the few months I have had it. I was reading an article the other day that suggested they were only good for between 250 and 300 firings depending on your microwave. I would say I’m getting close to the lower end of that and to be honest I can notice the difference. The firings are getting very noticeably longer and not as even. What used to take about 8 – 9 minutes now takes 15 – 20 minutes. I don’t suppose it helps that I have quite a few chunks missing out of the base of my kiln.
As far as I can see the advantages of having a microwave kiln are;
Mr Wellydog says he’s created a monster. I am always firing something and not a week goes by without me getting everything out 2 or 3 times. I am still completely in love. I drop hints all the time for him to buy me a larger one, even though I know it’s not possible at the moment. So I will continue with fusing little pieces as I am still having soooo much fun, I really can’t complain. I may look into sharing a kiln with someone I know local, so I may get a chance to do larger pieces. My latest little experiments have been with Christmas trees, which was a total blast. Some of these have gone to new homes already and I do sell a reasonable amount of little sun catchers and hearts. So watch this space or my folksy shop to see what I get up to next.