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Paragon SC2 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Annealing Glass, Art Clay, PMC, And Metal Clays. Paragon SC2 Pro Oven With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Annealing, Dichroics, Enamelling, And Glass Fusing. Paragon SC2 Pro Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Beads, Fusing Glass, Enamels And Silver Clays.
Paragon SC3 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Annealing, Fusing Glass, And Firing Metal Clays.
Paragon SC2 Pro Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Silver Clays, Enamelling, And Glass Work.
Paragon SC2 Pro With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Annealing Beads, Fusing Glass, And Making Jewellery.
Paragon SC2 Pro Kiln With A Sentry Controller For Dichroics, Enamels, Glass-Annealing, And Silver Clays.
Paragon SC2 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Glass Work, Enamelling, Jewellery-Making, And Lost Wax.

Paragon SC Kilns For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

Paragon SC2, SC3, and SC4 kilns are generally used for Art Clay and PMC silver clays, annealing beads, china painting, enamelling, fusing glass, lost-wax burnout and casting, and making jewellery, although they have other applications. They're 925°C or 1095°C kilns with digital programmers, in Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. Learn about Paragon SC kilns on this page.


There are eight standard versions: the 1095°C SC2, SC2B, SC2W, and SC2BW, and the larger 1095°C SC3, SC3B, SC3W, and SC3BW, with rigidised ceramic-fibre interiors and Sentry Xpress 3-key programmers. The B versions have letter-box style bead-annealing doors, the W have heat-resistant glass viewing-windows, and the BW have both.

There are four Pro versions: the 1095°C SC2 Pro, SC2B Pro, SC2W Pro, and SC2BW Pro with rigidised ceramic-fibre interiors, stainless-steel doors, stay-cool wooden door-handles, silent long-life solid-state relays, and tilted easy-view Sentry Xpress 3-key programmers.

And one large version: the 925°C SC4 with a rigidised ceramic-fibre interior, stay-cool wooden door-handle, spring-assisted door latch, and Sentry Xpress 3-key programmer. Unlike the 1095°C SC2 and SC3, it's a 925°C kiln but, as it's 330mm x 330mm x 229mm high inside, it's about 4.26 times larger in volume.

Paragon's kiln names often include numbers or letters to represent internal dimensions or features. However, for these kilns, 2, 3, and 4 don't mean that they're 2, 3, or 4 inches anywhere: so rely on the descriptions here.


Prices here are transparent: they're for UK-EU voltage, CE marked, CL CSA approved, and TUV tested kilns, and include a pro shelf kit, comprehensive instructions, GB-mainland delivery, UK VAT, and free continuing support from a top-tier international distributor. So you can start work straight away.

For prices, trading terms, and secure on-line shopping, use the shop link below the menu bar near the top-right of any page. The order form is on the shop page, after the price list near the bottom.

Kilns that weigh less than 30kg are delivered on a regular parcel-service van: they don't need a tail-lift lorry with a hydraulic pallet trolley so there are no GB-mainland delivery charges.

Paragon SC2 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Enamels, Glass, Lost Wax, And Metal Clays. Paragon SC2B Bead-Door Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Bead-Annealing And Fusing Glass.
Paragon SC2: Blue. Paragon SC2B Bead-Door: Blue.
Paragon SC2W Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Dichroic Glasses, Enamelling, And Glass Fusing. Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door And Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Bead-Annealing, Enamels, And Fusing.
Paragon SC2W Window: Blue. Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window: Blue.
Paragon SC2 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Enamelling, Glass, Lost wax, And Metal Clays. Paragon SC2W Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Dichroics, Enamelling, And Glass Fusing.
Paragon SC2: Navy. Paragon SC2W Window: Jade.
Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Bead-Annealing And Fusing. Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Annealing Beads And Enamelling.
Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window: Berry. Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window: Black.
Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Bead-Annealing And Silver Clays. Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Bead-Annealing, Enamels, And Fusing.
Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window: Pink. Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window: Purple
Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Annealing Beads And Fusing. Paragon SC2 Pro Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Enamelling, Lost Wax, And Making Jewellery.
Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window: Turquoise. Paragon SC2 Pro Side-Door: Black.
Paragon SC2 Pro Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Enamelling, Glass Work, And Making Jewellery. Paragon SC2 Pro Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Jewellery, Lost Wax, And Melting Silver.
Paragon SC2 Pro Side-Door: Black. Paragon SC2 Pro Drop-Door: Navy.
Paragon SC2 Pro Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Glass Work, Enamelling, And Making Jewellery. Paragon SC3 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Glass Work, Lost Wax, And Silver Clays.
Paragon SC2 Pro Side-Door 12-Key Programmer: Black. Paragon SC3: Blue.
Paragon SC3B Bead-Door Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Beads, Enamels, And Making Jewellery. Paragon SC3W Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Enamels, Fusing, And Jewellery-Making.
Paragon SC3B Bead-Door: Blue. Paragon SC3W Window: Blue.
Paragon SC3BW Bead-Door Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Bead-Annealing And Fusing. Paragon SC3W Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Bead-Annealing, Enamels, And Fusing Glass.
Paragon SC3BW Bead-Door Window: Blue. Paragon SC4: Grey.
Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer. Orton-Paragon Sentry Controller.
Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer. Paragon Sentry Programmer.

If you already know which kiln you want and don't want to, or need to, read any general introductions, compare or review the main features, or consider other kilns, click here to jump down the page:


Click To Jump To The SC Kilns.
SC NAMING OPTIONAL READING

Paragon SC Kilns For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

All Paragon kilns are modified as new, or better, ideas become part of the current design. So I should clarify how things have changed.

