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Kiln Pointers

Element Pins

You can bend element pins to an “L” shape if you need extra length. The pin should not be long enough to touch the kiln case, though.


Element Pins

Reader Response: You know you’re a Christmas glass fuser if . . .

Recent Q&As: Kiln Sitter firing gauges; pyrometric cones sticking to kiln shelf

Memorable Quote



Element pins are U-shaped wires that secure heating elements in certain kiln designs. Element pins made from the wrong wire can melt and burn out a heating element at the point of contact.

Recently someone told me about an element that burned out where an element pin touched it. The element pins in his kiln fell apart with light pressure. Element pins last longer than the elements, because electricity does not flow through the pins. Since his pins were corroded, they were undoubtedly made of the wrong wire.

Element pins are made of iron-chrome-aluminum wire. Please do not substitute an element pin with wire from a hardware store. Buy the pins only from a recognized pottery or glass distributor or from your kiln manufacturer.



Christmas Glass Fuser

By David Kittrell of Kittrell/Riffkind Art Glass in Dallas, Texas

You know you're a "Christmas Glass Fuser" if:

You figured out a way to hot-wire your Christmas lights to turn on and off with your kiln elements.

You make a family tradition out of chocolate chip kiln cookies or kiln lasagna.

You have considered melting your broken glass ornaments into a decorative holiday dish.

Your family photo is taken around your favorite kiln.

You have named your kiln(s) Donner, or Blitz-en, or Comet.

You bought a cheesy cardboard manger scene just to use the parts for templates to make your own "kick-butt," one of a kind, dichro enhanced example of fusing finery.

You made one of those Christmas sweaters using fused glass features, so that it "jingles and jangles" when you wear it to parties.

You fused the cookies on your fused glass plate for Santa, so that they would still be there after you went to bed, in spite of the dog.

You take all these as suggestions to follow, rather than as an indication that something, or someone, might need a little help.

Merry Christmas to all and a Fusing New Year!



Q. [From someone who owns a Duncan kiln] Are firing gauges of different dimensions for different kilns, or are they of a standard shape for all Duncans?

A. You can buy a Kiln Sitter firing gauge from ceramic suppliers. The Duncan Kiln Sitter firing gauge is the same size as the one for the Dawson Kiln Sitter. New kilns come with the gauge. People sometimes throw them away because they assume that the gauge is used only during shipping.

Q. The box of Orton self-supporting cones does not include instructions on where to place the cones and if I have to use kiln wash.

A. I always kiln wash the surface where I place self-supporting witness cones. This is because I have seen cones stick to bare shelves. When you remove the cone, part of the bare shelf comes off with it. You may not have to kiln wash the shelf, though, if you use regular large cones and a clay cone plaque. Or kiln wash only a small section of the shelf for the cones.



“The creative process can help one cope with stress and can be very meditative. For me, glass could be considered my therapist or counselor.” -- Jennifer Menzies, glass artist and founder of Flow magazine


Bright yellow and red leaves glowed in the early sunlight as I drove to Paragon this morning. Carols sung by Doris Day and Frank Sinatra played in my truck, and I thought about my elementary school in Calgary, Alberta.

The entire school gathered in the auditorium on Fridays to sing carols at this time of year. We sat along the walls in groups on the oak floor that smelled of polish. Light reflecting from the snow poured in through the windows, and we sang together.

All of us at Paragon hope you are enjoying the holiday season!

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 2011, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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