Cindy Durant says, "My small electric Paragon kilns are very easy and efficient to run. I love them all!"
“Born in California, I moved to Australia in 1983. I now live in a remote coastal area in South Australia with room to move, surf, and spend time roaming quiet beaches. My environment is my constant inspiration for my arts and crafts.
“My family and I live far from the electrical grid, so we use all solar and wind power. We also have only rainwater, which is stored in tanks. We have lived ‘off grid’ since 1987. We started with a small remote area power system and now have a pretty large one on this remote property. Our studio and home are completely run with this system.
“I have been working with glass since 1986. First, I started making stained glass windows for a home we were building. That progressed to commissions, shows, and jewellery. With an interest in food and food service, I learned kiln-formed glass techniques in the late 1980s to make plates, platters, bowls, etc. I sold my work through markets, galleries, exhibitions, and commissions. As the years passed I have progressed into more elaborate, decorative designs and non-functional objects. Eventually we moved to my current remote location, so I no longer attend markets.
“With an interest in jewellery and an inquisitive mind, I learned lamp working and glass bead making. I also wanted to make my own silver findings and focal elements for my jewellery compositions. So I travelled to take workshops in all sorts of jewellery making techniques over the years. I took a course to become a certified instructor with PMC (Precious Metal Clay) in 2005 with Barbara Becker Simon. This was fantastic and opened up so many doors and possibilities. Several years later I started to travel and teach metal clay in Australia. I have often traveled to remote communities sharing my skills and excitement with other isolated people. I teach both from my studio and abroad.
“Over the last few years I have also learned enameling on metal from various masters including Linda Darty and Elizabeth Turrell. I love combining all of my skills and work continually to explore and improve my work practices. Studying and learning is enjoyable and provides stimulation, travel, skill building, networking, friendships and more. No matter how much I know, I will always love taking workshops and learning. Often the practice makes me look differently at ways I already work and is a good exercise for the creative mind.
“I am a full-time arts practitioner. Currently I work in kiln-forming including fusing, slumping, casting, and pate deverre. I like to include my lamp working elements in my kiln-formed objects. I love working at my torch to create intriguing visual textures in my kiln-formed vessels and wall hangings.
“I also work in all kinds of jewellery techniques including silver clays (PMC), bronze clay, copper clay, enamels on metal, found objects and silver smithing . . . and on and on. I am continually expanding my skills and interests. I have eight kilns in my studios. Three of my kilns were custom-built by me with help from metal fabricators, family and friends. These large kilns I designed for firing glass and run on propane gas with computerized controllers.
“I purchased my first Paragon kiln when I got started using PMC. That was the SC-3. I love this kiln. I have traveled with it and taught many workshops with it. I use it regularly still. I had so much interest in it when teaching that I started to sell Paragon kilns in Australia. I now also own other Paragon jewelry making kilns including the BlueBird, FireFly and Caldera kilns. All of them I use for multiple purposes, but some are best for certain jobs. My small electric Paragon kilns are very easy and efficient to run. I love them all!
“Due to the nature of my electrical supply, I am unable to use electric kilns for my larger work. Heating kilns to high temperatures over long periods of time uses large amounts of electrical energy. Solar and wind power stored in large battery banks cannot sustain this easily.”
From Karen A. Hauser of Townsville, Australia:
“Following the arrival of my Paragon Janus-1613, I can cheerfully say that the process of buying it through Cindy Durant was great. This is my first kiln, and I was uncertain about size. Cindy was happy to answer my many questions and gave excellent advice based on her extensive experience in both using and selling kilns. I was very impressed by her responsiveness. Seeing the Janus-1613 in the flesh, so to speak, confirms that the choice was spot on. Rounding out the picture is the clear and comprehensive literature from Paragon, both in print and on the website. The purchase of my first kiln is a big event for me, and I feel wonderfully supported by Cindy and by Paragon.”