|the paragon trio glass slumping kiln||smaller kilns at electrickilns.co.uk or tumblers at electrictumblers.co.uk|
The Paragon Trio kiln is generally used for annealing, casting, fusing, moulding, sagging, and slumping glass, although it has other applications. It's a 925°C kiln with a digital programmer, in Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. Learn about the Paragon Trio kiln on this page.
Prices here are transparent: they're for UK-EU voltage, CE marked, CL CSA approved, and TUV tested kilns, and include comprehensive instructions, a heat-treating guide, 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 after the price list, near the bottom.
Kilns that weigh more than 30kg aren't delivered on a regular parcel-service van: they need a tail-lift lorry with a hydraulic pallet trolley. GB-mainland delivery charges are on the shop page.
|THE PARAGON TRIO: PHOTOS|
To look at the pop-up photos, hold your mouse over the zoom buttons below: you don't need to click.
The Paragon Trio Glass Kiln.
The Paragon Trio Glass Kiln.
The Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer.
|STAY ON THIS RESOURCE, OR SWITCH TO ANOTHER?|
I've separated all the kilns into two very general groups on two separate internet resources, although there's cross-over. If you want to switch resources, use the links above the menu bar near the top of the page.
Electric Kilns is generally for smaller plug-in table-top kilns usually used for small-scale work such as annealing beads, Art Clay metal clays, dichroics, enamels, glass fusing, jewellery, lampwork, PMC silver clay, porcelain, and vitrigraph.
Paragon Kilns is generally for larger wired-in floor-standing or table-top kilns usually used for business-scale work such as annealing, casting, ceramics, earthenware, glass panels, heat treating, making knives, porcelain, pottery, and raku.
|THE PARAGON TRIO||ANNEALING, DICHROICS, ENAMELS, GLASS WORK, AND METAL CLAYS|
The Paragon Trio is a 925°C, rectangular, top-opening, plug-in, table-top, firebrick kiln with a ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.
It's ideal for your arts centre, college, commercial glassworks, course venue, glass studio, school, or technical facility. Especially as it has a two-year warranty.
Use it for lampwork, annealing beads and glass, firing bronze and copper clays, china paints, applying decals, dental work, fusing dichroic glasses, enamelling, fire polishing, glass art, glass casting, fusing, sagging, and slumping, glass clays, glass panels, heat treating, knife making, laboratory testing, lost-wax casting, making jewellery, pâte de verre, sintering silver clays, staining glass, hardening, and tempering blades, cutters, dies, and tools, and many other materials and processes.
Although smaller kilns are more economic for jewellery-making, you can still work with 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 architectural features, beads, bowls, bracelets, brooches, candle holders, chandelier components, decorations, figurines, fingerprint keepsakes, glass-art, glass panels, jewellery, knives, lampshades, miniatures, gun and model parts, necklaces, ornaments, pendants, plates, souvenirs, stained-glass designs, tableware, tiaras, tiles, tools, and vases, as unique hand-crafted pieces or repeatable stock for sale.
The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 1800W, so it can use a regular mains socket. To comply with EU safety regulations, it's fitted with an additional switch that cuts off the power when the lid is opened: an important safety feature included in the price. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.
The outer steel case measures 787mm x 584mm x 457mm, including the base, programmer housing, and other hardware. The lid has a stay-cool wooden handle. There's a 75mm x 25mm heat-resistant glass viewing-window in the front side. The shipping weight is about 54kg.
The firebrick firing chamber measures 451mm x 273mm x 165mm high, and heats from the top, with the fast-firing elements lying in grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. The kiln has an electro-mechanical relay and a nickel-chromium K-type thermocouple.
The programmer's electronic display prompts for heating rates, target temperatures, and hold times, making it easy to set up and re-use accurate heating, holding, and cooling sequences.
The accessories, options, and upgrades for this kiln are in the on-line shop:
a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
stacking shelf kits and shelf paper
ceramic fibre cloth
HEPA dust mask
clear protective glasses
And finally, my opinion.
