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Apply Kiln Wash to Warm Shelves

For a smooth coat, heat shelves before applying kiln wash.


Warm the Shelves Before Applying Kiln Wash

Recent Q&As: Lid springs; gluing broken ceramic ware

A Kiln Story: From Gentle Sobs to Cheers of Victory!

Memorable Quote

News: Virtual Trouble Shooting with Facetime



Here is a quick pointer on applying kiln wash or glass separator.

Molten glaze or glass would embed into bare kiln shelves. Because kiln wash does not melt at high temperatures, it forms a protective barrier between kiln shelves and glaze or glass.

Before applying the kiln wash, heat the shelves in the kiln to around 150F / 65C for an hour or two. (Separate the shelves in the kiln with posts.) Kiln wash flows smoothly onto warm shelves without forming small bubbles. Pre-heating shelves also speeds drying and lessens the chance of cracking the kiln wash.

Let the kiln wash dry before firing the kiln. The kiln-washed shelves are still wet if they are cool to the touch. Apply kiln wash to the top of each shelf but not to both sides. Kiln wash on the underside of a shelf can flake onto ceramic ware underneath.



Q. Does the CS-16 have the piston lifters like the Pearl-22?

A. Paragon's clamshell kilns do not have the piston-like lid lifters. (The lid lifters are called gas springs and contain an inert gas. The pressure from the gas assists in raising and lowering the kiln top.)

The CS-14 and CS-16 have springs that are mounted under the firing chamber. You can see them if you crouch down and look under the kiln. The springs assist in raising and lowering the kiln top.

Q. I have a ceramic piece that needs to be repaired. What type of glue would you suggest?

A. I have a small Mel Jacobson mug that broke during shipping. I repaired it with E6000 adhesive, and the break is now barely visible. Apply the glue to both halves of the broken piece. Wait a moment, and then press the pieces together. Hold them with rubber bands until the glue dries.



By Peggy Skemp

I “invested” in an exciting new piece of equipment, a large Paragon burnout kiln. I was not even able to lift the kiln out of its crate because it weighs nearly 200 pounds. I sheepishly asked my Amish neighbor and his son to help me lift it. The son effortlessly lifted the kiln up onto my make-shift table. Before I took them home, the old man had done everything short of plug it in, even began reading the manual aloud after we set it up, which got us all laughing pretty hard.

I was positively bursting at the seams to FINALLY turn on the kiln for the first time after letting it sit in the box for so long. But I could not even plug it in! One of the tines on the plug was flipped to the side. After relatively little primal screaming, I called the kiln people and notified them that they had sent a bum unit. It couldn’t be plugged in! I sobbed softly as the technician gently broke the news that I probably didn’t have enough volts to run the kiln.

And so began the lengthy process of finding an electrician. I called 26 people before finding someone who could come out and do the job. Electricians are the Barbara Streisands of the fix-it world. I only hope my crazed desperation did not influence the ticket price. He had to bring excavation equipment to dig a new line out to the casting lab. It was a big production.

Fast-forward to the present day. The Paragon kiln is plugged in, I’ve been re-learning the idiosyncrasies of casting, busily converting a space that clearly fancies itself a garage into a proper casting lab. Needless to say all of the hassles and expense that have lead up to this glorious moment of casting on-site have made me that much more excited to finally fire up the kiln.



“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” --Steve Jobs



For trouble shooting help, you can now Facetime with Paragon’s customer service representatives. This allows our tech support to look inside the switch box, assist in reading a multimeter, and answer questions that would be difficult without video.

From an iPhone, press the Facetime app. Enter the following address on the line at the top of the screen:

The email address will ring an iPad in our office the same way a phone number connects to a cell phone.


Colorful kilns are beginning to brighten the Paragon factory, contrasting with concrete floors and beige walls. Even the wooden dollies that transport kilns are spattered with purple, navy, hot pink, berry, jade, or turquoise. Bright kilns are becoming common, because we now paint these colors at no extra charge.

Thank you,

With best wishes for a relaxing weekend,

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 2016, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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