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Troubleshooting Cracks in Fused Glass

There are few things more frustrating to the glass artist than opening the kiln to find that the piece you've fired has cracked. The only bright spot is in figuring out why the piece cracked so it doesn't happen again.

First, let's assume you didn't drop the piece. Let's also assume you didn't remove it while it was still warm and then "accidentally" put it on something cold or dip it in water.

Now that we've set those obvious (but they happen) reasons aside, let's try to figure out the less obvious reasons for glass to crack. You can learn a lot by examining the nature of the cracks. Do they go all the way across the glass? How are they shaped? Are the edges sharp or rounded?  Is the piece broken entirely in half? Are the pieces pie-shaped?

Analyze the kind of cracks you're experiencing to learn what caused them, then change your kiln processes to prevent their re-occurrence.

Click here for the next part of this discussion, which offers a list of the major types of cracks and why they occur.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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