When I first started as a Paragon distributor, in 2003, silver clays were just coming to market: Art Clay and PMC. I was one of the first UK-EU distributors for Art Clay and had a training course with Japanese teachers.

Then, the SC kiln meant small ceramic because it had a rigidised ceramic fibre interior. However, as people thought, incorrectly, that it would fire ceramics, the SC kiln was conveniently re-invented as a silver clay kiln.

The first version was the SC1, soon followed by the SC2. The SC2 had a larger door so, for versatility, the B version had a bead-annealing door, the W version had a glass viewing-window, and the BW version had both. I should make it clear that the suffixes B, W, and BW were my idea and Paragon doesn't use them, although they should?

The SC2 was soon followed by the SC3. However, the much smaller SC1 had similar manufacturing costs to the SC2 so, although it was much lighter to travel with, it was dropped in 2015.

In 2018, Paragon introduced the SC2 Pro versions: design classics with stainless-steel doors, stay-cool wooden door-handles, soft spring-loaded door catches, silent long-life solid-state relays, and tilted easy-view ramp-hold digital programmers.

In 2018, we introduced the SC4. Unlike the 1095°C SC2, it's a 925°C kiln but, as it's 330mm x 330mm x 229mm high inside, it's about 4.26 times larger in volume. In the US, the SC4 is called the Xpress J14.

REMINDERS ABOUT THE PARAGON SC2, SC3, AND SC4 KILNS OPTIONAL READING
Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer PCB. Paragon Firebricks. Paragon Type-K Thermocouple. Paragon Shelf Kit.

Why Is A Paragon SC Kiln The Best Mix Of Technologies At The Best Price?

The Paragon SC-2 and SC-3 kilns are 1095°C, square, plug-in, front-opening, table-top, ceramic-fibre kilns, with ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmers. Choose Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. However, customised kilns are made to order, so can't be returned if the colour isn't exactly as in the photos.


They normally have Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmers which allow you to create, edit, and save your own ramp-hold sequences: up to twenty-five, each one with up to twenty segments.

The Sentry Xpress 3-key can be upgraded to an enhanced Sentry 12-key. This includes thirty five sequences, each one with up to twenty segments, and automatic control over hardware options: an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface. However, in my opinion, for a kiln of this size, it's more of a preference than an important upgrade.

Alternatively, you can choose an advanced touch-screen Sentinel Smart Touch. Features include those of the Sentry 12-key and real time displays of voltage and current, a novice mode with prompts, firing sequences presented graphically, and wifi updates: so a functional upgrade not just a design preference.

When the programmer turns the elements off at, for example, 700°C, residual heat will continue to increase the temperature briefly. A small kiln might overshoot to 715°C before dropping back down. A software modification slows down the heating just before the target temperature, reducing any overshoot and improving the accuracy.

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.

Being able to create, edit, and save your own programmes is important because, having experimented and diversified, most people fire materials, or combinations of materials, at different temperatures and for different times than are recommended.


The elements are embedded in rigidised ceramic-fibre: an important safety feature. As they're not exposed, the kiln doesn't need a door cut-off switch so, if you open it to check on enamelling or fusing, the elements will stay on and the kiln won't lose heat quickly.

The US-international SC2 and SC3 kiln doors have a ball-catch with almost no useful adjustment. As the kiln heats up and the metalwork expands, the catch can become too loose and not keep the door fully closed, or too tight making it easy to disturb your work whilst pushing the door closed or pulling it open: and you'll need a free hand to hold the hot kiln steady. Ours have a lever latch with a simple, effective, adjustable action.

The SC2 PRO versions have silent long-life solid-state relays mounted on aluminium heat-sinks. These have no moving parts and the input and output are electrically and mechanically isolated.

They all have special-limit nickel-chromium K-type thermocouples. These respond quickly to changes in temperature, resist corrosion, and have an error margin of less than 0.4% instead of the typical 0.8%. However, for continual high-temperature high-precision professional use, these can be upgraded to platinum-rhodium S-types.


The US-international SC2 and SC3 kilns come with a thin fibre shelf, but no posts, sometimes used for metal clays. However, as it only covers 56% of the firing-chamber floor, a pro shelf kit is included in the price: one durable 178mm x 178mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts.

A pro shelf resists thermal fracture, provides a smooth stable work surface, protects the floor of the kiln's interior from glass accidents, and helps to even out any small temperature deviations during annealing, enamelling, firing, and fusing as the elements turn on and off. And it isn't a £30 extra.


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 of any page. Alternatively, we can service the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven.

APPLICATIONS

OPTIONAL READING

You can use these kilns 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.


They're ideal for a community arts workshop, course venue, dental practice, drop-in craft class, engineering workshop, home business, jewellery studio, medical laboratory, research facility, school, or technical facility. The Paragon SC2 is probably the most popular kiln in the UK.

IS AN SC KILN THE BEST CHOICE?

OPTIONAL READING
Paragon SC2 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Enamels, Jewellery And Silver Clays. Paragon SC2W Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Annealing, Enamelling, And Fusing. Paragon SC2 Pro Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Fusing Glass, Lost Wax, And Metal-Clays. Paragon SC4 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Glass Annealing And Fusing.

Is A Paragon SC2 Kiln Going To Be The Best Overall Choice?

Paragon SC kilns are favoured by silver-jewellery makers, glass-fusers, enamellers, and bead annealers all over the world, and are way ahead of any competitive makes in every way. The SC2 is probably the UK's most popular small kiln.

