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Cubic Zirconia

This is part two of a multi-part series on using cubic zirconia in the kiln.  Click here to go to part one.

Here are a couple of guidelines to get the best results from using cubic zirconia (CZ):

1.  If the stone is sprinkled into loose frit and fired, it can easily topple upside down or move around.  For best results, pack more tightly or even "set" the stone into a small hole that has been drilled, cut, or blasted into the surface layer of the glass.  The heat of the kiln will cause the CA to sink into the glass; the hole will help in stay in place.

2.  Small CZ particles sparkle especially well if used with dark transparent glass (such as cobalt blue or gold purple). 

3.  Cubic zirconia can be fired in place using precious metal clay (PMC).  Since PMC shrinks during the firing process, it will "grab" the CZ and hold it in place.  For best results, use the PMC that fires to around 1600F/870C and soak for two hours to cure the clay.

As with many inclusions, experimentation often pays off with unexpected results -- just be sure to use stones that are small or thin enough that they can be contained within the glass without cracking. 


Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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

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