Kiln Shelf - Hard Ceramic 7" x 7" x 5/8"
This is a hard ceramic kiln shelf for firing glass and other high fire ceramics. It also is the nicest shelf you can get for firing metal clay. This very heavy shelf (nearly 2 lbs) will last a lifetime, as opposed to fiber shelves that have a limited life span. You'll need this shelf if you want to fuse glass, however it must be treated or protected so glass does not fuse to it. The shelf can be prepare with kiln wash and used exclusively for glass, or you can simply protect the shelf surface with ceramic fiber paper so the shelf can be used for all your firing needs. Measures 7"x7"x5/8" thick. Fits all Paragon kilns we carry except the Q11A series.
How to Kiln Wash a Kiln Shelf
Purchase prepared kiln wash and mix with water as indicated on the package to a creamy consistency. Using Haik brush, apply the kiln wash in one directly over the entire top surface of the kiln shelf. Allow to dry (so you don't drag the previous coat when applying the next one). Rotate the shelf 90 degrees and apply another coat in this direction. Allow to dry. Repeat 2 more times. Allow to dry completely before firing. If the surface seems too rough, you can sand it down with a sandpaper block. Use a good quality wet or dry paper so the grit does not end up on your kiln shelf. Allow to dry thoroughly before firing, then use the shelf for your glass firing without worry of the glass sticking. Kiln wash contains alumina hydrate, which is an irritant if airborne particles are breathed, so use a mask when applying this material.
You can also make your own kilns wash by mixing equal parts of kaolin and alumina hydrate. (Alumina hydrate is an irritant, so use breathing protection to avoid inhaling airborne particles). Mix the kaolin and alumina hydrate together. Add four to six parts water. Start with 4 parts, if it seems its too thick, add another part and another until desired consistency is reached. Store in a tightly covered glass jar. Label the jar and shake well before using. If the jar has a metal lid, use a piece of plastic wrap between the jar and lid.
How to use Ceramic Fiber Paper
Glass will fuse to a kiln shelf if it's placed directly in contact with the surface. Ceramic fiber paper can be placed under the glass during firing to protect the kiln shelf. The glass will not fuse to the paper and the paper can be removed and used a second time if it's carefully peeled off the back of the glass. The ceramic fiber paper we offer comes in sheets of 6" x 6". Cut the paper with scissors to fit the size of your glass piece. Allow extra space around the glass if your piece is thicker than 1/4". Glass likes to be 1/4" thick, so a 3/8" thick stack of glass will spread to 1/4" thick...just like chocolate chip cookies! Be sure to allow enough paper around the glass for spread. Before using fiber paper, burn our the binders by firing alone at 1400F (no hold time, just reach that temperature and turn off). Then the fiber paper is ready to cut and use.