This is a versatile glass kiln for your craft workshop or glass studio: it's wide, it can still use a regular mains socket, it's fully programmable, and it's inexpensive to run. It's popular with glass artists, as it will slump large champagne bottles.
|THE PARAGON TRIO: KILN FURNITURE|
There's a recommended kit, not included in the price: one durable rectangular 216mm x 432mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts.
There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: one rectangular 216mm x 432mm x 15mm shelf and four posts. You can choose 12mm, 25mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, or 150mm posts.
Depending on the material or process, and the sizes of your pieces, stacked shelves will hold more work, free up your time, and reduce the unit firing cost: so you might want more kits. This kiln has room for two.
The remaining sections are about digital programmers, shelf kits, options, upgrades, materials, and processes. Unless you're already successfully using a kiln, they're recommended reading.
Cherry Heaven has been a Paragon distributor since 2002, and commended every year for outstanding performance. Paragon kilns are good value: buy Paragons and you could save enough to treat yourself to a luxury five-star weekend break.
Anyone can buy a 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, provide on-line repair videos, has a repair workshop, and can access Paragon's international, informed, and supportive user-base.
If you need help, you can mail an experienced technician or call . Alternatively, to learn more about how your kiln works, use the help link below the menu bar near the top of the page.
|KILN FURNITURE: A GENERAL INTRODUCTION||IMPORTANT|
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|
It's important to learn about options and upgrades now as some have to be factory-fitted. The photo shows a Paragon SC2 customised for a PMC silver clay studio: hot pink, a right-hand door hinge, and a maximum temperature set to 925°C so that students couldn't accidentally melt their silver.
An option is cosmetic or practical, such as a black respray, a right-hand door hinge, a peephole-vent, a bead-annealing door, a door or lid viewing window, or an EU plug.
An upgrade extends the standard specifications, such as a higher maximum temperature, a 3-key to a 12-key programmer, an electric kiln vent, a gas injection control system, an auxilliary power output, 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.
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|
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 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.
During annealing, fabrication stresses are relieved as the molecules cool and arrange themselves into a regular stable matrix. Successful annealing is the key to creating glasswork that will remain attractive and durable. It's quite a long process, so a kiln with an automatic comprehensive programmer is essential.
Dichroic glass 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 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.
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|
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.
The lost wax burnout and casting process starts with making a wax shape and then making a mould of the shape. When the mould is heated, the wax melts out through channels, called sprues, usually over a wax-burnout grid and into a tray. The shape is then cast in glass or metal from the mould.
It's important to prevent wax or carbon from contacting the kiln’s walls and elements. Carbon build-up inside a kiln ruins the interior. Carbon conducts electricity and causes elements to short circuit.
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 make a kiln designed for this: the Trio. It's wide enough for most bottles but can still use a regular socket.
|LAMPWORK AND BEADS|
Lamp-working is the traditional name for glasswork that uses a flame to melt glass rods and tubes. As the glass softens, it's shaped by turning and using tools.
Early lampworkers used an oil-lamp, and blew air into the flame through a pipe. Later, propane, natural gas, or butane torches replaced the lamp, although kilns are now increasingly popular, particularly for annealing.
Beads are usually made on steel rods, or mandrels. When the beads are finished, the rods are removed leaving holes for threading the beads. Cold working techniques can be used, such as etching, faceting, polishing, and sandblasting.
|PÂTE DE VERRE|
Pâte de verre involves making a glass paste, applying it to a mould, firing it, and removing the piece from the mould. The glass paste is usually made from glass powder, a binder such as gum arabic, distilled water, and colouring agents or enamels. It allows precise placing of colours in the mould, whereas other techniques often result in the glass straying from its intended position.
I think, currently, Daum is the only large commercial crystal manufacturer using the pâte de verre process for art glass and crystal sculptures.
Tack fusing 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 uses a Caldera-A kiln to make glass stringers. The bottom of the kiln is unclipped and set aside. The kiln body is put on a thick ceramic square with a central hole. The whole thing is lifted well away from the floor to allow moulten glass to fall through a small hole in a crucible and form long stringers. Ceramic squares are in the on-line shop.
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.|
is a Cherry Heaven internet resource. It's a top-tier international distributor for Texas-made Paragon kilns, furnaces, ovens, accessories, and tools, 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.