The SC2 and SC3 are hot enough, at 1095°C, to work with most materials and processes, except ceramics and porcelain, within their size limits. However, if you think that a top-opener, a hotter, or a larger kiln might be more versatile, here are some suggestions:


Bead-annealing kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 650°C, such as the BlueBird Series. However, other kilns have bead doors: the small Caldera-B and SC2B, the medium Xpress-E12B, and the larger Fusion-14B.

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

Jewellery kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1095°C. For these, look at the small SC Series or the medium Xpress Series. The SC series are not hot enough for ceramics.

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

Heat-treating kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1290°C. For these, look at the HT Series and PMT Series. Although they look similar, the HT has a bottom-hinged door and the PMT has a side-hinged door.

Knife-making kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1290°C. The KM Series are made for depth rather than width. You can choose a guillotine, drop-down, or a side-hinged door.

The W Series have a top vent so are usually used for jewellery moulds and lost-wax burnout. For lost wax casting there are optional metal grids and wax trays. The small SC Series and most of the medium Xpress Series also have top vents.


To learn more about other kilns, use the appropriate links below the menu bar near the top of the page. However, as each series has kilns of different sizes with different options there's only a selection in the table below:


VERSION DESCRIPTION MAX °C POWER W WEIGHT KG FIRING CHAMBER INTERIOR SIZE MM
SC2 1095 1680 16 ceramic-fibre square 199 x 203 x 145
SC2B bead door 1095 1680 16 ceramic-fibre square 199 x 203 x 145
SC2W window 1095 1680 16 ceramic-fibre square 199 x 203 x 145
SC2BW bead door and window 1095 1680 16 ceramic-fibre square 199 x 203 x 145
SC2 Pro bead door and window options 1095 1680 22 ceramic-fibre square 199 x 203 x 145
SC3 1095 2000 18 ceramic-fibre square 201 x 197 x 200
SC3B bead door 1095 2000 18 ceramic-fibre square 201 x 197 x 200
SC3W window 1095 2000 18 ceramic-fibre square 201 x 197 x 200
SC3BW bead door and window 1095 2000 18 ceramic-fibre square 201 x 197 x 200
SC4 925 2400 49 ceramic-fibre square 330 x 330 x 229
BlueBird two bead doors 650 1500 22 ceramic-fibre rectangular 508 x 152 x 070
BlueBird XL two bead doors 815 1700 41 ceramic-fibre rectangular 508 x 203 x 114
Caldera bead door and window options 1290 1800 20 firebrick square 203 x 203 x 171
Fusion CS14S bead door and window options 925 1800 84 firebrick square 356 x 356 x 165
Xpress E12 bead door and window options 1290 2200 38 firebrick rectangular 196 x 293 x 219

THE PARAGON SC2

SILVER CLAYS, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS, AND LOST WAX
Paragon SC2 Blue Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Silver Clay, Enamels, And Glass Fusing. Paragon SC2 Blue Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Metal Clays, Enamelling, And Fusing Glass . Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.

The Paragon SC-2 For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The Paragon SC-2 is a 1095°C, square, plug-in, front-opening, 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 UK-EU safety regulations, the elements are embedded in rigidised ceramic fibre: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The external dimensions are 336mm x 311mm x 400mm high. The case is slotted for air circulation, has an integral stand with four rubber feet, and a top vent with a removable stopper for lost-wax burnout and casting and other processes that might release fumes. The door opens 180° and has an easy, reliable, and adjustable door latch, unique to our SC2 and SC3 kilns. The shipping weight, including the box, is about 16kg.

The firing chamber measures 199mm x 203mm 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 long-life 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 options, upgrades, and accessories 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-annealing door: factory fitted
List. a 50mmx 50mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window in the centre of the door: factory fitted
List. a silent long-life solid-state 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, casting, and enamelling 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 SC2 is fully-programmable, heats up quickly, is small enough to get out, use, and put away, and will do most things for most people within its size and temperature limits. It's ideal for classes, colleges, course venues, homes, schools, workshops, and commercial jewellery studios.

It's very versatile: you can batch-anneal beads, paint china, do enamelling, make glass bowls, panels, plates, and vases, anneal, cast, fuse, sag, and slump glass, do lost-wax casting, use jewellery moulds, and make 150mm square glass tiles. Or fire lots of metal clay at one go on three shelves.

The elements are embedded in rigidised ceramic-fibre: an important safety feature. As they're not exposed, the kiln doesn't need a door-activated cut-off switch so, if you open it to check on enamelling or fusing, the elements will stay on and the kiln won't lose heat quickly.

THE PARAGON SC2: KILN FURNITURE
Paragon Shelf Kits For The Caldera, E9, E10, FireFly, SC2, SC2 Pro, SC3, Xpress E9, and Xpress E10. Stainless Steel Pans for Activated Charcoal: 1 litre or 3 litres. Activated Charcoal: Coal or Coconut. Lost Wax Burnout, Casting, And Enamelling Tray.

The Paragon SC2 Kiln Furniture.

The US-international kiln comes with a thin fibre shelf, but no posts, sometimes used for metal clays. However, as it only covers 56% of the firing-chamber floor, a pro shelf kit is included in the price: one durable 178mm x 178mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts.

A pro shelf resists thermal fracture, provides a smooth stable work surface, protects the floor of the kiln's interior from glass accidents, and helps to even out any small temperature deviations during annealing, enamelling, firing, and fusing as the elements turn on and off. And it isn't a £30 extra.

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 there's an extra kit, not included in the price: one 178mm x 178mm x 15mm shelf and four posts. This kiln has room for two or three shelves so you can choose 12mm, 25mm, or 50mm props.

