Recently a friend told me that she had been afraid of her Paragon glass kiln until she began firing glass bottles. The bottles were free, so she could experiment all she wanted without worry about ruining expensive stained glass. Firing bottles took away her fear. She now enjoys glass fusing more because the fear had been a brake on her creativity.
Experiment with inexpensive materials in your kiln before investing a lot of time or supplies on new ideas. When you fire a load of ceramics, place experimental glazed pieces on empty shelf areas. Before firing a full load of production ware, perfect single pieces.
For instance, if you are making glass pendants, fire one pendant at a time in a small test kiln such as the Paragon QuikFire. Perfect the design before you fill a larger kiln with duplicates. A small test kiln takes away the stress of firing a large kiln.
People are also afraid of the high temperatures inside kilns. I know of customers who wait for months to fire their new kiln. If the kiln is installed properly and you monitor the kiln during firing, there is no reason to fear it. The heat is contained inside the kiln.
Some people find digital controllers intimidating. It may be because the manual is so thick. But most of the information in the manual is for reference. For instance, the section on options contains information on advanced features that you may never use.
Study the section on operation. Play with the controller as you follow directions. With a little practice, the controller will be as easy to use as a digital wristwatch.
Last week I sent out a kiln pointer on circuit breakers and fuses. A customer wrote that her breaker shut off and would not turn back on.
To reset the circuit breaker, press it all the way to the Off position before you press it back to the On position.
Wishing you a great fall season,
Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. – Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, TX 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 firstname.lastname@example.org / www.paragonweb.com