Paragon Kilns Paragon Kilns
the paragon sc jewellery kilns smaller kilns at electrickilns.co.uk or tumblers at electrictumblers.co.uk
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Paragon SC2 Pro Metal Clay Kiln
Cherry Heaven TV
Sentinel Smart Touch Digital Programmer
Sentry Digital Programmer
Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer
Paragon SC4 Glass Kiln
Paragon SC3BW Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC3W Enamelling Kiln
Paragon SC3B Bead Kiln
Paragon SC3 Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC2 Pro Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC2 Pro Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC2 Pro Fusing Kiln
Paragon SC2 Pro Fusing Kiln
Paragon SC2BW Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC2W Enamelling Kiln
Paragon SC2B Bead Annealing Kiln
Paragon SC2 Jewellery Kiln
Cherry Heaven TV
French Flag Italian Flag Spanish Flag Swedish Flag
UK To EU Plug Adapter
Ceramic Block
Ceramic Cloth
EU Plug
UK-EU Adapter
Kitiki Cutters
Kitiki Flush Cutters
Kitiki Flat-Nose Pliers
Kitiki Pointed-Nose Pliers
Kitiki Bent-Nose Pliers
Kitiki Round-Nose Pliers
Potter & Brumfield Relay
Dorset, SW England
UK Plug
The AX-4 Digital Controller
MiniKiln Closed
Prometheus Pro-7
Bartlett V6-CF Digital Controller
Paragon BlueBird Open
Lauscha by Carrie Fertig
Activated Charcoal Granules
Paragon Caldera A Closed
Paragon Caldera AB Closed
Paragon Fusion CS14D Open
Paragon Fusion CS14SB Closed
Paragon Caldera XL Closed
Paragon FireFly A Closed
Paragon Fusion 7 Open
Paragon Fusion 8 Open
Paragon GL18ADTSD Open
Paragon HT-14D Closed
Paragon Janus 1613 Open
Paragon KM18D
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Unassembled
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Suction Cup
Paragon Pearl 18 Open
Paragon PMT21
Stainless Steel Pans
Paragon SC-2 Black Open
Paragon SC2 Open
Paragon SC2B Open
Paragon SC2W Open
Paragon SC4 Closed
Paragon SC1 Closed
Paragon SC1 Open
Paragon SC1W Closed
Paragon SC2BW Open
Paragon SC2D Pro-3 Open
Paragon SC2 Shelf Kit
Paragon SC-2 Jade Closed
Paragon SC-2 Black Closed
Orton Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer
Orton Sentry 2.0 Digital Programmer
Bartlett Sentinel Touch-Screen
Paragon SC-2 Pink Open
Paragon SC-2 Pro Black Open
Paragon SC-2 Turqoise Open
Paragon SC-2 Purple Open
Paragon SC-2 Navy Closed
Paragon SC-2 Berry Closed
Paragon ST-8 Table
Paragon TNF 1613 Closed
Paragon GL24 Table
Paragon Xpress 1613 Top Row Bricks
USB Plug
Paragon Xpress E-12A Open
Paragon Xpress E-12AB Closed
Paragon Xpress E-14 Closed
Paragon Xpress Q-11A Open
Paragon F500 Open
Paragon SC2 Silver Clay Kiln
Paragon SC2B Bead Annealing Kiln
Paragon SC2W Enamelling Kiln
Paragon SC2BW Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC3 Metal Clay Kiln
Paragon SC3B Bead Kiln
Paragon SC3W Enamel Kiln
Paragon SC3BW Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC4 Glass Kiln
Paragon SC2D Pro 3-Key Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC2D Pro 3-Key Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC2 Pro 3-Key Jewellery Kiln
Paragon SC2 Pro 12-key Jewellery Kiln

Paragon SC Kilns For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

Paragon SC kilns are generally used for firing metal clays, enamelling, fusing glass, making jewellery, and melting silver, although they have other applications. They are, with one exception, 1095°C kilns with digital programmers, in Paragon blue, or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. The exception is the large 925°C SC4. Learn all about Paragon SC kilns on this page.

There are twelve in the series: the medium SC2, SC2B, SC2W, and SC2BW, the larger SC3, SC3B, SC3W, and SC3BW, and the large SC4. The B versions have a bead-annealing door, the W versions have a heat resistant glass viewing-window, and the BW versions have both.
The series includes three stylish SC2 professional versions with stainless-steel doors, stay-cool wooden door-handles, silent long-life solid-state relays, and tilted easy-view ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key or Sentry 12-key programmers.


For prices, use the shop link below the menu bar near the top-right of any page. They're for UK-EU voltage, CE-marked, TUV tested, and CL and CSA approved kilns, and include comprehensive instructions, a professional shelf kit, UK VAT, and UK mainland delivery. So, no other charges and you can start work straight away.


Cherry Heaven TV has made an on-line photo book featuring these popular kilns: click the Cherry Heaven TV Player above. It starts with the Paragon SC2, and continues with the SC2 Pro-3, SC2 Pro-12, SC3, SC4, Sentry Xpress 3-key programmer, Sentry 12-key programmer, and Sentinel Touch Screen programmer.

THE PARAGON SC SERIES: PHOTOS

Paragon SC Kilns For Metal Clays, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

To look at the pop-up photos, hold your mouse over the zoom buttons below: you don't need to click.


Paragon SC2 Metal Clay Kiln Paragon SC2.

Paragon SC2 Siver Clay Kiln In Black Paragon SC2 In Black.

Paragon SC2 Metal Clay Kiln In Navy Paragon SC2 In Navy.

Paragon SC2B Bead-Annealing Kiln Paragon SC2B With A Bead Door.

Paragon SC2W Enamelling Kiln Paragon SC2W With A Window.

Paragon SC2W Enamelling Kiln In Jade Paragon SC2W With A Window In Jade.

Paragon SC2BW Jewellery Kiln Paragon SC2BW With A Bead Door And A Window.

Paragon SC2BW Jewellery Kiln In Berry Paragon SC2BW With A Bead Door And A Window In Berry.

Paragon SC2BW Jewellery Kiln In Pink Paragon SC2BW With A Bead Door And A Window In Pink.

Paragon SC2BW Jewellery Kiln In Purple Paragon SC2BW With A Bead Door And A Window In Purple.

Paragon SC2BW Jewellery Kiln In Turquoise Paragon SC2BW With A Bead Door And A Window In Turquoise.

Paragon SC2 Pro-3 Jewellery Kiln Paragon SC2 Pro-3.

Paragon SC2 Pro-3 Jewellery Kiln Paragon SC2 Pro-3.

Paragon SC2D Pro-3 Jewellery Kiln Paragon SC2D Pro-3 With A Drop Door.

Paragon SC2D Pro-3 Jewellery Kiln Paragon SC2D Pro-3 With A Drop Door.

Paragon SC2 Pro-12 Jewellery Kiln Paragon SC2 Pro-12.

Paragon SC3 Silver Clay Kiln Paragon SC3.

Paragon SC3B Bead Kiln Paragon SC3B With A Bead Door.

Paragon SC3W Enamelling Kiln Paragon SC3W With A Window.

Paragon SC3BW Jewellery Kiln Paragon SC3BW With A Bead Door And A Window.

Paragon SC4 Glass Kiln Paragon SC4.

Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Digital Controller Paragon Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer.

Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Controller Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer.

Bartlett-Paragon Sentinel Digital Controller Paragon Sentinel Touch-Screen Digital Programmer.

STAY ON THIS RESOURCE, OR SWITCH TO ANOTHER?

Paragon Kilns, Electric Kilns, Kitiki Kilns, or Prometheus Kilns? Or Mail Or Call Cherry Heaven.

For your convenience, I've separated all the kilns into two very general groups on two separate internet resources, although there's cross-over. If you want to switch resources, use the links above the menu bar near the top of the page.


Electric Kilns is generally for smaller plug-in table-top kilns usually used for small-scale work such as annealing beads, Art Clay metal clays, dichroics, enamels, glass fusing, jewellery, lampwork, PMC silver clay, porcelain, and vitrigraph.