The kiln is large enough to accommodate a charcoal-filled stainless steel container needed to fire some makes of bronze clay and copper clay, both described on this internet resource.

The lost-wax burnout tray for this kiln measures 178mm x 178mm x 25mm. There are two parts: a stainless steel tray and a metal mesh that fits inside the tray. The melting wax drops into the tray instead of onto the floor of the kiln. The mesh can also be used for supporting beads, enamel work, and fused glass.

THE PARAGON SC2B: BEAD DOOR ANNEALING BEADS, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, FUSING GLASS, AND METAL CLAYS
Paragon SC2B Bead-Door Blue Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Bead Annealing. Paragon SC2B Bead-Door Berry Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Annealing Beads. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.

The Paragon SC-2B For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The Paragon SC-2B door includes a 165mm x 64mm letter-box style bead-annealing door and a 5-place bead-mandrel holder. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC-2 door.


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

The bead door can also be 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.


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 Window Blue Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Enamelling And Fusing. Paragon SC2W Window Pink Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Enamels And Fusing. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.

The Paragon SC-2W For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The SC-2W door includes a 50mm x 50mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window in the centre of the door. Otherwise it's the same as the SC-2 door.

The window allows you to take a quick peep at china paints, enamels, glass, and glazes to check on their progress: and you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence.
The window will cause a modest heat loss so the kiln might not heat as quickly or reach its top temperature. To resolve this, tuck a piece of ceramic-fibre cloth behind the glass. Ceramic-fibre cloths are in the on-line shop.


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 Bead-Door Window Blue Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Beads, Enamels, And Jewellery. Paragon SC2BW Bead-Door Window Purple Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Beads, Enamels, And Glass. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.

The Paragon SC-2BW For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The Paragon SC-2BW door includes a 165mm x 64mm letter-box style bead-annealing door, a 5-place bead-mandrel holder, and a 75mm x 25mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window above the bead door. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC-2 door.


The SC-2BW is the most versatile of the SC-2 series, combining the advantages of the SC-2B and the SC-2W 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 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Enamelling, Fusing, And Jewellery. Paragon SC-2 Pro-3 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Enamelling, Fusing, And Jewellery. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Controller.

The Paragon SC-2 Pro-3 For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The SC-2 Pro-3 is a stylish kiln with a stainless-steel door, stay-cool wooden door-handle, soft spring-loaded door catch, silent long-life solid-state relay, and tilted easy-view ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Otherwise, it's similar to the SC-2.

As with the regular SC-2, the B version has a bead-annealing door, the W version has a heat-resistant glass viewing-window, and the BW version has both.

THE PARAGON SC-2D PRO-3 ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, AND ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS
Paragon SC-2D Pro-3 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Jewellery And Metal Clays.  Paragon SC-2D Pro-3 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Enamelling And Glass Fusing. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.

The Paragon SC-2D Pro-3 For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The SC-2D Pro-3 is a stylish kiln with a stainless-steel drop-door, stay-cool wooden door-handle, silent long-life solid-state relay, and tilted easy-view ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Otherwise, it's similar to the SC-2.

As with the regular SC-2, the B version has a bead-annealing door, the W version has a heat-resistant glass viewing-window, and the BW version has both.

THE PARAGON SC-2 PRO-12

ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, AND ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS
Paragon SC-2 Pro-12 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Enamelling, Glass, And Jewellery. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Controller.

The Paragon SC-2 Pro-12 For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The SC-2 Pro-12 is a stylish kiln with a stainless-steel door, stay-cool wooden door-handle, soft spring-loaded door catch, silent long-life solid-state relay, and tilted easy-view ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmer. Otherwise, it's similar to the SC-2.

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 SC-2, the B version has a bead-annealing door, the W version has a heat-resistant glass viewing-window, and the BW version has both. You can choose a drop-down door or a side-hinged.

THE PARAGON SC3

ART CLAY AND PMC, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, ANNEALING AND FUSING GLASS, AND LOST WAX
Paragon SC3 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Enamelling, Glass Fusing, And Silver Clays. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.

The Paragon SC-3 For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The Paragon SC-3 is a 1095°C, square, plug-in, front-opening, 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 UK-EU safety regulations, the elements are embedded in rigidised ceramic fibre: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The external dimensions are 336mm x 311mm x 432mm high. The case is slotted for air circulation, has an integral stand with four rubber feet, and a top vent with a removable stopper for lost-wax burnout and casting and other processes that might release fumes. The door opens 180° and has an easy, reliable, and adjustable door latch, unique to our SC2 and SC3 kilns. The shipping weight, including the box, is about 18kg.

The firing chamber measures 201mm x 197mm x 200mm 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 long-life 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 options, upgrades, and accessories 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-annealing door: factory fitted
List. a 50mmx 50mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window in the centre of the door: factory fitted
List. a silent long-life solid-state relay upgrade: factory fitted
List. a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List. charcoal for the stainless steel container used for firing some metal clays
List. lost-wax burn-out, casting, and enamelling tray
List. stacking shelf kits
List. ceramic shelf-paper
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 fully-programmable, heats up quickly, is small enough to get out, use, and put away, and will do most things for most people within its size and temperature limits. It's ideal for classes, colleges, course venues, homes, schools, workshops, and commercial jewellery studios.

It's 1.35 times larger inside than the SC2, so more versatile: you can batch-anneal beads, paint china, do enamelling, make glass bowls, panels, plates, and vases, anneal, cast, fuse, sag, and slump glass, do lost-wax casting, use jewellery moulds, and make 150mm square glass tiles. Or fire lots of metal clay at one go on three shelves.

