I've been thinking about taking a microwave kiln glass fusing class that's being given at Brea Bead Works.
Then I realized that the cost of the class is nearly as much as purchasing a kiln itself. The microwave would be extra, since I'm not going to put kiln paper into our family food microwave. That would be bad. I'll pick up a small, cheap microwave somewhere on sale. Actually having less than the blast furnace model will be good, a lower wattage oven will heat the glass slightly more slowly, which will help prevent cracking.
I looking around on the internet, and found the Microwave Kiln Helpdesk blog, by Sylvanye Roh, which was very informative. Then I found a site where they have all three readily available brands of kilns on sale. In multiple sizes. I'm still browsing for reviews on which is the best brand, though I suspect they're much of a muchness.
After that, it's going to be test, revise and test. Glass is relatively cheap, in the quantities you use in these tiny kilns. Plus, several years ago, I found a huge cache of dichroic scrap, about 5 pounds worth, someplace, and grabbed it up. Isn't it odd I can't even remember where it came from? I've got small bits, all the way up to pieces about 6" across. The patterns aren't the best and colors tend to the blue/green, but I've got tons of the stuff.
So I suspect that in a little while, I'll be microwaving my way to fused glass glory. And then figuring out ways to incorporate what I produce in my beading.
The amber fringe necklace is coming along really well. I'm very excited about it. In a way, I feel it's the next step in my evolution as an artist. The problem then becomes that everything I've finished before, I want to go back and do it again. Better. Yeesh!
Next weekend is the Contemporary Crafts Market in Santa Monica. The event last fall was incredibly inspiring. I may want to go this time just to absorb, not to buy, now that I've had experience with so many new techniques. I know a lot more than I did then, and viewing with a more educated eye will be so beneficial.
Yeah. That's what I'll tell my husband. "It's educational, honey. I promise not to buy anything." That'll fly.
Who knows. Maybe someday I'll be in the show, not just attending!