Melting Glass in a Pottery Kiln

What You'll Need
Shelf primer
Fireproof apron
Fireproof gloves
Copper wire

You can use a pottery kiln to melt glass and change it into beautiful decorative pieces to use in jewelry and glassware. The glass that is melted in a pottery kiln can be recycled from bottles to broken glassware. The cost of a home kiln will range in price from about $4,000 to $10,000. If you would rather, consider having the glass melted at a craft center or in the kiln owned by a friend or family member. Follow the simple steps below to complete this creative project.

Step 1 – Gathering Your Glass

Gather the glass you want to melt in the kiln. Crafting glass and old or broken bottles or glassware can be used.

Step 2 – Cleaning the Glass

Immerse the glass you are going to melt in warm, soapy water. Wash the glass to remove any residue that would also become melted in the kiln. Dry the glass once it is clean.

Step 3 – Choosing the Finished Design

Decide what you want to make with the glass. The finished design you choose will determine how you place the glass into the mold. There are two ways to place the glass into the kiln. The glass can be hung on copper wire over a mold so that when it melts, it will pour into the mold to create a specific design. Alternatively, the glass can be placed on the kiln shelf where it will melt without forming into a mold.

Step 4 – Priming the Kiln Shelf

Use a brush to apply layer of shelf primer to the shelf in the kiln. This will prevent the glass from becoming stuck to the shelf. Allow the primer enough time to dry completely.

Step 5 – Safety

Put on your fireproof apron, fireproof gloves and protective eye wear. Be sure your protective eye wear is heat resistant. Be extremely careful working with kiln to prevent serious burn injuries. 

Step 6 – Positioning the Glass

Put the glass into the kiln using the method that will produce the results you desire. Either hang it on copper wire over a mold or place it on the kiln shelf where it will not need a mold.

Step 7 – Heating the Kiln

Turn on the power to the kiln, and heat to a temperature level of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the glass in the kiln at this temperature for 3 hours.

Step 8 – Raising the Heat Level

Increase the kiln temperature level to 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the glass for 3 hours at this temperature.

Raise the temperature to fourteen 1,400 degrees. Leave the glass for another 4 hours.

Raise the temperature to 1,700 hundred degrees. Leave the glass at this temperature until it forms the desired shape.

Step 9 – Lowering the Heat Level

Decrease the kiln temperature level to 1,100 degrees. Decrease the kiln temperature to 800 degrees. Turn off the heat to the kiln. Allow the glass shapes to cool. Leave the glass in the kiln overnight until it reaches a room temperature level.