My name is Wayne Shipman, and I love art glass. I recently took a week-long class in Glass Fusing at The Studio @ Corning Museum of Glass, and Although I’ve tried glass blowing and taken classes and made “stuff”, it is not very convenient to access a glassblowing rental place and keep up the skills.
I found a used kiln that had no usable controls but worked. My search to find a suitable controller led me to Bartlett’s website and the Genesis Mini controller. It was offered at a fair price and the technical staffer, Steve, helped me with information so I could build my own controller box. After sourcing the parts needed locally and from the internet I was able to build a very high quality controller box that makes programming each kiln run a breeze.
As this is a hobby and not a business, it has to be fun and the Genesis Mini is both efficient and fun. I can spend more time designing projects and getting them into the kiln without worrying about programming glitches or mistakes. I can use the default programs and edit the parameters to experiment and learn how my particular kiln reacts. Once I have that program fine-tuned, I only need to call it up and get the same results each time.
Trying to program a three-key controller is confusing which discourages me from doing projects. With the Genesis Mini, I can go from idea to cutting glass to starting the kiln very quickly.
The Genesis series has a lot of features for small and large operations. The WiFi capability with the app will be very helpful to monitor my kiln, and a school or studio with multiple kilns would benefit from that type of monitoring. The controller will allow you to download reports, so you can keep track of the projects with relative ease.
The cost of a simple three-key or twelve-key controller compared to the Genesis Mini was not too great a difference. The project to build a control box was fun and used skills that I have acquired over my career, and it enabled me to afford a touch-screen controller for much less than a brand-new kiln with a simple controller. I can also move the control box to a mid-sized kiln if I need to in the future.
Glass fusing is a hobby, and my Real Life job is as an ELCA Lutheran pastor. I combine the two by making crosses in modern designs and sharing them with friends and family. I make other items, but I’m really just having fun! Glass art is a way of relaxing and expressing myself in a different way. I’ve always been kind of technical in my first career in the printing and graphic arts field, so this combines both art and science to make nice things that have meaning and expression.