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A Marketing Idea for Potters

A metal stamp impressed into the clay leaves a clear impression.


A Marketing Idea for Potters

Recent Q&As: Installing a downdraft vent without drilling a vent hole in a wall; testing relays; 480 volt and 3 phase kilns

A Kiln Story: A Visit from the Past

Memorable Quote

News: Kiln Sitter Parts



Two weeks ago I attended the National Council for Education on the Ceramic Arts Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. One of the first things I noticed in my Hyatt Regency room was a beautiful stoneware soap dish. I turned it over to see who made it and found the name Lisa.

This marketing idea is from Lisa and is for potters who can fill large orders. Go to local hotels and offer to make enough soap dishes for every room. You can customize the design to reflect local interests such as famous landmarks or a local heritage.

There is a tendency among potters to sign only the first name on ware, as Lisa did with her soap dish. Instead, place your website address and full name on the bottom of each piece so hotel guests can order more ware directly from you. This will help you build a list of repeat customers.



Q. I am installing a downdraft vent, but I don’t want to drill a hole in my exterior brick wall. Is there an alternative?

A. Yes. Route the vent duct to a window that opens, such as a basement window. Place a tight-fitting piece of plywood in the window. Cut a hole in the plywood and attach the vent duct to the plywood. When you are not firing, you can remove the plywood and close the window again.

Q. I have tested the coil on my relay, but the kiln still does not heat up.

A. Testing the relay coil is not a complete test. (The relay coil is the electromagnet that closes the relay contacts.) The relay contacts can be burned out even though the relay passes the coil test.

A short in the relay coil causes the kiln's switch box fuse to blow. The relay coil test is to determine the cause of blown fuses.

Q. Do Paragon 480 volt kilns have a cord plug?

A. No. All 480 volt and 3-phase kilns from Paragon are direct wired.

Q. Do Paragon 3-phase kilns have a cord and plug?

A. No. All 3-phase Paragon kilns for the U.S. and Canada are direct wired.



I attended two shows earlier this month: Glass Craft and Bead Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, and NCECA in Phoenix, Nevada. At the Las Vegas glass show, author Boyce Lundstrom stopped at the Paragon booth. He remembered the two-day seminar he taught at Paragon in 1985. At that time his book “Kiln Firing Glass: Glass Fusing Book One” was one of the few sources of information on fusing. Few people, including most stained glass artists, had ever heard of glass fusing.

At the 1985 seminar we made glass fused fish from patterns that Boyce had designed. Boyce fired the pieces in 8-sided, 22 1/4” deep Paragon ceramic kilns. He fired two shelves of glass per kiln.

At the NCECA pottery convention in Phoenix the next week, I met one of the students who had attended Boyce Lundstrom’s 1985 seminar. Fewer than 20 students attended the seminar, and I met one of them in faraway Phoenix at a pottery convention.



“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to lies what lies within us.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson



The Orton Ceramic Foundation is now manufacturing Kiln Sitter parts. They are available through Paragon for immediate shipment.


Glass fusing can be addictive, as this incident shows. A couple stopped by the Paragon booth in Las Vegas. While the young wife talked to another representative, I talked to her husband. I asked if he was a glass artist, and he said, “No, my wife is the glass artist. I’m just the guy who wires the circuits in the basement.”

He explained that she started out with a small corner of the basement and one kiln. “Now she has four kilns, and her glass work space has spread all over the basement.”

I hope you are enjoying a productive 2009. We are very busy at Paragon.

Thank you,

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 /

PRIVACY NOTICE: Under no circumstance do we share or sell your email address.

Copyright 2009, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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