Paragon Kilns is generally for larger wired-in floor-standing or table-top kilns usually used for business-scale work such as annealing, casting, ceramics, earthenware, glass panels, heat treating, making knives, porcelain, pottery, and raku.

THE PARAGON SC KILNS: A GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Paragon SC2 Jewellery Kiln Paragon SC2W Enamelling Kiln Paragon SC2 Pro Metal Clay Kiln Paragon SC4 Glass Kiln

Paragon SC Kilns For Silver Clays, Jewellery, Bead Annealing, Dichroics, Enamels, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

Paragon SC kilns are, with one exception, 1095°C, square, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, ceramic-fibre kilns, with ramp hold Sentry Xpress 3-key or Sentry 12-key digital programmers. The exception is the large 925°C SC4. Choose Paragon blue, or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. Customised kilns are made to order, so can't be returned if the colour isn't exactly the same as in the photo.

There are twelve in the series: the medium SC2, SC2B, SC2W, and SC2BW, the larger SC3, SC3B, SC3W, and SC3BW, and the large SC4. The B versions have a bead-annealing door, the W versions have a heat resistant glass viewing-window, and the BW versions have both.
The series includes three stylish SC2 professional versions with stainless-steel doors, stay-cool wooden door-handles, silent long-life solid-state relays, and tilted easy-view ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key or Sentry 12-key digital programmers.
The SC2 Pro-3 has a regular door and a 3-key programmer, the SC2D Pro-3 has a drop-down door and a 3-key programmer, and the SC2 Pro-12 has a regular door and a 12-key programmer. They're ideal for a design-aware environment such as a course studio, dental practice, drop-in craft centre, or research facility.

They're ideal for your arts centre, college, course venue, craft classes, dental or medical laboratory, engineering workshop, home business, jewellery studio, school, or technical facility. The SC2 is probably the most popular kiln in the UK, and the SC2 Pro looks fabulous.

The Sentry 12-key programmer can be upgraded to a Sentinel Touch Screen. Both have advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.


SC kilns made for Cherry Heaven have more expensive easy-adjust lever door-catches, not the standard US ball-catches. The ball catches were often too tight or too loose, and were fiddlesome to adjust.

Heavy guage long-life nickel-chromium K-type thermocouples replace the older US bead-style and sheathed-style. They respond more quickly to temperature changes and minimise the risk of corrosion and subsequent failure of the bi-metallic tip: sometimes caused by epoxy break-down and the gases produced whilst heating some materials.

The shelf kits, included in the price, comprise a solid thick tough cordierite shelf for even heat distribution, and four 12mm shelf supports: not a thin fibre shelf.


Use them for making jewellery, annealing beads and glass, painting china, applying decals, dental work, fusing dichroic glasses, enamelling, fire polishing, glass art, glass casting, fusing, sagging, and slumping, glass clays, heat treating, knife making, laboratory testing, lampwork, lost-wax casting, low-fire ceramics, melting gold and silver, firing bronze and copper metal clays, moulding gun and model parts, pâte de verre, sintering gold and silver clays, staining glass, hardening and tempering blades, cutters, dies, and tools, wax burn out, and many other materials and processes.

Small kilns are perfect for jewellery-making, so you can use most popular small-scale materials such as Accent Gold, Art Clay metal clays, BullsEye glasses, dichroic glasses, enamels, GlasClay, Image Transfer Solution, Metal Clay Veneer, PMC silver clay, Prometheus bronze clay, ProCopper clay, and SilverEtch.
And there's an increasingly diverse range of other metal clays, such as Cinter, Clay Mania, Creative, Goldie, Hadar Jacobson, Metal Adventures, Meteor, Noble, and PMC Sterling.

You can make beads, bowls, bracelets, brooches, candle holders, chandelier parts, charms, decorations, earrings, figurines, fingerprint keepsakes, glass-art, jewellery, miniatures, gun and model components, necklaces, ornaments, pendants, pet-id tags, rings, souvenirs, stained-glass designs, tableware, thimbles, tiaras, tiles, tools, and trinkets, as unique hand-crafted pieces or repeatable stock for sale.


If you're not sure that an SC kiln is the right choice:

Glass kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 925°C. For these, look at the top-opening CS-Fusion Series or Pearl Series, or the front opening F Series or GL Series. These are not hot enough for ceramics and porcelain.

Ceramics kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1230°C to 1290°C. For these, look at the small Caldera Series, the medium Xpress Series, and the large Janus Series and PMT Series. These can also be used for glass work.

Although the SC2B and SC3B have bead doors, there are other kilns with bead doors. If you want a kiln just for annealing beads look at the BlueBird Series. Otherwise, if you want a similarly-sized but hotter kiln, for ceramics and porcelain, look at the Caldera-AB. If you want a larger hotter kiln, again for ceramics and porcelain, look at the Xpress-E12AB: a very popular mixed-media kiln. Even much larger kilns like the CS-Fusion Series can be made with bead doors.


To learn more about other kilns, use the appropriate links above and below the menu bar near the top of the page. Each series has kilns of different sizes with different options, so I've only included one of each in the table below:


VERSION DESCRIPTION MAX °C POWER W WEIGHT KG FIRING CHAMBER INTERIOR SIZE MM
SC 2 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145
SC 2B bead door 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145
SC 2W window 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145
SC 2BW bead door and window 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145
SC 3 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195
SC 3B bead door 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195
SC 3W window 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195
SC 3BW bead door and window 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195
SC 4 925 2400 41 ceramic fibre 330 x 330 x 229
BlueBird two bead doors 650 1500 22 ceramic fibre 508 x 152 x 070
Caldera AB one bead door 1290 1800 20 firebrick 203 x 203 x 171
F 130 Elite one punty door 925 2400 79 firebrick 279 x 279 x 330
Fusion CS14D lid and body-opener 925 1800 71 firebrick 356 x 356 x 165
GL 24ADTSD square front opener 1095 10800 193 firebrick 610 x 572 x 381
HT-14D square front-opener 1095 or 1290 3120 55 firebrick 330 x 343 x 222
Janus 1613 round top-opener 1290 4800 90 firebrick 419 x 337
Pearl 22 square top opening 925 7200 146 firebrick 559 x 559 x 330
PMT 18 square front-opener 1290 6500 170 firebrick 330 x 457 x 330
Xpress E12A rectangular front-opener 1230 or 1290 2700 38 firebrick 216 x 305 x 222

All the digital programmers allow you to set up sequences, each one with multiple heating, holding, or cooling segments: so you can choose the heating and cooling rates, target temperatures, and hold times, save the sequences, and re-use them.

There are no restrictive features such as single-sequence use or pre-set programmes. Pre-set programmes might seem to be an advantage, however, having experimented and diversified, many people fire materials, or combinations of materials, at different temperatures and for different times than are recommended.


For help, or in the unlikely event of a fault, you can mail or call an engineer in the UK. However, checks, adjustments, and repairs are simple, needing little more than a PosiDriv screwdriver: watch the on-line videos using the watch-videos link or read the help pages using use the help link, both below the menu bar near the top-right of any page. Alternatively, we can service the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven.


After looking at each kiln in detail, I'll introduce the appropriate accessories, options, and upgrades.

THE PARAGON SC2 ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, AND ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS
Paragon SC2 Silver Clay, Enamelling, And Fusing Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-2 For Art Clay And PMC, Bead Annealing, Dichroics, Enamelling, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

The Paragon SC-2 is a 1095°C, square, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, ceramic fibre kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon blue, or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.


Paragon's kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches. However, for this kiln, 2 doesn't mean it's 2 inches anywhere. It's about 8 inches wide, 8 inches deep, and 6 inches high inside.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 1680W, so it can use a regular mains socket. To comply with EU safety regulations, the elements are embedded: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 336mm x 311mm x 400mm high. It's slotted for air circulation, so stays cool and doesn't need an extra stand. There's a removable stopper in the top vent for lost-wax casting and other processes that might release fumes. The shipping weight is about 16kg.

