I love to learn about fused glass whether it is through classes (see August Blogs), eBooks, or actual books. I also like trying new products therefore, I thought I would write a few product and book reviews on the various items I have purchased. Please understand this is my personal view and is not intended to offend anyone. I just like trying new things and I would like to share my experiences with others. I am not paid to write these reviews.
Overall I enjoyed Fuse it by Petra Kaiser. She included a little of her history in how she got started in Fused glass, which I always like. In fact, I wrote my blogs about how I got started in fused glass and how much I love taking classes and learning various fused glass techniques.
I would recommend Fuse it to intermediate to advanced; there is not a lot of basic fusing information. Additionally the majority of the fused glass projects involve Kiser Lee Board (KLB), which the author produces and sells. She mentioned her reservations about the book appearing to be a promo for KLB, but most books I have read tout their products so I don't see the big deal. The key thing to know is that the Fuse it does discuss KLB a lot. She focuses on the advantages of KLB over kiln shelves and molds.
For me I have used KLB in the past but every time I used it, the glass would stick and take chunks out of the board and this is after coating it in kiln wash, so I got frustrated and stopped using it. She recommends iridized glass. After reading Fuse it I will probably try out my KLB again. I liked how she showed you can modify a cut mold by adding other KLB pieces too it. Very cool because KLB is not inexpensive.
I liked how she went through each segment of the firing schedule. I also liked her firing schedules and used them a lot when I first got started, albeit remember each kiln is different and the ramp rate depends on the size and thickness of your fused glass piece. Most books show Degrees Per Hour (DPH) for ramp speed, Fuse it is just a little different and shows Degrees Per Minute (DPM) so ensure you multiply the DPM by 60. I tend to do the math once and write it in the book. As my mentor always says when it comes to fusing glass; slower, lower, longer is best.
BTW, Bullseye has great TechNotes on heat and glass and an Annealing Chart. Additionally, Bullseye has an informative TechNote on bubble control. I do not use spectrum a lot but I am sure they have something to help with creating a firing schedule too.
Fuse it also provides numerous interesting projects including jewelry, displays, mirrors, fountains, clock, etc. Sometimes the instructions were a little confusing and the pictures were not numbered with the steps so sometimes it was a little difficult to follow (e.g., fountain).
What I really liked about the book is it reminded me that fused glass is limitless whether it is a clock, mirror, light pendant, or fountain the possibilities with fused glass is only restricted by your imagination. It inspired me to make try something new!!
*On a side note, I've emailed Petra before and she is always extremely helpful. She is also a member of my Fusing facebook group.
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Keeping my Kiln warm,