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Kiln Pointers

Firing Kilns in Schools and Institutions

Since teachers are getting ready to go back to school, I thought I would write a kiln pointer for them. (You may find this information useful even if you’re not a teacher.)

These pointers are compliments of the art teachers at RISD in Richardson, Texas, USA. I visited with them yesterday at an in-service on kilns.

A teacher told me about a footprint that she found on the lid of her kiln. A maintenance man had stood on it to reach something and cracked the lid. Not surprisingly she had to replace it.

She now has a sign on top of her kiln in English and Spanish:

Do not stand on the kiln. Do not move the kiln. Do not place anything on top of it.

(Reminder: Remove any signs from your kiln before you fire it.)

Not only that, but she also sent emails to the school principal and the maintenance department explaining that the kiln is fragile.

At another school, the maintenance man turned off the kiln because he heard a clicking noise. So the teacher now explains kiln operation to the maintenance staff each year. She also places a sign on the door: Kiln is Firing.

The beeping temperature alarm of a digital kiln frightens students and maintenance people because they assume that something is wrong. If you use an alarm, tell others what it means.

If the kiln room is too hot and you smell fumes even though you have an overhead Vent-a-Kiln vent hood, have the maintenance people check the duct work for obstructions. It is not uncommon for something on the roof to cover the duct outlet.

Do not install a fire safety sprinkler head above the kiln. A school in Frisco, Texas was flooded because a kiln turned on the sprinkler system. This is another reason to monitor the kiln during firing.

A Reminder: A kiln will discolor linoleum tile. Place a heat-resistant material between the kiln stand and linoleum.

Wishing you a great school year,

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 /

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