The ceramic-fibre firing chamber, enclosed in an inner steel case, measures 199mm x 204mm x 145mm high, and heats from both sides, with the fast-firing elements safely embedded in the fibre. The kiln has an electro-mechanical relay and a nickel-chromium K-type thermocouple.


The programmer's electronic display prompts for heating rates, target temperatures, and hold times, making it easy to set up and re-use accurate heating, holding, and cooling sequences.


The accessories, options, and upgrades for this kiln are in the on-line shop:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a right-hand door hinge: factory fitted
List a 165mm x 64mm letter-box style bead-anealing door: factory fitted
List a 50mmx 50mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window in the centre of the door: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking shelf kits
List ceramic shelf-paper
List charcoal for the stainless steel container used for firing some metal clays
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion.

The Paragon SC2 is probably the most popular small kiln in the UK. It heats up quickly, it's fully programmable, it's small enough to get out, use, and put away, and does most things for most people within its size and temperature limits. It's ideal for classrooms, colleges, course venues, schools, workshops, and commercial jewellery studios.

It will hold three 178mm x 178mm shelves, so you can fire lots of metal clay at one go, paint china figures, do enamelling, cast glass, fuse glass, use jewellery moulds, and make 150mm square glass tiles.

THE PARAGON SC2: KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon SC2 Kiln Furniture.

SC kilns normally leave the factory with one small economy ceramic-fibre shelf that will break up over time. We've replaced it with a more expensive professional kit: a solid thick tough shelf and four posts. So:


There's a recommended kit, included in the price: one durable 178mm x 178mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: one 178mm x 178mm x 15mm shelf and four posts. You can choose 12mm, 25mm, or 50mm posts.

Depending on the material or process, and the sizes of your pieces, stacked shelves will hold more work, free up your time, and reduce the unit firing cost: so you might want more kits. This kiln has room for three.

THE PARAGON SC2B: BEAD DOOR ANNEALING BEADS, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, FUSING GLASS, AND METAL CLAYS
Paragon SC2B Bead Annealing Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-2B For Annealing Beads, Silver Clays, Dichroics, Enamelling, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

The Paragon SC-2B door includes a 165mm x 64mm letter-box style bead-anealing door and a bead-mandrel holder. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC2.


The bead door is hinged at the top and opens outwards. Normally, glass beads on bead mandrels, or rods, are pushed through the bead door and rest on the mandrel holder, so that an annealing programme can toughen the glass.

The bead door is often used to take a quick peep at china paints, enamels, glass, and glazes to check on their progress, or to adjust or move pieces of work. It gives you a wider view than a window, but the kiln will heat unevenly if you keep it fully open for too long: although not as much as opening the main door.
Purists might tell you not to leave the bead door open but remember, when you're using bead mandrels it's slightly open all the time. As always, it's important to experiment and find the simplest or most successful way of working.


If you touch hot bead mandrels, even very briefly, it's important to wear heat-resistant gloves to protect your fingers. Hot gloves are in the on-line shop.

THE PARAGON SC2W: WINDOW ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, AND ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS
Paragon SC2W Enamelling Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-2W For Enamelling, Metal Clays, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

The door includes a 50mm x 50mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window. The window allows you to take a quick peep at china paints, enamels, glass, and glazes to check on their progress: you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC2.


If you look into a red-hot kiln, even very briefly, it's important to wear glare-resistant glasses to protect your eyes from IR and UV radiation. Hot glasses are in the on-line shop.

THE PARAGON SC2BW: BEAD DOOR AND WINDOW BEADS, ENAMELLING, FUSING GLASS, AND METAL CLAYS
Paragon SC2BW Jewellery Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-2BW For Annealing Beads, Silver Clays, Dichroics, Enamelling, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

The Paragon SC-2BW door includes a 165mm x 64mm bead-anealing letter-box style door, a bead-mandrel holder, and a 75mm x 25mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC2.


The bead-door and window version makes the SC-2BW the most versatile of the series, combining the advantages of the SC2B and the SC2W described above. It's a good choice if you're buying your first kiln and you're not sure what you might want to do with it in the future.

Even if you don't use the bead door and window very often as you gain experience, they do make learning easier and you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence.

THE PARAGON SC-2 PRO-3 ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, AND ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS
Paragon SC-2 Pro-3 Jewellery Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-2 Pro-3 For Art Clay, PMC, Dichroics, Enamelling, Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping, And Metal Clays.

The SC2 Pro-3 is as stylish kiln: it has a stainless-steel door, stay-cool wooden door-handle, a soft spring-loaded door catch, silent long-life solid-state relay, and tilted easy-view ramp-hold 3-key digital programmer. Otherwise, it's similar to the SC2.

As with the regular SC2, the B versions have a bead-annealing door, the W versions have a heat resistant glass viewing-window, and the BW versions have both.

THE PARAGON SC-2 PRO-12 ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, AND ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS
Paragon SC-2 Pro-12 Jewellery Kiln Sentry Digital Programmer Sentinel Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-2 Pro-12 For Art Clay, PMC, Dichroics, Enamelling, Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping, And Metal Clays.

The SC2 Pro-12 is a stylish kiln: it has a stainless-steel door, stay-cool wooden door-handle, silent long-life solid-state relay, and tilted easy-view ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmer. Otherwise, it's similar to the SC2.

The Sentry 12-key programmer can be upgraded to a Sentinel Touch Screen. Both have advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.

As with the regular SC2, the B versions have a bead-annealing door, the W versions have a heat resistant glass viewing-window, and the BW versions have both.

THE PARAGON SC-2D PRO-3 ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, AND ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS
Paragon SC-2D Pro-3 Jewellery Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-2D Pro-3 For Art Clay, PMC, Dichroics, Enamelling, Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping, And Metal Clays.

The SC2D Pro-3 is a stylish kiln: it has a stainless-steel drop-door, stay-cool wooden door-handle, silent long-life solid-state relay, and tilted easy-view ramp-hold digital programmer. Otherwise, it's similar to the SC2.

As with the regular SC2, the B versions have a bead-annealing door, the W versions have a heat resistant glass viewing-window, and the BW versions have both.

THE PARAGON SC3 ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, AND ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS
Paragon SC3 Silver Clay, Enamelling, And Fusing Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-3 For Art Clay And PMC, Bead Annealing, Dichroics, Enamelling, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

The Paragon SC-3 is a 1095°C, square, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, ceramic fibre kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon blue, or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.


Paragon's kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches. However, for this kiln, 3 doesn't mean it's 3 inches anywhere. It's about 8 inches wide, 8 inches deep, and 8 inches high inside.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 2000W, so it can use a regular mains socket. To comply with EU safety regulations, the elements are embedded: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 336mm x 311mm x 432mm high. It's slotted for air circulation, so stays cool and doesn't need an extra stand. There's a removable stopper in the top vent for lost-wax casting and other processes that might release fumes. The shipping weight is about 18kg.

The ceramic-fibre firing chamber, enclosed in an inner steel case, measures 199mm x 204mm x 195mm high, and heats from both sides, with the fast-firing elements safely embedded in the fibre. The kiln has an electro-mechanical relay and a nickel-chromium K-type thermocouple.


The programmer's electronic display prompts for heating rates, target temperatures, and hold times, making it easy to set up and re-use accurate heating, holding, and cooling sequences.


The accessories, options, and upgrades for this kiln are in the on-line shop:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a right-hand door hinge: factory fitted
List a 165mm x 64mm letter-box style bead-anealing door: factory fitted
List a 50mmx 50mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window in the centre of the door: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking shelf kits
List ceramic shelf-paper
List charcoal for the stainless steel container used for firing some metal clays
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion.

The Paragon SC3 is about 1.35 times larger inside than the SC2. It heats up quickly, it's fully programmable, it's small enough to get out, use, and put away, and does most things for most people within its size and temperature limits. It's ideal for classrooms, colleges, course venues, schools, workshops, and commercial jewellery studios.

