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Paragon PMT10 Oven With A Sentry Controller For Knife Making, Heat Treating, Ceramics, Porcelain, and Glass. Paragon PMT13 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Heat Treating, Knife Making, Ceramics, Porcelain, and Glass. Paragon PMT18 Furnace With A Sentry Programmer For Knife Making, Heat Treating, Ceramics, Porcelain, and Glass.
PMT10 PMT13 PMT18 Kilns:Ovens:Furnaces
Paragon PMT10 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain.
Paragon PMT13 Oven With A Sentry Programmer For Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain.
Paragon PMT18 Furnace With A Sentry Controller For Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain.

Paragon PMT Industrial Furnaces For Heat Treating, Making Knives And Tools, Firing Ceramics And Porcelain, Annealing, Casting, And Fusing Glass, And Melting And Moulting Metals.

Paragon PMT kilns are generally used for heat-treating metals, making knives and blades, firing ceramics and porcelain, annealing and glass work, and jewellery moulds, although they have other applications. They're 1290°C furnaces with digital programmers, in Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. Learn about Paragon PMT kilns on this page.


There are four versions, in ascending order of internal size: the PMT10, PMT13, PMT18, and PMT21. They're 1290°C, four-sided, front-opening, table-top kilns with firebrick interiors and Sentry 12-Key programmers.


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.

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 more than 30kg can't be delivered by 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. For other locations, call or mail.

Paragon PMT10 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain. Paragon PMT13 Oven With A Sentry Controller For Annealing, Glass, Heat Treating, Ceramics, And Porcelain.
Paragon PMT10 Heat-Treating And Porcelain Kiln Paragon PMT13 Heat-Treating And Ceramics Kiln
Paragon PMT18 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain. Paragon PMT21 Furnace With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain.
Paragon PMT18 Heat-Treating And Glass Kiln Paragon PMT21 Heat-Treating And Ceramics Kiln
Orton-Paragon Sentry Controller. Bartlett-Paragon Sentinel SmartTouch Controller.
Paragon Sentry Programmer Paragon Sentinel SmartTouch Controller

If you want to look at specific PMT kilns and don't need to read any general introductions, compare or review the main features, or consider other kilns, use the button below to jump down the page. I'll start with the smallest.

Click To Jump To The PMT Kilns.

A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE PARAGON PMT KILNS

OPTIONAL READING
Paragon PMT10 Oven With A Sentry Controller For Annealing, Glass, Heat Treating, Ceramics, And Porcelain. Paragon PMT13 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Glass, Heat Treating, Ceramics, And Porcelain. Paragon PMT18 Furnace With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Glass, Heat Treating, Ceramics, And Porcelain. Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Controller.
Paragon PMT10 Paragon PMT13 Paragon PMT18 Sentry

Paragon PMT Industrial Furnaces For Heat Treating, Making Knives And Tools, Firing Ceramics And Porcelain, Annealing, Casting, And Fusing Glass, And Melting And Moulting Metals.

Paragon PMT kilns are generally used for heat-treating metals, making knives and blades, firing ceramics and porcelain, annealing and glass work, and jewellery moulds, although they have other applications.


There are four versions, in ascending order of internal size: the PMT10, PMT13, PMT18, and PMT21. They're 1290°C, four-sided, front-opening, table-top kilns with firebrick interiors and Sentry 12-Key programmers.


Paragon's US kiln names often include numbers to represent dimensions in inches, not mm, or features or version numbers. However, the system was started years ago and some kiln names are now inconsistent or inaccurate.

The numbers 10, 13, 18, and 21 represent the approximate internal depths in inches, although the PMT10 kiln isn't 10 inches anywhere. So rely on the descriptions here.

If it helps, there are handy approximate conversions: 1 inch is 25mm, 6 inches is 150mm, 12 inches is 300mm, and 24 inches is 600mm.


Every version is described in detail below so, although there's a comparative table and photos, I recommend that you set aside some time and read about them.


This internet resource is very comprehensive so is much easier to use on a computer than on a tablet or a phone. If you want to compare the different versions you could print the relevant pages. They should print correctly on A4 paper but check first in Print Preview so that nothing goes missing, particularly if you normally use wide margins. Fast or economy print will use less ink.


Yours can be in Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. However, it's only the control boxes that are painted: not the whole kiln. Customised kilns are made to order, so can't be returned if the colour isn't exactly as in the photo.


They normally have an enhanced Sentry 12-key programmer. Features include thirty-five free-to-set 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.

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 connectivity and 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. The programmer's software 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 in dropped recessed grooves in the firebricks. The kilns are fitted with a switch that cuts off power to the elements when the kiln is opened: a UK-EU legal safety requirement.

They 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 kilns don't come with a shelf or posts or kiln wash so, if you don't need a shelf kit, you won't have to pay for one. However, I've recommended pro kits because a durable heavy cordierite 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, fusing, and heat treating as the elements turn on and off.


During heat treating, scale forms on the surface of steel. To eliminate most scaling, wrap the steel in stainless steel foil or install a gas injection flow meter on your furnace. The meter regulates the flow of an inert gas, such as argon, inside the furnace which displaces the oxygen and prevents most scaling. The gas flow system is described further down the page.


