Tiles can be fired horizontally or vertically in a plateholder.
How To Use Tile Holders
Recent Q&As: What a bad relay looks like; slumping glass bottles; the temperature rating of kiln windows
HOW TO USE TILE HOLDERS
When I first started working at Paragon, my favorite office wall hanging was a painting fired onto ceramic tiles and framed.
An efficient way to fire ceramic tiles is to stack them in tile holders. The holders take up little room in the kiln and allow heat to circulate freely around the tiles. This prevents tile breakage that sometimes happens when tiles are fired flat against a kiln shelf. Tile holders have less thermal mass than a kiln shelf, so holders require little energy to fire.
The Bell Plateholder shown in the picture is an especially efficient design. You can position the plateholder vertically or horizontally. Vertical placement requires two plateholders; horizontal placement requires one. Fire the plateholders vertically if you do not want anything to touch the tile front during firing.
Q. Does a bad relay always look burned?
A. No. Sometimes a bad relay can still look new and even continue to make the clicking noise. To be sure about the condition of the relay, test with a voltmeter. It takes the guesswork out of kiln diagnostics. You can also use a neon test light if you don't have a voltmeter.
Q. Can you slump more than one bottle at a time in a kiln?
A. Yes, you can load more than one bottle per kiln shelf provided the kiln is large enough. The bottles should be spaced far enough apart so that when they slump, they will not touch each other. Before firing a kiln load of bottles, experiment with one or two to make sure they will turn out.
Q. What is the maximum temperature of the glass in your kiln windows?
A. Paragon's currently shipped glass window is rated to 2300°F (1260°C), although most kilns with the window are rated to lower temperatures. The Caldera is rated to 2350°F (1288°C). But with the window in the lid, it will no longer reach its maximum temperature unless the window is plugged with ceramic fiber.
"We must all wage an intense, lifelong battle against the constant downward pull. If we relax, the bugs and weeds of negativity will move into the garden and take away everything of value." -- Jim Rohn
Several weeks ago I went to the King Tutankhamun exhibit in Dallas with my wife and her parents. The exhibit included 3,000-year-old clay pieces. Some were crude by today's standards, but exquisite nevertheless because of the age. Each artifact was imbued with feelings that have remained even after 3,000 years. Especially interesting was a headpiece worn by the king.
It is amazing that many of the basic shapes of pottery and other common tools are so very old: the pottery handle, bowl, vase, teapot; the knife; drawer pulls.
See the exhibit if you ever have the opportunity. Go on a weekday to avoid crowds, and first read a book on ancient Egypt.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of D-Day, one of the most significant events of the last century.
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
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