It will hold four 178mm x 178mm shelves, so you can fire lots of metal clay at one go, paint china figures, do enamelling, cast glass, fuse glass, use jewellery moulds, and make 150mm square glass tiles.

THE PARAGON SC3: KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon SC3 Kiln Furniture.

SC kilns normally leave the factory with one small economy ceramic-fibre shelf. that can break up over time. We've replaced it with a more expensive professional kit: a solid thick tough shelf and four posts. So:


There's a recommended kit, included in the price: one durable 178mm x 178mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: one 178mm x 178mm x 15mm shelf and four posts. You can choose 12mm, 25mm, or 50mm posts.

Depending on the material or process, and the sizes of your pieces, stacked shelves will hold more work, free up your time, and reduce the unit firing cost: so you might want more kits. This kiln has room for four.

THE PARAGON SC3B: BEAD DOOR ANNEALING BEADS, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, FUSING GLASS, AND METAL CLAYS
Paragon SC3B Bead-Annealing Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-3B For Annealing Beads, Silver Clays, Dichroics, Enamelling, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

The Paragon SC3B door includes a 165mm x 64mm letter-box style bead-anealing door and a bead-mandrel holder. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC3.


The bead door is hinged at the top and opens outwards. Normally, glass beads on bead mandrels, or rods, are pushed through the bead door and rest on the mandrel holder, so that an annealing programme can toughen the glass.

The bead door is often used to take a quick peep at china paints, enamels, glass, and glazes to check on their progress, or to adjust or move pieces of work. It gives you a wider view than a window, but the kiln will heat unevenly if you keep it fully open for too long: although not as much as opening the main door.
Purists might tell you not to leave the bead door open but remember, when you're using bead mandrels it's slightly open all the time. As always, it's important to experiment and find the simplest or most successful way of working.


If you touch hot bead mandrels, even very briefly, it's important to wear heat-resistant gloves to protect your fingers. Hot gloves are in the on-line shop.

THE PARAGON SC3W: WINDOW ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, AND ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS
Paragon SC3W Enamelling Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-3W For Enamelling, Metal Clays, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

The door includes a 50mm x 50mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window. The window allows you to take a quick peep at china paints, enamels, glass, and glazes to check on their progress: you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC3.


If you look into a red-hot kiln, even very briefly, it's important to wear glare-resistant glasses to protect your eyes from IR and UV radiation. Hot glasses are in the on-line shop.

THE PARAGON SC3BW: BEAD DOOR AND WINDOW BEADS, ENAMELLING, FUSING GLASS, AND METAL CLAYS
Paragon SC3BW Jewellery Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-3BW For Annealing Beads, Silver Clays, Dichroics, Enamelling, And Glass Casting, Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

The Paragon SC-3BW door includes a 165mm x 64mm bead-anealing letter-box style door, a bead-mandrel holder, and a 75mm x 25mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC3.


The bead-door and window version makes the SC-3BW the most versatile of the series, combining the advantages of the SC2B and the SC2W described above. It's a good choice if you're buying your first kiln and you're not sure what you might want to do with it in the future.

Even if you don't use the bead door and window very often as you gain experience, they do make learning easier and you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence.

THE PARAGON SC4 METAL CLAYS, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS, AND LOST WAX
Paragon SC4 Annealing, Enamelling, Glass, And Metal Clay Kiln Paragon Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer Paragon Sentinel Digital Programmer

The Paragon SC-4 Kiln For Metal Clays, Annealing, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping, And Lost-Wax Burn-out.

The Paragon SC-4 is a 925°C, square, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, ceramic fibre kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon blue, or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.


Paragon's kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches. However, for this kiln, 4 doesn't mean it's 4 inches anywhere. It's about 13 inches wide, 13 inches deep, and 9 inches high inside.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 2400W, so it can use a regular mains socket. To comply with EU safety regulations, the elements are embedded: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 457mm x 546mm x 521mm high. It's slotted for air circulation, so stays cool and doesn't need an extra stand. There's a removable stopper in the top vent for lost-wax casting and other processes that might release fumes. The shipping weight is about 49kg.

The ceramic-fibre firing chamber, enclosed in an inner steel case, measures 330mm x 330mm x 229mm high, and heats from both sides, with the fast-firing elements safely embedded in the fibre. The kiln has an electro-mechanical relay and a nickel-chromium K-type thermocouple.


The programmer's electronic display prompts for heating rates, target temperatures, and hold times, making it easy to set up and re-use accurate heating, holding, and cooling sequences.


The accessories, options, and upgrades for this kiln are in the on-line shop:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a right-hand door hinge: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentry 12-key: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentinel Touch Screen: more useful features: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking shelf kits
List ceramic shelf-paper
List charcoal for the stainless steel container used for firing some metal clays
List lost-wax burn-out tray
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion.

The Paragon SC4 is about 4.24 times larger inside than the SC2. It heats up quickly, it's fully programmable, and does most things for most people within its size and temperature limits. It's ideal for classrooms, colleges, course venues, schools, workshops, and commercial jewellery studios.

It will hold three 305mm x 305mm shelves, so you can fire lots of metal clay at one go, do enamelling, make figurines, anneal, cast, fuse, sag, and slump glass, use jewellery moulds, and put 16 painted china cups on two shelves.

It will also hold a 318mm x 318mm square lost-wax burn-out tray. There are two parts: a stainless steel tray and a steel grate. The melting wax drops into the tray instead of onto the floor of the firing chamber.

THE PARAGON SC4: KILN FURNITURE

Shelf Kits For The Paragon SC4.

There's a recommended kit, included in the price: one durable 305mm x 305mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: one 305mm x 305mm x 15mm shelf and four posts. You can choose 12mm, 25mm, 50mm, or 75mm posts.

Depending on the material or process, and the sizes of your pieces, stacked shelves will hold more work, free up your time, and reduce the unit firing cost: so you might want more kits. This kiln has room for three.

RECOMMENDED READING
General Help and FAQ's For Kilns

Kilns, Programmers, Kiln Furniture, Options, Upgrades, Firing, Kiln Logs, Accessories, Materials, Processes, And Tools.

The remaining sections are about digital programmers, options, upgrades, materials, and processes. Unless you're already successfully using a kiln, they're recommended reading.


Cherry Heaven has been a Paragon distributor since 2002, and commended every year for outstanding performance. Paragon kilns are good value: buy Paragons and you could save enough to treat yourself to a luxury five-star weekend break.

Anyone can buy a few kilns to resell and call themselves a specialist, but a distributor understands all the kilns, options, and upgrades, will stock spares, offer free competent technical support, can help you repair your kiln, provide on-line repair videos, has a repair workshop, and can access Paragon's international, informed, and supportive user-base.

If you need help, you can mail an experienced technician or call . Alternatively, to learn more about how your kiln works, use the help link below the menu bar near the top of the page.

THE PARAGON SENTRY XPRESS 3-KEY DIGITAL PROGRAMMER
Paragon Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon-Orton Sentry Xpress Digital Controller.

The Paragon Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer allows you to set up four firing sequences, each one with up to eight heating, holding, or cooling segments. You can choose the heating and cooling rates, target temperatures, and hold times, save the sequences, and re-use them.

It's easy to use: far easier than a central heating programmer. Here's a Cherry Heaven TV programme about setting a simple ramp-hold sequence. The ramp is the part where the temperature increases until it reaches the target temperature: the hold is the part where the temperature stays the same. UK-EU programmers will be in degrees Celsius.


Cherry Heaven TV provides on-line radio and television programmes on the Cherry Heaven TV Player. To use the player, click the controls or drag the time-line slider or volume slider to a new position.


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THE PARAGON SENTRY 12-KEY DIGITAL PROGRAMMER
Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer

The Paragon-Orton Sentry Digital Controller.

The Paragon Sentry 12-key digital programmer allows you to set up nine firing sequences, each one with up to ten heating, holding, or cooling segments. You can choose the heating and cooling rates, target temperatures, and hold times, save the sequences, and re-use them. It also offers advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.