The elements are embedded in rigidised ceramic-fibre: an important safety feature. As they're not exposed, the kiln doesn't need a door-activated cut-off switch so, if you open it to check on enamelling or fusing, the elements will stay on and the kiln won't lose heat quickly.

THE PARAGON SC3: KILN FURNITURE
Paragon Shelf Kits For The Caldera, E9, E10, FireFly, SC2, SC2 Pro, SC3, Xpress E9, and Xpress E10. Stainless Steel Pans for Activated Charcoal: 1 litre or 3 litres. Activated Charcoal: Coal or Coconut. Lost Wax Burnout, Casting, And Enamelling Tray.

The Paragon SC3 Kiln Furniture.

The US-international kiln comes with a thin fibre shelf, but no posts, sometimes used for metal clays. However, as it only covers 56% of the firing-chamber floor, a pro shelf kit is included in the price: one durable 178mm x 178mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts.

A pro shelf resists thermal fracture, provides a smooth stable work surface, protects the floor of the kiln's interior from glass accidents, and helps to even out any small temperature deviations during annealing, enamelling, firing, and fusing as the elements turn on and off. And it isn't a £30 extra.

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 there's an extra kit, not included in the price: one 178mm x 178mm x 15mm shelf and four posts. This kiln has room for two or three shelves so you can choose 12mm, 25mm, or 50mm props.

The kiln is large enough to accommodate a charcoal-filled stainless steel container needed to fire some makes of bronze clay and copper clay, both described on this internet resource.

The lost-wax burnout tray for this kiln measures 178mm x 178mm x 25mm. There are two parts: a stainless steel tray and a metal mesh that fits into the tray. The melting wax drops into the tray instead of onto the floor of the kiln. The mesh can also be used for supporting beads, enamel work, and fused glass.

THE PARAGON SC3B: BEAD DOOR ANNEALING BEADS, DICHROICS, ENAMELLING, FUSING GLASS, AND METAL CLAYS
Paragon SC3B Bead-Door Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Bead-Annealing And Glass Work. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.

The Paragon SC-3B For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The Paragon SC-3B door includes a 165mm x 64mm letter-box style bead-annealing door and a 5-place bead-mandrel holder. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC-3 door.


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

The bead door can also be 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.


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 Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Enamelling And Fusing Glass. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.

The Paragon SC-3W For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The SC-3W door includes a 50mm x 50mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window in the centre of the door. Otherwise it's the same as the SC-3 door.

The window allows you to take a quick peep at china paints, enamels, glass, and glazes to check on their progress: and you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence.
The window will cause a modest heat loss so the kiln might not heat as quickly or reach its top temperature. To resolve this, tuck a piece of ceramic-fibre cloth behind the glass. Ceramic-fibre cloths are in the on-line shop.


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 Bead Door And Window Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Beads And Jewellery-Making. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer.

The Paragon SC-3BW For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Casting, Low-Fire Ceramics, And Metal Clays.

The Paragon SC-3BW door includes a 165mm x 64mm letter-box style bead-annealing door, a 5-place bead-mandrel holder, and a 75mm x 25mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window above the bead door. Otherwise, it's the same as the SC-3 door.


The SC-3BW is the most versatile of the SC-3 series, combining the advantages of the SC-3B and the SC-3W 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 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Controller For Annealing, Enamelling, Glass, And Metal Clays. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.

The Paragon SC-4 Kiln For Art Clay, PMC, Jewellery, Annealing Beads, Dichroics, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Moulding, Sagging, And Slumping, Lost-Wax Burnout And Casting, And Metal Clays.

The Paragon SC-4 is a 925°C, square, plug-in, front-opening, 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 UK-EU safety regulations, the elements are embedded in rigidised ceramic fibre: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The external dimensions are 457mm x 546mm x 521mm high. The case is slotted for air circulation, has an integral stand with four rubber feet, and a top vent with a removable stopper for lost-wax burnout and casting and other processes that might release fumes. The door has a stay-cool wooden handle and a reliable spring-assisted door latch. The shipping weight, including the crate, is about 50kg.

The firing chamber measures 330mm x 330mm x 229mm high, and heats from both sides, with the elements safely embedded in the fibre. The kiln has an electro-mechanical relay and a long-life 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 options, upgrades, and accessories 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: more useful features: factory fitted
List. a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentinel Touch Screen: more useful features: factory fitted
List. a silent long-life solid-state 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, casting, and enamelling 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 fully-programmable and will do most things for most people within its size and temperature limits. It's ideal for classes, colleges, course venues, homes, schools, workshops, and commercial jewellery studios. In the US, it's called the J11.

Unlike the 1095°C SC2, it's a 925°C kiln but, as it's 330mm x 330mm x 229mm high inside, it's about 4.26 times larger in volume. You can batch-anneal beads, paint china, do enamelling, make glass bowls, panels, plates, and vases, anneal, cast, fuse, sag, and slump glass, do lost-wax burnout and casting, use jewellery moulds, and make 300mm square glass tiles. Or fire lots of metal clay at one go on four shelves.

The elements are embedded in rigidised ceramic-fibre: an important safety feature. As they're not exposed, the kiln doesn't need a door-activated cut-off switch so, if you open it to check on enamelling or fusing, the elements will stay on and the kiln won't lose heat quickly.

THE PARAGON SC4: KILN FURNITURE
Paragon Shelf Kits For The CS14, E14, Fusion 14, J14, SC4, Xpress E14, And Xpress J14. Stainless Steel Pans for Activated Charcoal: 1 litre or 3 litres. Activated Charcoal: Coal or Coconut. Lost Wax Burnout, Casting, And Enamelling Tray.

