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Silver Contamination


Although silver can be an excellent inclusion in glass, and foils and leaf can work very well when sandwiched between two layers of glass, be aware that silver can also cause problems in the kiln.  This is especially true when using silver in wire, powder, or precious metal clay (PMC) form. 


If residue from silver is left on the kiln shelf or anywhere inside the kiln and it comes into contact with glass during a subsequent firing, this can leave ugly brown spots on the glass.  The contamination from the silver can permanently stain the glass.

Firing on fiber paper or re-washing the kiln shelf may not be sufficient to prevent the silver from contaminating the kiln.  In most cases the contamination is not visible on the shelf. 

Instead, you should consider dedicating a specific kiln shelf to firing with silver or PMC firing also.  Keeping the silver confined to a different shelf than the one you use for "normal" firings will help keep the contamination from ruining your pieces.


Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

This tip was adapted from comments made by posters on the Warm Glass bulletin board. 

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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