This is the first of a three part series on
pre-firing fiber paper. Part one contains general information
about binders, part two details the pre-firing process, and part
three has additional tips and suggestions about pre-firing.
1. The purpose of pre-firing is to remove the binder from
the paper. The binder, which is actually an acrylic latex
product, is added during the manufacturing
process. It has no value to the kiln-former, but it makes the paper easier to handle in the
2. Although the binder is generally not considered harmful,
it can be irritating to some persons. It's also possible for
binder burn-off to release smoke, carbon monoxide, or other oxides
or hydrocarbons. The binder also gives off a
distinct odor (similar to burning cookies) as the paper is
3. When burning off the binder, it is essential that the
kiln be vented slightly. Usually this is done by propping up
the lid of the kiln about one inch. Keep the kiln vented until
the temperature reaches around 1000F/540C. If you neglect to vent the kiln, the fumes and other particles will
be trapped in your kiln walls. They will probably burn off in future firings.
4. In addition to venting the kiln, it's important to do
the burning off in an area that has adequate ventilation. This
will reduce or eliminate exposure to vapors resulting from
pre-firing. Although the effects are not common, some people
are more sensitive to the fumes and may experience respiratory tract
irritation or an asthmatic-type response.
here for specific information about
the pre-firing process, which is contained in part two of this tip.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
This list compiled from numerous
sources, but especially from the Warm Glass bulletin board and from
published manufacturer's materials.