Ed Biggar loads a Paragon FireFly.
A 2013 New Year’s Kiln Resolution
Reader Response: Kiln nostalgia; when to open the kiln after it has cooled; the early days of glass
A Kiln Story: Red Faces in the Kiln
A 2013 NEW YEAR’S KILN RESOLUTION
A kiln resolution for 2013: Fire more often. If you are a professional, then the ware that comes from your kiln is a direct measure of your income. Keep thinking of ways to fire your kiln more often and to sell everything you produce.
If you are a hobbyist with limited time, give yourself the gift of using your kiln more often. Being too busy to fire your kiln is like keeping a Ferrari in the garage because you don’t have time to drive it. Like a high performance car, a kiln is made to be used, and used often. A kiln is designed to withstand many firings. And a kiln uses little electricity--much less than most people think.
What resolutions are you making this year? Did you keep last year’s resolutions? If so, how did you do it?
The last Kiln Pointer included a letter about one of the first Paragon glass kilns. Joe Spitzer, the “Kiln Doctor” of Central Florida, wrote, “Your article created a rush of nostalgia for me. I sold the very first Paragon digital kiln. It was rushed to production in time to be shown in my booth at the annual Orlando Ceramic Show in February, 1987. The kiln was so new that it didn't even have a data plate or part number on it! And, of course, I remember that I sold it to Duncan Ceramics. The rest is a long history.”
In the letters column of the last Kiln Pointer, someone asked, “What temperature is safe to open the kiln?” Mario Miguel Echevarria of Longmont, Colorado wrote, “I always pull tiles out of my kiln when the temp gauge reads 200 F or less. I figure, if heat won't destroy cookies or casserole dishes pulled from a 425 F degree oven, it won't hurt anything I am firing. For my smaller non-digital kiln, I won't pull objects until I can touch the metal casing on the kiln for a few seconds without pulling my hand away. I have never had problems.”
The passing of Boyce Lundstrom was discussed in the Reader Response section of the last Kiln Pointer. Newy Fagan of Ocklawaha, Florida wrote, “Boyce was the driving force behind the kiln-formed glass movement and contributed much to the history of glass. I got into stained glass in 1977, and my teacher in Connecticut told me about putting Bullseye glass in kilns to melt together. At that time, a lot was known about painting on glass and firing, but not fusing. I jumped in with both feet, bought the 28th Marathon kiln with a loan from the bank and over the years have purchased eight GL-22 Paragon kilns, which have been my favorite for personal use and teaching.”
Two issues ago we announced that Paragon was founded in 1948 and was purchased 30 years ago by John Hohenshelt, Sr. Jamie Gray, President/CEO of Glass Art Association of Canada, wrote, “Congratulations on 30 years for Paragon. I have a Paragon kiln myself, which I absolutely love. It's great to know something of this small company that grew into a force to be reckoned with.”
A KILN STORY: RED FACES IN THE KILN
By David Kittrell of Kittrell/Riffkind Art Glass in Dallas, Texas
The rule of glass is that whatever you melt beyond use is the glass you, your distributor, and your manufacturer are all out of until the next season.
Some of the ah-ha moments happen when glass decides to change color or visual texture completely. A good example was the new (1983) Merry-Go-Round light pink cathedral that I painted faces and hands on. When it fired, it struck a bright red. It seemed like the red faces in the kiln matched the red faces in the studio as we saw that all our work just tanked.
We have a "Wall of Melt" behind the array of kilns where the shelves with the permanently fused glass are displayed with names like "phone," "lunch," and "ADD firing schedule." It's the only way I could think of to recycle those shelves and serve as a warning to others.
“In these times, it is good to keep your family and good friends close and communicate with all, heart to heart. That's what keeps us from feeling so absolutely sad if something terrible happens. I was taught to be prepared, and as it relates to relationships, the same axiom applies. Never let an opportunity go to ‘maintain’ and ‘sustain’ a relation or a friend.” –David Kittrell
I hope you had a chance to be with your family during the holidays. Here in Mesquite on Christmas Day, powdery snow swirled from the rooftops. During New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, my family and I watched DVDs of the TV series MASH.
With best wishes,
Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. – Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd., Mesquite, Texas 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.paragonweb.com / www.facebook.com/paragonkilns
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Copyright 2013, by Paragon Industries, L.P.