Wesley Smith, ceramic instructor, near his ancient Paragon kiln.
Keep the Kiln Lid Closed Between Firings
Reader Response: An advantage of a small kiln
Recent Q&As: 3-zone control explained; power conversion for a kiln moved from Australia to Canada
A Kiln Story: How Vince Pitelka’s Pottery Became Part of the Movie “Pretty in Pink”
KEEP THE KILN LID CLOSED BETWEEN FIRINGS
As a safety precaution, we suggest keeping the lid or door closed when the kiln is not in use. If someone tampers with the kiln while you are away and it turns on, the closed lid or door will keep the heat inside the firing chamber.
An open lid could fall if a child or someone else who is not familiar with kilns tampers with the lock-in lid support or if your kiln is on casters and someone moves the kiln out of the way. Keeping the lid or door closed will also help keep dust and moisture out of the firing chamber.
Caution everyone not to stand on the lid of your kiln. Some people do not know that a kiln is delicate. One time a university teacher found a footprint on the lid of his classroom kiln. A maintenance man had stood on the lid to reach an overhead light.
Do not allow anyone to store anything on the kiln lid. Otherwise they may place items on the closed lid without realizing that the kiln is either firing or still warm from a previous firing. A digital kiln could be set to turn on later, and most people would not recognize that the delay time is counting down on the digital display.
Bonnie Hellman, a CPA in Ouray, Colorado, shared one of the benefits of owning a small kiln. She wrote, “I wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying my little Paragon glass kiln. I find that since it fills quickly, I am doing a lot of firings, which help creativity. I get results quickly and can adjust my approach or continue doing what I did.”
Q. What is three zone control in a kiln?
A. In three zone, the heating elements are powered by three relays. The digital controller receives temperature readings from three thermocouples. A relay corresponds to each thermocouple so that when one thermocouple indicates a low temperature, elements in that zone of the firing chamber increase their heat output. In this case, the elements in the other two zones temporarily reduce their heat output. This evens out the heat distribution throughout the kiln.
Q. I bought the kiln in Australia a few years ago and now I am moving to Canada. I have to decide whether to take it with me or try and sell it here. Perhaps you could tell me if it would work on Canada’s electrical system. The kiln was made for the Australian system.
A. If the kiln is to stay wired as 240 volts, then the only change needed would be a new plug. Fortunately, this kiln already has a lid safety switch installed as well. (Answered by Adelaide in Customer Service)
A KILN STORY: HOW VINCE PITELKA’S POTTERY BECAME PART OF THE MOVIE “PRETTY IN PINK”
Vince Pitelka, who teaches at Appalachian Center for Craft, wrote, “My sister Kazi was a professional violist in Los Angeles and did a lot of work for the big movie studios during the mid-1980s. When the movie "Pretty in Pink" with Molly Ringwald and Harry Dean Stanton was in production, the producers were looking for a slightly seedy house. My sister was living in a rental on Hope Street in South Pasadena, California. The house turned out to be perfect. The producers put her and her husband up in a hotel for a week and paid them a stipend. Thus, the house on Hope Street is Molly Ringwald's house in the movie, and my pottery is all over the place; Harry Dean Stanton drinks coffee from one of my mugs.”
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” --Dr. Seuss
For weeks, thunder storms have swept past Mesquite, Texas like rolling freight trains. Thunder rumbled for hours during the nights, while flashes of light reflected in the rain on darkened streets. Sometimes thunder reverberated down ominous vertical tunnels. The storms have passed leaving vibrant green plant growth.
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.paragonweb.com / www.facebook.com/paragonkilns
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