It's easy to use: far easier than a central heating programmer. Here's a Cherry Heaven TV programme about setting a simple ramp-hold sequence. The ramp is the part where the temperature increases until it reaches the target temperature: the hold is the part where the temperature stays the same. UK-EU programmers will be in degrees Celsius.


Cherry Heaven TV provides on-line radio and television programmes on the Cherry Heaven Player TV. To use the player, click the controls or drag the time-line slider or volume slider to a new position.


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THE PARAGON SENTINEL SMART-TOUCH DIGITAL PROGRAMMER
Paragon Sentinel Touch Screen Programmer

The Paragon Sentinel Touch-Screen Digital Controller.

The Paragon Sentinel Touch Screen digital programmer allows you to set up firing sequences, each one with up to thirty two heating, holding, or cooling segments. You can choose the heating and cooling rates, target temperatures, and hold times, save the sequences, and re-use them. It also offers advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.

It's easy to use: far easier than a central heating programmer. Here's a Cherry Heaven TV programme about using it. The ramp is the part where the temperature increases until it reaches the target temperature: the hold is the part where the temperature stays the same. UK-EU programmers will be in degrees Celsius.


Cherry Heaven TV provides on-line radio and television programmes on the Cherry Heaven Player TV. To use the player, click the controls or drag the time-line slider or volume slider to a new position.


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KILN FURNITURE: A GENERAL INTRODUCTION IMPORTANT
A Paragon Kiln Shelf Kit

Kiln Furniture: Shelves And Posts.

Most kilns have a recommended furniture kit. Delivery companies have a low rate for parcels less than 30kg so, for smaller kilns weighing less than 30Kg, the kit is generally one shelf and four posts: included in the price because it fits in the box and doesn't add much to the shipping weight.

You get a professional, durable, cordierite shelf with four 12mm high posts. You don't get a soft, ceramic-fibre shelf, often described as free, that will gradually break up and need replacing.

Shelf kits usually include 25mm x 25mm x 12mm shelf posts, When flat, they're 12mm high: on their sides, they're 25mm. Other sizes, up to 150mm high, are available, so you can choose the shelf spacing that suits your kiln and your work.

The recommended kit is usually the simplest that works: not an expensive collection that I've put together for you. However, extra shelf kits allow you to stack your work, optimising your use of the firing chamber volume, the unit-cost of firing, and your time. And extra half-shelves or smaller shelves allow you to fire a mix of shorter and taller pieces.


For larger kilns weighing more than 30Kg, shelf kits are not included in the price because you'll probably want to choose your own mix of shelves, half-shelves, smaller shelves, and assorted-height posts.


One shelf should stay on the floor of the firing chamber all the time in case you accidentally spill or melt anything: solidified glass or metal is impossible to pick off without damaging the ceramic-fibre or firebrick.

Shelves are not meant to be an exact fit in the kiln. You need finger space all round and they mustn't scrape the kiln walls every time they're put in or taken out. Be careful lifting heavy shelves out of a top-opening kiln: if you drop them they will damage the firebricks.

Although they look tough, most ceramics break if they're dropped on a hard floor, so it's a good idea to have spare shelves, especially if your business depends on your kiln or you're running courses.


During firing sequences with heating, holding, and cooling segments, the elements turn on and off repeatedly. In a small kiln, with little residual heat, the inevitable temperature changes can make glass crack as it expands and contracts. A thick heavy shelf stores heat and, because it's resting on posts, the air circulates, helping to even out the normal temperature fluctuations.


If you're buying your first kiln, you're probably interested in one material, such as silver clay, or one process, such as enamelling. However, after a few successes, and failures, most people want to try different materials, make larger pieces, experiment with combinations, fire more at a time, and soon become interested in something else: or everything else. Some start a business or run classes.

You might want a full shelf, two half-shelves, several mixed shelves, a set of shelf posts, a bead-mandrel holder, glass separator, hot gloves, kiln wash, a knife-making rack, pyrometric cones, a tile holder, or other accessories.

Shelves are heavy, so kits ordered separately need a box and protective packing and attract an extra delivery charge. Outside the UK mainland, this might be expensive. So, if you think you'll need them, order them with your kiln, along with any other accessories, materials, parts, or tools.


For dichroics, enamelling, and glass fusing, put kiln paper on the shelf to stop the glass sticking: it's simpler and cleaner to use than glass separator. Bullseye Thinfire shelf paper, probably the most popular, ensures easy separation between your glass and the kiln shelf. One side feels slightly smoother than the other: that's the glass side.

Generally, glasswork needs radiant heat and will fuse, sag, or slump better on one shelf than between closely stacked shelves, although experienced glass artists often use several shelves succesfully.

Delicate pieces can be fired on a puffed-up ceramic-fibre cloth: on a shelf. Round pieces, that could roll to one side, can be fired on a hollowed-out ceramic-fibre block. However, if the kin has elements in the bottom as with the Mini-Kiln and Prometheus Pro-7, a cloth or block will act as insulator and the kiln might overheat.

Particulates represent a health risk if they're breathed in, so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln, mixing kiln wash, and working with ceramic-fibre blocks, ceramic cloths, and papers. And, ideally, use protective glasses.

If you want to touch anything hot, or move your kiln before it's cooled off, it's important to wear heat-resistant gloves. And, if you want to look into a red-hot kiln, even briefly, wear glare-resistant glasses to protect your eyes from IR and UV.


If your day-to-day work depends on your kiln and down-time will be disruptive or expensive, it's a good idea to have spares: extra shelves, a selection of posts, elements, a relay, and a thermocouple.

You can learn about ceramic blocks and cloths, charcoal, dust masks, glare-resistant glasses, glass separator, heat-resistant gloves, kiln vents, kiln wash, programmers, protective glasses, USB interfaces, shelf paper, tools, and other accessories, using the accessories link below the menu bar near the top of the front page. And they're all in the on-line shop.


Shelves are checked before despatch and are wrapped protectively. But they're not guaranteed and we cannot be responsible for any later damage.

OPTIONS AND UPGRADES: A GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Paragon SC2 Jewellery Kiln: Hot Pink With A RH Door Hinge

Options And Upgrades.

Individual kilns are described on this this page. However, it's important to learn about options and upgrades as some have to be factory-fitted. The photo shows a Paragon SC2 customised for a PMC silver clay studio: hot pink, a right-hand door hinge, and a maximum temperature set to 925°C so that students couldn't accidentally melt their silver.


An option is cosmetic or practical, such as a black respray, a right-hand door hinge, a peephole-vent, a bead-annealing door, a door or lid viewing window, or an EU plug.

An upgrade extends the standard specifications, such as a higher maximum temperature, a 3-key to a 12-key programmer, an electric kiln vent, a gas injection control system, an auxilliary power output, and an RS232 or USB computer interface.

Not every option or upgrade applies to every kiln, so mail or call if you need help. However, if they're appropriate, they're listed in the on-line shop, so just add up the ones you want: but order them with your kiln as they're often difficult, expensive, or impossible, to implement afterwards. It might help if you make a few notes of your own as you read?


Kilns use regular single-phase 230V-240V mains so have 230V EU elements, not 120V US elements. The smaller kilns have UK 13A three-pin plugs: so they're ready to go. If you're not in the UK, use a plug adapter or cut off the UK plug and fit your own: it won't invalidate the guarantee. Alternatively, a special-order kiln can have a factory-fitted EU plug.

Most kilns can be re-engineered for 110V, 200V, 208V, or 220V, single phase or three phase, or 440V three phase. If you're interested, mail or call.


Although standard EU and US kilns have the same maximum temperature, set by the design and the programmer, some 1095°C firebrick kilns can be re-engineered to run at 1230°C, 1260°C, or 1290°C, making them versatile mixed-media kilns. However, to use 1290°C full-on hour after hour, choose an industrial or professional model.

