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Safety watching enamelling firing


I am very much a beginner to enamelling and would like some advice.
I have a very small kiln (EFCO 110) which has a round viewing port
45mm dia. and comes with a guide giving times of when the kiln
reaches specific temperatures. (All good!)

I want to learn to use my kiln/fire the pieces, without using a
pyrometer or temperature control, by watching the heat of the kiln
and the enamel as it is fired

However, I am having difficulty seeing the colours (and the work)
inside the kiln through my safety glasses - enameling safety glasses

it would be great to have some advice from others who use their kiln
in this way.

Best wishes

Hi Judy

When I started enamelling I asked one of the UK’s best enamellers a
similar question.

He told me its like toasting bread- First you decide on the minimum
time you you think it will take based on the weight and size of the
piece and the temperature of your kiln. Fire it for that time, then
take it out of the kiln, if its not fired to the level you want- put
it back in and fire it for another 10-15 seconds and try again and
again until you get the result you need. Its that simple - don’t
bother to stare into the kiln its unpleasent even with safty
eyeware. After a few firings you get much better with your

The other question that enamellers always seem to ask when they
first start is do you fire high [bright orange 950-1000 degrees
centigrade] and quick or lower at say 850 [which is more of a red
colour]and longer.

I follow the norm in the UK of firing high and fast but I have read
in the Glass-on-Metal journal of those who have had great success
firing difficult colours such as red by firing for more than 10
minuts at a much lower temperature- I don’t have much experiance of
this low fire method as I have good success with high and fast.

hope this helps

mike kersley

Hi Mike

Many thanks for your reply. That has given me a lot more confidence.
I’m also interested in what you say about the different firing
temperatures. So, lots of experiments and samples coming up.

thank you also for the info. on the Glass-on-Metal Journal.

Best wishes