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Kiln Pointers

Glass Cutting Pointers

After making the score lines, turn the glass over and tap out the small pieces.


Glass Cutting Pointers

Reader Response: Recycled shipping supplies for pottery or glass

Recent Q&As: Firing a kiln in cold weather; opening a kiln at 1100 degrees F

A Kiln Story: New Kiln Left Crated for 17 Years

Memorable Quote

New Video: Firing Raku in the MagicFuse Kiln



The table you are cutting on must be flat.

Pressing too hard with the glass cutter will produce imperfections along the freshly cut glass edge. Press just hard enough to make an even, steady noise and a consistent score line.

Here is a fast way to cut small pieces. The only tools you will need are a glass cutter and straight edge. First, make all your score lines on the glass. Then turn the glass over and tap out the pieces.

When making a long cut, do not lift the glass as you break it with breaking pliers. Lifting can put a slight bow in the glass, which causes it to separate erratically. Instead, leave the glass flat on the table, pull a little out from the edge, and break it with piers.

After scoring, use breaking pliers to separate a narrow piece of glass.



Looking for shipping materials for your pottery or glass? Teresa Wik of Truckee, California wrote, "I get shipping supplies from the local hospital. They receive tons of packages of fragile equipment and supplies wrapped in bubble and peanuts. Since they don't ship out, they are happy to give it away. It has been a wonderful resource for me. Try the materials management or shipping and receiving departments.” (A note from my wife: Natural food stores are also glad to give away boxes of shipping peanuts. Just ask. –Arnold)



Q. I fire my kiln in very cold weather. Recently the message TCR appeared in the display.

A. TCR ordinarily means the thermocouple leads are reversed, but it can also appear when the thermocouple inside the kiln is much colder than the controller circuit board. Raise the room temperature with a space heater before firing the kiln.

Q. I know a potter who fires horsehair pottery to 1735 F, shuts off the kiln, lets it cool to about 1100 F, and then removes pieces. Is this hard on the elements?

A. Removing the ceramic pieces at 1100 degrees F should not harm the elements or firebricks. Heat treating kilns are routinely opened at high temperatures to remove steel parts. This does not seem to affect element life. My main concern would be operator safety. Please wear heat-protective gear.



Gerry Klein of Omaha, Nebraska wrote, “I have worked with glass since 1979 and ordered the Paragon GF-8B glass kiln for a friend in 1991. At the time, I tried to talk him into a larger kiln with a digital controller, but he didn't want it. Believe it or not, he just opened the kiln crate a year ago! He looked at it, called me, and said it didn't have a digital controller, and he wanted a new kiln.

“I hope that by using this story you can suggest that people buy the digital controller when they purchase a glass kiln so they don't have the extra expense later and have the ease of a fully functional kiln from the beginning. Perhaps then they would actually use the kiln and not wait almost 20 years before removing it from the box!”



"I never see failure as failure, but only as the game I must play to win." -- Tom Hopkins



While I was in Berkeley, California last August, I videoed John Toki firing raku in the MagicFuse microwave kiln. We used the microwave oven in his kitchen for the demonstration. You can see the 12-minute video at this link:

(Or go to Then click on Kiln Audio & Video, which is on the left side of the page. Scroll down to Videos, Kiln Operation.)


Last week the wind blew wisps of gray clouds, and rain spattered against the windows. The weather reminded me of the time I lived near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You could reach out and touch the clouds there. Kilauea is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

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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