Also, to maintain 1290°C, some upgraded kilns might need thicker firebricks, so they'll be slightly smaller inside: about 12mm on each side. Mail or call if you're interested, or need help deciding.

The UK factory-set maximum temperature is based on a reliable average voltage of 240V. If there's a regional, national, or temporary voltage drop, high-temperature kilns might take longer to reach their specified maximum or not reach it.


Some kilns are normally blue, but can be factory-painted berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. However, as they're made to order, they can't be returned if the colour isn't exactly the same as in the photo.

Changing the door hinge might be better if your kiln is in the corner of your studio or there's an obstacle that will make access difficult. Give this some thought.

Most of the medium-size top-opening kilns have a standard lift-up lid. Firebrick lids seem heavy to some people so, if you feel that a ceramic fibre lid, a hydraulic-assisted lid, or spring-assisted lid would be easier, mail or call.


If the kiln comes with a Sentry Xpress 3-Key ramp-hold programmer, you can upgrade to a Sentry Xpress 3-Key cone-fire ramp-hold programmer, usually preferred for ceramics. Cone-fire is implemented in the programmer's software and is very easy to use: just set a cone number and start the firing sequence.

Depending on the kiln, you can upgrade a Sentry Xpress 3-key programmer to a Sentry 12-Key ten segment ramp-hold, or cone-fire ramp-hold, programmer, with advanced firing features and connection options. The 3-key has a 12-month guarantee and the 12-key has a 30-month guarantee.

A Sentry 12-key programmer can be connected to your computer through a factory-fitted USB interface. The Control Master software allows you to control and monitor the firing, and analyse, arrange, print out, and save the data. If you want this feature, make sure you order the USB interface in the on-line shop.


Depending on the kiln, the 12-key programmer has a power-ratio feature: you can adjust the heat balance between the top and sides in 10% steps and control the heat distribution over larger pieces.

Kilns which only heat from the top, as opposed to the top and sides, don't have the power-ratio feature. However, the initial cost-saving has to be offset against fewer firing options.


With larger kilns, serious glass artists are always concerned about firebrick dust from the lid falling onto their work, so you could upgrade the standard firebrick lid to a factory-fitted ceramic-fibre lid with the elements threaded through pinless grooves in the fibre: or, as a luxury upgrade, with the elements completely embedded in the fibre.


Most kilns come with an electro-mechanical long-life nickel-chromium K-type thermocouple. However, if extra long-life and reliability are vital, you can upgrade to a mercury relay which has a lifetime of several million on-off cycles. The relay can switch 30A, so if you have a kiln that needs 50A, you'll need two relays.

If extra long-life and reliability are vital, especially at temperatures above 1100°C, you can upgrade to a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple.


Some front-opening kilns are just too large and too heavy for a regular worktop, so Paragon makes a strong steel table, 768mm x 768mm x 718mm high, with two shelves for your accessories. The luxury version, with castors, is 63mm taller. If you decide to buy on old wood table, the rigidity of the legs is vital otherwise it will collapse like a parallelogram.


Some bronze and copper clays, and some metals, need to be fired in activated charcoal granules in a stainless steel container. The SC2 and SC3, the Caldera-A, and the Xpress E9A and E10A can hold a one-litre container: most other kilns can hold a three-litre but check the internal size before you buy the container. It's important that the container doesn't touch the thermocouple.

Particulates represent a health risk if they're breathed in, so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln, mixing kiln wash, and working with charcoals, ceramic-fibre blocks, cloths, and papers. And, ideally, use protective glasses.

If you want to touch anything hot or move your kiln before it's cooled off, it's important to wear heat-resistant gloves. And, if you want to look into a red-hot kiln, wear glare-resistant glasses which protect your eyes from IR and UV.


Paragon kilns, made in the US, have been re-engineered and comprehensively tested for the UK, the EU, and most other countries. They're CE Marked and comply with EU safety standards. They're guaranteed for a year, and Paragon has an international, informed, and supportive user-base, and spares and repair centres.

The UK-EU digital programmer shows degrees Celsius, not degrees Fahrenheit as in the US. If you need to convert, this is how to do it. However, if you want to work in Fahrenheit, you can make a simple change to the programmer.


For help, or in the unlikely event of a fault, you can mail or call an engineer in the UK. However, home checks, adjustments, and repairs are quick and easy, needing little more than a PosiDriv screwdriver, and you can watch on-line videos. Alternatively, we can repair the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven.

As with a lot of heavy consumer products made in the US but sold elsewhere, Paragon's guarantee covers replacement parts, not a return to the distributor or factory, and not any labour costs. However, as an example, replacing a programmer takes just a few minutes.

FIRING CHARACTERISTICS

How Electric Kilns Work.

Generally, as soon as a programmable kiln starts its firing sequence, it begins to heat up at a rate set by the programmer. It can't heat up quicker than it would do with the elements full on.

The thermocouple tells the programmer the current internal temperature and, depending on the sequence you've chosen, the programmer turns the elements on or off to control the sequence segments: the heating rate, the target temperature, the hold time, and the cooling rate. It can't cool down quicker than it would do with the kiln turned off. When the sequence is complete, the kiln beeps, and the sequence stops.


For safety, the programmer doesn't switch the full mains voltage. Instead it drives a relay, an electro-mechanical switch. The programmer uses a low voltage to activate the switch which turns the high voltage elements on or off.


When the target temperature is reached, the programmer switches the elements off. However, residual heat in the firing chamber allows the internal temperature to overshoot the target temperature briefly before starting to fall back.

This overshoot is more evident at low temperatures than at high temperatures, and in small kilns rather than large kilns. For example: 300°C will probably overshoot to 330°C whereas 800°C will probably only overshoot to 805°C before starting to fall back.

During the hold-time, with the elements still off, the temperature starts to fall. When the programmer switches the elements back on, the firing chamber will initially absorb some of the new heat before the temperature recovers. The continual switching of the elements on and off causes the internal temperature to oscillate either side of the target temperature.

This is similar to central heating. If you set it for 21°C, it probably oscillates, quite slowly, around 20°C to 22°C: and you won't notice. The accuracy will depend on where the thermostat is sited, how quickly it responds, how accurate it is, how long it takes for the radiators to heat up, and if you have doors and windows open. The temperature will probably be slightly different in each room.

So, regardless of the thermocouple temperature, the actual temperature of your work will be slightly different, depending on its position on the kiln shelf, the vertical spacing of any stacked shelves, and its nearness to the elements, a lid, a door, a bead door, or a window. Learn to take it into account if you're working with temperature-critical materials or processes.


Remember that glass needs radiant heat and will fuse, sag, or slump better on one shelf at the bottom than between closely stacked shelves.


Kiln doors and lids are not meant to be a perfect fit otherwise, at high temperatures, there'd be no room for expansion and movement, and the door could stick and the ceramic-fibre or firebricks could crack.

All kilns smell a bit, and even produce whisps of smoke, during the first firings, just like a toaster or a fan heater. If you're worried about fumes, open a window.

Eventually, with normal use, kilns discolour slightly, inside and outside, and some firebricks might develop hairline cracks. Your kiln is a versatile, robust, red-hot tool: not an ornament.

KEEPING A KILN LOG

Keeping A Kiln Log.

Using your kiln successfully needs critical research and frequent tests, especially as things that work for your friends and teachers might not work in the same way for you. It's also very important to learn how to creatively use unexpected effects. So, keep a firing log:


Buy a durable notebook. Use a new page for every firing, and draw diagrams of the shelves, their vertical spacing, and the position of your work on the shelves. Along with your work, put a few scraps at different places on the shelves to learn how things change. Describe the material, the shape of your work, the firing cycle, and the end result. Add a few photos and sketches, and mark the page corners with coloured dots or symbols as a quick reminder of your success rating.

A kiln log is vital if you're experimenting with temperature-sensitive materials or working with coloured dichroic glasses, enamels, glazes, or china paints, and a skilled artist will use the kiln log to advantage to re-create effects. It'll be particularly useful if you have to repeat a commission, or you have a long holiday before returning to your studio.


