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Kiln Pointers

Carbon on the Walls of the Kiln


Mary Clark, a subscriber to this newsletter, recently told me this story about her Paragon Pearl kiln:

"I thought I was firing two pieces of clear glass over a bas-relief ceramic base. However, once foul odor and smoke began to emerge from my kiln, I realized that my 'ceramic' mold was resin. When I summoned the courage to open my kiln the next day, I discovered that the interior was covered with black soot.

"I feared the worst. However, since the controller display came on when power was restored, I removed the wreckage and the kiln shelf and ran a full-fuse program with nothing in the kiln. Miraculously, all the scary black stuff disappeared. Encouraged, I ran the full-fuse program again with the blackened kiln shelf. Once again, the kiln faeries visited and there was a 'healing.' The only remaining evidence of trauma is a bit of crispiness to the blue paint on the hinges. Thank you for making such a resilient product."

Just a reminder: Many foreign materials can deposit carbon inside your kiln. If you use the kiln for the lost wax process, do not heat the wax above 300°F/148°C.

Place the jewelry molds on a wax tray and heat the kiln to 300°F/148°C. Hold at that temperature for at least one hour. Then remove the wax tray from the kiln before going to higher temperatures. If you leave the wax inside the kiln as the temperature rises past 300°F/148°C, the wax may smoke and deposit carbon inside your kiln, causing expensive damage. Carbon on the walls of the kiln can cause electrical arcing across the heating elements.

If you ever fire something in your kiln that leaves carbon on the interior, you may be able to save your kiln as Mary did:

1 Open the vent cover(s) or leave the door ajar ½”.

2 Fire the kiln empty to 1500F / 815C at a rate of 300F / 166C with a one-hour hold (01.00).

I welcome kiln stories. They often contain lessons that will help others. To send me an email, just press "Reply."

With best wishes,

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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