Shelf Kits For The Paragon SC4.

The US-international kiln doesn't come with a shelf or posts or kiln wash so, if you don't need a shelf, you won't have to pay for one. However, there's a recommended kit, included in the price: one durable 305mm x 305mm x 15mm cordierite shelf, four 12mm shelf posts, and 450gm of kiln wash.

A pro shelf resists thermal fracture, provides a smooth stable work surface, protects the floor of the kiln's interior from glass accidents, and helps to even out any small temperature deviations during annealing, enamelling, firing, and fusing as the elements turn on and off. And it isn't a £45 extra.

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 there's an extra kit, not included in the price: one 305mm x 305mm x 15mm shelf and four posts. This kiln has room for three or four shelves so you can choose 12mm, 25mm, or 50mm props.

The kiln is large enough to accommodate a charcoal-filled stainless steel container needed to fire some makes of bronze clay and copper clay, both described on this internet resource.

The lost-wax burn-out tray for this kiln measures 305mm x 305mm x 25mm. There are two parts: a stainless steel tray and a metal mesh that fits into the tray. The melting wax drops into the tray instead of onto the floor of the kiln. The mesh can also be used for supporting beads, enamel work, and fused glass.

RECOMMENDED READING
General Help and FAQs For Kilns. Paragon Kiln Shelf Kit. Paragon Relay. Paragon Transformer.

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

The remaining sections are about digital programmers, shelf kits, options, upgrades, firing, kiln logs, accessories, materials, parts, processes, repairs, and tools. 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 kiln to resell and call themselves a specialist, but a top-tier distributor understands all the kilns, options, and upgrades, will stock spares, offers free competent technical support, can help you repair your kiln, provides on-line repair videos, has a repair workshop, and can access Paragon's extensive knowledge-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 VERSION 4.0 AND VERSION 5.0 DIGITAL PROGRAMMERs
Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress 4.0 Programmer. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress 4.0 Programmer PCB. Orton-Paragon Sentry 2.0 Programmer. Bartlett-Paragon Touch-Screen Sentinel SmartTouch Controller.

The Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress 3-Key 4.0 and Sentry Xpress 3-Key 5.0 Digital Controllers.

Before February 2019, Paragon used three programmers: a Sentry Xpress 3-key 4.0 or a Sentry 12-key 2.0 developed by the Orton Ceramic Foundation and Paragon, or a touch-screen Sentinel SmartTouch programmer developed by Bartlett and Paragon.

In February 2019, two were modified, leading to the Sentry Xpress 3-key 5.0 and the Sentry 12-key 3.0. The modifications had little effect on the basic functionality so the 5.0 can be a direct replacement for the 4.0, and the 3.0 for the 2.0.

All three are made as ramp-hold, or cone-fire ramp-hold. Your kiln will have the appropriate programmer although, if it has a Sentry Xpress 5.0 ramp-hold, you can upgrade it to cone-fire ramp-hold. If the kiln's front panel is large enough, you can upgrade from a Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentry 12-key or a Sentinel SmartTouch.

Generally, programmers for annealing beads, enamelling, glass fusing, jewellery, knife-making, lampwork, and metal clays have one firing mode: ramp-hold. And programmers for ceramics, earthenware, porcelain, and stoneware have two firing modes: cone-fire and ramp-hold.


Unlike calculators, programmers aren't made 10 million at a time. Although they look like simple circuit boards, they include sophisticated feature-rich embedded software that has taken years to develop and refine.


The Paragon Sentry Xpress 3-key 5.0 programmer allows you to set up to twenty five ramp-hold firing sequences, each one with up to twenty heating, holding, or cooling segments. You can choose the heating and cooling rates, target temperatures, and hold times, save the sequences, and re-use or over-write 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 on a 4.0 programmer. 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 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 programmer runs a sequence that you have set, or one that's in its memory from a previous firing. A sequence usually has a mix of ramp and hold segments, for example: it could heat to 800°C at full speed then hold for 30 minutes. When the sequence ends, the programmer beeps, and the kiln cools in it's own time.

A ramp segment of a sequence can control the rate of heating or cooling, for example: the kiln could heat up at 200°C per hour from 200°C to 800°C, which would take three hours. Or, the kiln could cool down at 100°C per hour from 600°C to 200°C, which would take four hours.

The heating rate cannot exceed the rate at which the kiln would heat up if it was full on. The cooling rate cannot exceed the rate at which the kiln would cool if it was turned off. At full speed the elements are on all the time. During set ramps and holds they turn on and off repeatedly to maintain the heating rate, hold temperature, or cooling rate.

THE PARAGON SENTRY 12-KEY 2.0 AND SENTRY 12-KEY 3.0 DIGITAL PROGRAMMERS
Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress 4.0 Programmer. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress 4.0 Programmer PCB. Orton-Paragon Sentry 2.0 Programmer. Bartlett-Paragon Touch-Screen Sentinel SmartTouch Controller.

The Orton-Paragon Sentry 12-Key 2.0 And Sentry 12-key 3.0 Digital Controllers.

Before February 2019, Paragon used three programmers: a Sentry Xpress 3-key 4.0 or a Sentry 12-key 2.0 developed by the Orton Ceramic Foundation and Paragon, or a touch-screen Sentinel SmartTouch programmer developed by Bartlett and Paragon.

In February 2019, two were modified, leading to the Sentry Xpress 3-key 5.0 and the Sentry 12-key 3.0. The modifications had little effect on the basic functionality so the 5.0 can be a direct replacement for the 4.0, and the 3.0 for the 2.0.