Some Paragon kilns have a Sentry 12-key or a Sentinel Touch Screen programmer which can be connected to your computer through a factory-fitted USB interface. The Control Master software allows you to control and monitor the firing, and analyse, arrange, print out, and save the data. If you want this feature, make sure you order the USB interface in the on-line shop.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO METAL CLAYS
Silver Clay Acrylic Tools Clay Shapers Hand Tools

What Is A Metal Clay?.

Metal Clays are clay-like materials made of fine metal powders and water-soluble organic binders. Out of the packet they feel like modelling clay, so can be shaped using anything appropriate. If you don't like what you've made, you can roll it up and start again. Any scraps can be wrapped up and re-used, so there's almost no waste.

When you're happy with your work, it's dried so that the moisture can evaporate. At this stage it feels like a plaster, so you can still refine the shape: and even add more clay.

As it's fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid metal: real metal, not something that just looks like metal. The firing temperature isn't high enough to melt the metal otherwise your work would lose it's shape and liquify.


Although Art Clay and PMC silver clays were first to market, there's now an increasingly diverse range of other metal clays, such as Cinter, Clay Mania, Creative, Goldie, Hadar Jacobson, Metal Adventures, Meteor, Noble, and PMC Sterling.

I sometimes get asked if there's a platinum metal clay: there is, but it's an industrial product. Platinum melts at 1772°C, so a platimum clay would probably need to fire at around 1600°C: beyond the maximum temperature of conventional kilns.


All our tools have been chosen for their engineering excellence and clean functionality, to help you manage a creative and efficient work environment. And you'll enjoy using good tools rather than continually improvising. To learn more, use the accessories:tools link below the menu bar near the top of the page.

SILVER CLAY
Art Clay Silver Pendant

Aida Art Clay Silver And Mitsubishi PMC Silver Clay.

There are two popular makes of silver clay: Art Clay made by Aida Chemical Industries and PMC made by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, in Japan. They're both clay-like materials made of fine silver powder and water-soluble organic binders.

Art Clay Silver and PMC Silver, sometimes just called silver clay, metal clay, or precious-metal clay, are easy to fire: put your dried work on a kiln shelf and programme the temperature and hold-time.

As they're fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid 999 silver: real metal, not something that just looks like metal.

All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away, but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit-cost of firing: so you might want more than one.


Although we chose to work with, sell, and provide classes in Art Clay, both makes fire in a similar way. So any kiln suitable for Art Clay will be just as good for PMC.

If you're currently using PMC, try Art Clay. There are differences in the feel, the shrinkage, the strength, the surface lustre, the product range, the pricing, and the general commercial setup if you're running a serious business.


To learn more, use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page. You can buy ArtClay, bronze clay, copper clay, glass clay, gold clay, and related products in the on-line shop.

BRONZE CLAY
Bronze-Copper Lobster Bangle By Gordon Uyehara

Bronze Clay And BronzClay.

There are three popular makes of bronze clay: Bronze Clay made by ClayMania, BronzClay made by Metal Adventures, and Prometheus Bronze ProClay made by Odak. They're all clay-like materials made of fine bronze powder and water-soluble organic binders. However, they're fired in different ways:

Prometheus Bronze Clay is easy to fire: wrap your dried work in kitchen tissue or ceramic cloth, put it on a kiln shelf, and programme the temperature and hold time. It can also be fired in charcoal.

Clay Mania Bronze Clay and MetalAdventures BronzClay fire in a special way. Fired normally, the surface would oxidise so, to minimize this, they're embedded in activated charcoal granules in a covered stainless steel container. Charcoal made from coconut shells produces a natural bronze colour, and charcoal made from coal produces a colourful range of patinas.

As they're fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid bronze, an alloy of 89% copper and 11% tin: real metal, not something that just looks like metal.


The stainless steel container for the Paragon SC-2 measures 162mm x 176mm x 100mm, and holds 1 litre of charcoal. To fire larger pieces, or more pieces at the same time, you'll need a larger kiln, such as the Paragon Xpress E-12A. The container for the E-12A measures 265mm x 162mm x 152mm and holds 3 litres of charcoal.

The 1230°C firebrick E12A costs more than the 1095°C ceramic-fibre SC2. However, it's two and a half times larger than the SC-2 and is a versatile mixed-media kiln suited to continual high temperatures.

Particulates represent a health risk if they're breathed in, so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln, mixing kiln wash, and working with charcoals, ceramic-fibre blocks, cloths, and papers. And, ideally, use protective glasses.

All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away, but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit-cost of firing: so you might want more than one.


I can't recommend one clay as being the best. There are differences in the feel, the firing, the shrinkage, the strength, and the surface patinas, so try them and experiment: they're not expensive.
However, as Prometheus Bronze Clay is easy to fire and costs less than the others, try it first? It comes as 100gm of soft clay in a packet, or 10gm of creamy clay in a syringe with three tips that you can cut or shape.

There's also Creative Bronze, which is almost certainly Prometheus Bronze Clay renamed. I'll leave it you to work out why, in November 2014, ProBronze is £17.75 for 100gm and Creative Bronze is £23.95: both including postage.


Also, in November 2014, 100gms of Art Clay Silver Clay costs about 12 times more than Prometheus Bronze Clay. So, if you're still in the learning phase, you can try out ideas before possibly wasting your expensive silver clay. However, bronze is a beautiful metal so, as with many materials, you need to exploit its qualities and try to produce beautiful original pieces.

To learn more, use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page. You can buy ArtClay, bronze clay, copper clay, glass clay, gold clay, and related products in the on-line shop.

COPPER CLAY
Copper Earring By Zina Kuscynska Richterova

Copper Clay And CopprClay.

There are four popular makes of copper clay: Art Clay Copper made by Aida Chemical Industries, Copper Clay made by ClayMania, CopprClay made by Metal Adventures, and Prometheus Copper ProClay made by Odak. They're all clay-like materials made of fine copper powder and water-soluble organic binders. However, they're fired in different ways:

Clay Mania Copper Clay and MetalAdventures CopprClay fire in a special way. Fired normally, the surface would oxidise so, to minimize this, they're embedded in activated charcoal granules in a covered stainless steel container. Charcoal made from coconut shells produces a natural copper colour.

Art Clay Copper is easy to fire: put your dried work on a kiln shelf, and programme the temperature and hold time. In most kilns, several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time: so you might want more than one.

Prometheus Copper Clay is easy to fire: wrap your dried work in kitchen tissue or ceramic cloth, put it on a kiln shelf, and programme the temperature and hold time. It can also be fired in charcoal.

As they're fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid copper: real metal, not something that just looks like metal.


The stainless steel container for the Paragon SC-2 measures 162mm x 176mm x 100mm, and holds 1 litre of charcoal. To fire larger pieces, or more pieces at the same time, you'll need a larger kiln, such as the Paragon Xpress E-12A. The container for the E-12A measures 265mm x 162mm x 152mm and holds 3 litres of charcoal.

The 1230°C firebrick E12A costs more than the 1095°C ceramic-fibre SC2. However, it's two and a half times larger than the SC-2 and is a versatile mixed-media kiln suited to continual high temperatures.

Particulates represent a health risk if they're breathed in, so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln, mixing kiln wash, and working with charcoals, ceramic-fibre blocks, cloths, and papers. And, ideally, use protective glasses.

All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away, but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit-cost of firing: so you might want more than one.


I can't recommend one clay as being the best. There are differences in the feel, the firing, the shrinkage, the strength, and the surface patinas, so try them and experiment: they're not expensive.
However, as Prometheus Copper Clay is easy to fire and costs less than the others, try it first? It comes as 100gm of soft clay in a packet, or 10gm of creamy clay in a syringe with three tips that you can cut or shape.

There's also Creative Copper, which is almost certainly Prometheus Copper Clay renamed. I'll leave it you to work out why, in November 2014, ProCopper is £17.75 for 100gm and Creative Bronze is £23.95: both including postage.