All three are made as ramp-hold, or cone-fire ramp-hold. Your kiln will have the appropriate programmer although, if it has a Sentry Xpress 5.0 ramp-hold, you can upgrade it to cone-fire ramp-hold. If the kiln's front panel is large enough, you can upgrade from a Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentry 12-key or a Sentinel SmartTouch.

Generally, programmers for annealing beads, enamelling, glass fusing, jewellery, knife-making, lampwork, and metal clays have one firing mode: ramp-hold. And programmers for ceramics, earthenware, porcelain, and stoneware have two firing modes: cone-fire and ramp-hold.


Unlike calculators, programmers aren't made 10 million at a time. Although they look like simple circuit boards, they include sophisticated feature-rich embedded software that has taken years to develop and refine.


The Paragon Sentry 12-Key 3.0 12-key digital programmer allows you to set up to thirty five ramp-hold firing sequences, each one with up to twenty 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 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.


00:00  00:00

The programmer runs a sequence that you have set, or one that's in its memory from a previous firing. A sequence usually has a mix of ramp and hold segments, for example: it could heat to 800°C at full speed then hold for 30 minutes. When the sequence ends, the programmer beeps, and the kiln cools in it's own time.

A ramp segment of a sequence can control the rate of heating or cooling, for example: the kiln could heat up at 200°C per hour from 200°C to 800°C, which would take three hours. Or, the kiln could cool down at 100°C per hour from 600°C to 200°C, which would take four hours.

The heating rate cannot exceed the rate at which the kiln would heat up if it was full on. The cooling rate cannot exceed the rate at which the kiln would cool if it was turned off. At full speed the elements are on all the time. During set ramps and holds they turn on and off repeatedly to maintain the heating rate, hold temperature, or cooling rate.

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

The Bartlett-Paragon Sentinel Touch-Screen SmartTouch Digital Controller.

The Paragon Sentinel SmartTouch 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 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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KILN FURNITURE: A GENERAL INTRODUCTION IMPORTANT
Paragon Kiln Shelf Kit. Paragon Rectangular Kiln Shelves. Paragon Round Kiln Shelves. Paragon Mixed Kiln Shelves.

Kiln Furniture: Rectangular, Round, Hexagonal, and Octagonal 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 overall 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 for rectangular or square kilns usually include four 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. Shelves for cylindrical kilns usually have three posts.

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 successfully.

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 Xpress E9A Jewellery Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer: Purple. Paragon Bead Door. Paragon Door Window. Paragon Solid State Relay.

Options And Upgrades.

It's important to learn about options and upgrades now as some have to be factory-fitted. The photo shows a Paragon Xpress E9A customised for a PMC silver clay studio: purple, with the 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, or a 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 all the time.

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 high-current 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 350°C whereas 800°C will probably only overshoot to 805°C before starting to fall back.

However, our Sentry Xpress programmers have a software modification that slows down the heating just before the target temperature, reducing any overshoot and improving the accuracy.

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 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 this 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 metals, 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, save, and print out 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
Art Clay 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 in cling-film or foil 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: or even add more clay.

As it's fired, the binders vapourise, releasing 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 liquify and lose it's shape.


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

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. Art Clay Silver Necklace. Art Clay Silver Pendant. Art Clay Silver Brooch.

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, 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 high, 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 high 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 very similar products can differ so much in price.


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, 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 very similar products can differ so much in price.


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, 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, gold clay, and related products in the on-line shop.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO GLASS
Obsidian. Fish. Curved Glass by Infabbrica. Lauscha By Carrie Fertig.

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 rituals of circumcision and female genital mutilation.

ANNEALING
Annealed Beads Made Into A Necklace.

What Is 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.

FREE BEAD ANNEALING GUIDE

Bead Annealing Guide.

You can download, and print, a Bead Annealing Guide. Paragon created it in 2013 so it's only a guide, not a contemporary definitive document. Click here. It's a pdf file, but your device should already have a pdf viewer.

DICHROIC GLASS
Dichroic Glass.

What Are Dichroic Glasses.

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.

ENAMELLING
Enamelled Jewellery.

What Is Enamelling?

Enamelling involves applying a glass paste to metal and then heating it to fuse it to the surface. The finish of the enamel can be translucent or opaque depending on the temperature used to melt the glass. Higher temperatures result in a more transparent and durable enamel whilst lower temperatures give a more opaque and fragile surface. Dyes and pigments can be included to produce any colour.

The Paragon SC2 is ideal for enamelling, although other kilns are fine. So click the sc2-sc3:jewellery link below the menu bar near the top of the page. The SC-2W and SC-3W doors include a 50mm x 50mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window in the centre of the door, allowing you to take a quick peep at china paints, enamels, glass, and glazes to check on their progress

FIRE POLISHING
Fire Polished Glass.

What Is 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 often used to round the edges of glass after fusing.

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.

What Is 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.

LAMPWORK AND BEADS
Beads.

What Is Lampwork?

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.

LOST-WAX BURNOUT
Paragon W13 Lost Wax Casting Kiln With A Sentry Programmer.

What Is Lost Wax Casting?

Lost-wax burnout starts with making a wax shape and then making a mould of the shape. When the mould is heated in a kiln, the wax melts out through channels, usually over a burnout grate and into a tray. The shape is then cast in glass or metal from the mould.

It's important to prevent wax or carbon sticking to the elements, so burnout kilns have a top vent to release the fumes. Carbon build-up inside a kiln conducts electricity and can cause the elements to short circuit.