Also, in November 2014, 100gms of Art Clay Silver Clay costs about 12 times more than Prometheus Copper Clay. So, if you're still in the learning phase, you can try out ideas before possibly wasting your expensive silver clay. However, copper is a beautiful metal so, as with many materials, you need to exploit its qualities and try to produce beautiful original pieces.

To learn more, use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page. You can buy ArtClay, bronze clay, copper clay, glass clay, gold clay, and related products in the on-line shop.

GOLD CLAY
Gold Clay Pendant By Claudia S Atkins

Aida Art Clay Gold And Mitsubishi PMC Gold Clay.

There are two popular makes of gold clay: Art Clay made by Aida Chemical Industries and PMC made by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, in Japan. They're both clay-like materials made of fine gold powder and water-soluble organic binders.

Art Clay Gold and PMC Gold, sometimes just called gold clay, metal clay, or precious-metal clay, are easy to fire: put your dried work on a kiln shelf and programme the temperature and hold-time.

As they're fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid 22 carat gold: real metal, not something that just looks like metal.

All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away, but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit-cost of firing: so you might want more than one.


Although we chose to work with, sell, and provide classes in Art Clay, both makes fire in a similar way. So any kiln suitable for Art Clay will be just as good for PMC.

If you're currently using PMC, try Art Clay. There are differences in the feel, the shrinkage, the strength, the surface lustre, the product range, the pricing, and the general commercial setup if you're running a serious business.


To learn more, use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page. You can buy ArtClay, bronze clay, copper clay, glass clay, gold clay, and related products in the on-line shop.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO GLASS
Obsidian

What Is Glass?

The main component of glass is silicon dioxide, often called silica: found naturally and plentifully as sand. When it melts, at around 1700°C, it's like syrup on a cold day. When it cools, it forms a rigid brittle glass called quartz glass.

To lower the melting point, and reduce the cost of melting, chemicals are added: typically sodium carbonate and calcium oxide. Other chemicals, and different heating and cooling processes, produce a range of colours and mechanical properties.

Chemically, glass is defined as an amorphous solid but, as it's heated, it becomes softer allowing it to be blown, cast, coated, decorated, engraved, heat-treated. moulded, poured, pressed, sagged, and slumped.

A form of glass occurs naturally within the mouth of a volcano when the intense heat of an eruption melts sand to form Obsidian, a hard black-to-brown glassy type of stone, shown in the photo. Although it was used decoratively, when it fractures it has very sharp edges, many times sharper than a steel knife-edge, so was also used for tools and weapons, and the pitiful ritual of circumcision.

ANNEALING
Annealed Beads Made Into A Necklace

Annealing.

During annealing, fabrication stresses are relieved as the molecules cool and arrange themselves into a regular stable matrix. Successful annealing is the key to creating glasswork that will remain attractive and durable. It's quite a long process, so a kiln with an automatic comprehensive programmer is essential.

DICHROIC GLASS
Dichroic Glass

Dichroic Glass.

Dichroic glass has two different colours: a transmitted colour and a reflective colour, both of which change depending on the angle of view. For example blue-red will be blue in transmission and red in reflection.

During manufacture, quartz and metal oxides are vapourised onto the surface of the glass using a vacuum deposition process, forming a multi-layer crystal structure.

FIRE POLISHING
Fire Polished Glass

Fire Polishing.

To fire polish glass, return the items to the kiln and melt them just enough to give a smooth polished appearance. It needs a temperature of around 700°C, and is typically used to round the edges of glass between fusing and slumping.

Fire polishing already-slumped items is more difficult because the polishing temperature is close to the slumping temperature and it can distort the appearance of the piece. So it generally works best for flat items, rather than slumped ones. It has the slight limitation that the part of the item that touches the kiln shelf won't polish.

FUSING, SAGGING, AND SLUMPING
Fused Glass

Glass Fusing.

If two or more pieces of glass in contact are heated, they begin to soften and fuse together. With careful heating and cooling, the separate pieces of glass become one.

If glass is put on a mould and heated, it begins to soften and collapse, or sag, onto the mould: a common technique for making bowls and plates.

Sagging and slumping are often thought of as being the same. Correctly: during sagging, heated glass, supported at its edges, sags down in the middle to conform to a mould; during slumping, heated glass, supported at its middle, slumps down at its edges to conform to a mould.

SLUMPING BOTTLES
Slumped Bottle

Glass Slumping.

This a simple technique but it requires good ideas. A bottle, such as those used for wine, beer, cola, or champagne, is softened in a kiln so that it begins to flatten out or conforms to a mould. There are too many moulds to stock here but there are lots available on line. Or make your own from clay.

The bottles nead to be clean and dry, with all paper labels and tops removed. Put them in your kiln on a shelf, either with shelf paper or kiln wash to prevent the glass sticking to the shelf. Paragon make a kiln designed for this: the Trio. It's wide enough for most bottles but can still use a regular socket.

LAMPWORK AND BEADS
Beads

Lampwork And Beads.

Very briefly, lamp-working is the traditional name for glasswork that uses a flame to melt glass rods and tubes. As the glass softens, it's shaped by turning and using tools.

Early lampworkers used an oil-lamp, and blew air into the flame through a pipe. Later, propane, natural gas, or butane torches replaced the lamp, although kilns are now increasingly popular, particularly for annealing.

Beads are usually made on steel rods, or mandrels. When the beads are finished, the rods are removed leaving holes for threading the beads. Cold working techniques can be used, such as etching, faceting, polishing, and sandblasting.

PÂTE DE VERRE
Pâte De Verre

Pâte De Verre.

Pâte de verre involves making a glass paste, applying it to a mould, firing it, and removing the piece from the mould. The glass paste is usually made from glass powder, a binder such as gum arabic, distilled water, and colouring agents or enamels. It allows precise placing of colours in the mould, whereas other techniques often result in the glass straying from its intended position.

I think, currently, Daum is the only large commercial crystal manufacturer using the pâte de verre process for art glass and crystal sculptures.

TACK FUSING
Tack Fused Glass

Tack Fusing.

Tack fusing is the joining together of glass, with as little change to the shape of the pieces as possible. Tack fusing may be used either decoratively, or to assemble a large piece of glass from laminations.

Where tack fusing is used to apply small decorative details to a larger piece, you might want to partially melt the small pieces so that they change shape, usually becoming more spherical under the influence of surface tension, but without changing the shape of the carrier piece. This can be done by using an increased temperature, but only briefly. The carrier piece has a larger thermal mass, so heats up more slowly than the small decorations.

VITRIGRAPH WORK
Glass Stringers

Vitrigraph.

Vitrigraph uses a Caldera-A kiln to make glass stringers. The bottom of the kiln is unclipped and set aside. The kiln body is put on a thick ceramic square with a central hole. The whole thing is lifted well away from the floor to allow moulten glass to fall through a small hole in a crucible and form long stringers. Ceramic squares are in the on-line shop.

WARM GLASS

Warm Glass.

The term warm glass refers to fusing, slumping, and other glass processes which take place at temperatures between about 600°C to 925°C. Although that doesn't sound warm, it is when you compare it to glassblower's working temperatures, which often exceed 1100°C. The term warm glass is often replaced by kiln forming.

PARAGON KILNS
Paragon SC4 Glass Kiln

Paragon Kilns For Annealing Beads, Firing Ceramics, Glass, Metal Clays, Heat Treating, Lampwork, Knives, Porcelain, Pottery, And Raku

is a Cherry Heaven internet resource. Cherry Heaven is a UK-EU distributor for kilns, and has been one of Paragon's top-selling distributors consistently from 2006 to : a pleasing outcome since the UK is only one third the area of Texas and one fortieth the area of the US.

As this is an on-line resource, there isn't a paper catalogue or a price list. However, you can mail or call a technician about kilns, power supplies, public area safety, a special project, business ideas, diagnostics, repairs, or reselling opportunities.


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