Paragon make kilns designed for this: the W series. So click the w:lost-wax-burnout link under the menu bar near the top of the page. They all have top vents and optional wax trays.

PÂTE DE VERRE
Pâte De Verre.

What Is 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.

SLUMPING BOTTLES
Slumped Bottle.

What Is 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 need 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 makes a kiln designed for this: the Trio. So click the trio link below the menu bar near the top of the page. It's wide enough for most bottles but can still use a regular socket.

STAINED GLASS
Stained Glass.

What Is Stained Glass?

Stained glass is glass that has been coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The coloured glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, traditionally held together by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame. Painted details and yellow stain are often used to enhance the design.

The term stained glass is also applied to windows in which the colours have been painted onto the glass and then fused to the glass in a kiln.

It requires artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design, and engineering skills to assemble the piece. A window must fit snugly into the space for which it is made, must resist wind and rain, and also, especially in the larger windows, must support its own weight. Many large windows have withstood the test of time and remained substantially intact since the Late Middle Ages.

TACK FUSING
Tack Fused Glass.

What Is 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.

What Is Vitrigraph?

The vitrigraph process usually uses a kiln to make glass stringers. The bottom of the kiln is removed and set aside. The kiln body is put on a thick ceramic square with a central hole.

A crucible of glass is put inside, and the whole combination lifted well away from the floor to allow moulten glass to fall through a hole in the crucible and form long stringers. Ceramic squares are in the on-line shop.

Paragon make a kiln designed for this: the Caldera. So click the caldera:ceramics link below the menu bar near the top of the page. The bottom is a separate part and can be unclipped.

WARM GLASS
Warm Glass Flower Bowl.

What Is 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. Warm glass is sometimes called kiln-formed glass.

PARAGON KILNS UK DISTRIBUTOR
Paragon SC4 Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Annealing, Fusing Glass, Lost Wax Burnout, And Metal Clays. Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer. Orton-Paragon Sentry Programmer. Bartlett-Paragon Touch-Screen Sentinel SmartTouch Controller.

Paragon Kilns, Furnaces, and Ovens For Annealing, Beads, Ceramics, Enamels, Glass, Jewellery, Knife Making, Lost Wax, Silver Clays, Heat Treating, Lampwork, Porcelain, And Vitrigraph.

is a Cherry Heaven internet resource. Cherry Heaven is a top-tier international distributor for Texas-made Paragon kilns, furnaces, ovens, and accessories, and has been one of their top-selling partners 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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UK To EU Plug Adapter.
Ceramic Block.
Ceramic Cloth.
EU Plug.
UK-EU Adapter.
Dry Powder Extinguisher.
Glare Resistant Glasses.
HEPA Mask.
heat-resistant Gloves.
Kitiki Cutters.
Kitiki Flush Cutters.
Kitiki Flat-Nose Pliers.
Kitiki Pointed-Nose Pliers.
Kitiki Bent-Nose Pliers.
Kitiki Round-Nose Pliers.
Protective Glasses.
Potter & Brumfield Relay.
Dorset, SW England.
UK 13A Plug.
The AX-4 Digital Controller.
MiniKiln Closed.
Prometheus Pro-7.
Large Rubber Drum 950gm Open
Bartlett-Paragon Touch Screen Digital Controller.
Paragon BlueBird Bead Annealing Kiln.
Lauscha by Carrie Fertig.
Activated Charcoal Granules.
Paragon Caldera Ceramics Kiln.
Paragon Caldera Bead Kiln.
Paragon Fusion CS14D Glass Kiln.
Paragon Fusion CS14SB Glass And Bead Kiln.
Paragon Caldera XL Ceramics Kiln.
Paragon F500 Lampwork Kiln.
Paragon FireFly Ceramics Kiln.
Paragon Fusion 7 Glass Kiln.
Paragon Fusion 8 Glass Kiln.
Paragon GL18ADTSD Glass Kiln.
Paragon HT-14D Heat Treating Furnace.
Paragon Janus 1613 Ceramics Kiln.
Paragon KM18D Knife Making Oven.
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Unassembled.
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Suction Cup.
Paragon Pearl 18 Glass Kiln.
Paragon PMT21 Heat Treating Kiln.
Paragon Door Peephole And Vent.
Stainless Steel Pans.
Paragon SC-2 Black Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon SC2 Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon SC2B Bead-Door Kiln.
Paragon SC2W Enamelling Kiln.
Paragon SC4 Glass Kiln.
Paragon SC2BW Jewellery And Bead Kiln.
Paragon SC2D Pro-3 Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon SC2 Shelf Kit.
Paragon SC-2 Jade Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon SC-2 Black Jewellery Kiln.
Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.
Orton-Paragon Sentry Programmer.
Bartlett-Paragon Sentinel Touch-Screen Controller.
Paragon SC-2 Pink Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon SC-2 Pro Black Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon SC-2 Turqoise Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon SC-2 Purple Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon SC-2 Navy Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon SC-2 Berry Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon ST-8 Kiln Table.
Paragon Kiln Table With Casters.
Paragon TNF 1613 Ceramics Kiln.
Paragon GL24 Kiln Table.
Paragon Xpress 1613 Top Row Of Bricks.
Paragon W Lost-Wax Casting Kiln.
Paragon Lost-Wax Burnout Tray With Grille.
Paragon Lost-Wax Burnout Tray With Grid.
USB Plug.
Paragon Xpress E-12 Jewellery Kiln.
Paragon Xpress E-12B Bead Kiln.
Paragon Xpress E-14 Glass Kiln.
Paragon Xpress Q-11 Ceramics Kiln.