Some kilns might be too heavy or too large for a regular table or worktop. If you can't find a strong table locally, Paragon makes a strong steel table, 768mm x 768mm x 718mm high, with two shelves for your accessories, tools, and work. The luxury version, with castors, is 63mm taller.

If you decide to buy on old wood table, or use a self-assembly table with screw-in legs, its rigidity is vital otherwise it might twist and collapse.


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.

CASE HISTORY AND INSPIRATION

OPTIONAL READING

Paragon PMT Industrial Furnaces For Heat Treating, Making Knives And Tools, Firing Ceramics And Porcelain, Annealing, Casting, And Fusing Glass, And Melting And Moulting Metals.

Over the years, I've sold a lot of PMT kilns for annealing, casting, firing, fusing, heat-treating, melting, or moulding architectural parts, cutting tools, and engineering components made from ceramics, glass, and metal.

Toyota used a Paragon PMT21 to heat-treat glass and metal parts, although wouldn't tell me if they were for normal bits and pieces or a concept-car project.

APPLICATIONS: WHAT CAN I DO WITH A PARAGON PMT KILN?

OPTIONAL READING

What Can I Do With A Paragon PMT Kiln?

You can use these kilns for annealing beads and glass, bronze and copper clays, firing bone china, ceramics, earthenware, porcelain, pottery, and stoneware, china painting, crystalline gazes, applying decals, dental work, dichroic glasses, dolls, enamelling, fire polishing, glass art, fusing, moulding, sagging, and slumping glass, heat treating, knife-making, laboratory testing, lampwork, lost-wax casting, low-fire ceramics, making jewellery, melting gold and silver, forming gun and model parts, pâte de verre, raku, sintering gold and silver clays, staining glass, hardening and tempering blades, cutters, dies, and tools, and many other materials and processes.

You can 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, ceramic art, chandelier components, decorations, figurines, fingerprint keepsakes, glass-art, glass panels, jewellery, knives, lampshades, miniatures, mugs, necklaces, ornaments, pendants, plates, porcelain beads, souvenirs, stained-glass designs, tableware, tiaras, tiles, tools, and vases, as unique hand-crafted pieces or repeatable stock for sale.


They're ideal for your arts centre, ceramics showroom, college, course venue, shared craft units, dental lab, engineering works, glass works, knife studio, machine shop, medical laboratory, metal-work business, technical facility, or university.

IS A PARAGON PMT KILN THE BEST CHOICE?

OPTIONAL READING
Paragon PMT10 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain. Paragon PMT13 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain. Paragon PMT18 Oven With A Sentry Controller For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain. Paragon PMT21 Furnace With A Sentry Controller For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain.
Paragon PMT10 Paragon PMT13 Paragon PMT18 Paragon PMT21

Is A Paragon PMT10, PMT13, PMT18, Or PMT21 Kiln Going To Be The Best Overall Choice?

The PMT kilns are hot enough, at 1290°C, for ceramics, glass, and heat treating within their size limits. However, if you think that a top-opener or a more specialised kiln might be more versatile, here are some suggestions:


Bead-annealing kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 650°C. For these, look at the BlueBird. However, other kilns have bead doors: the small 1290°C Caldera B and 1095°C SC2B, the medium 1290°C Xpress E12B, and the larger 925°C Fusion 14B. These are all hotter than the BlueBird, so more versatile.

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 and porcelain.

Jewellery, silver clay, and enamelling 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 and porcelain.

Vitrigraph kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1095°C. For these, look at the small Caldera or the medium Vitrigraph.

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 1095°C or 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 are usually used for jewellery moulds and lost-wax burnout and casting. They have top vents, and the programmer includes three lost-wax burnout pre-sets: EL wax elimination, 5-hour burnout, and 12-hour burnout. There are optional wax trays. The small SC Series and most of the medium Xpress Series also have top vents.


To learn more about these and other kilns, use the appropriate links below the menu bar near the top of the page. And remember that each series has kilns of different sizes with different options.


KILN TYPE MAX °C WATTS KG INTERIOR INTERIOR SIZE MM
PMT10 1290 2340 37 firebrick rectangular 216 x 229 x 222
PMT13 1290 3600 100 firebrick square 330 x 330 x 216
PMT18 1290 6500 140 firebrick rectangular 330 x 457 x 330
PMT21 1290 9600 192 firebrick square 533 x 533 x 330
Caldera bead door and window options 1290 1800 20 firebrick square 203 x 203 x 171
F130 Elite punty door 925 2400 100 firebrick square 279 x 279 x 330
Fusion CS16D lid and body opening 925 2400 85 firebrick square 406 x 406 x 165
GL22ADTSD 1095 11000 158 firebrick square 533 x 533 x 337
HT14 1095 3120 55 firebrick rectangular 330 x 343 x 222
Janus 1613 1290 4800 90 firebrick eight-sided 419 x 337
KM24 1290 2600 63 firebrick rectangular 140 x 610 x 108
Pearl 22 925 7200 146 firebrick square 559 x 559 x 330
Xpress E12 bead door and window options 1290 2200 40 firebrick rectangular 196 x 293 x 219

THE PARAGON PMT10

HEAT-TREATING, CERAMICS, GLASS, CASTING, AND PORCELAIN
Paragon PMT10 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Programmer. Bartlett-Paragon Sentinel SmartTouch Controller.
Paragon PMT10 Colour Choices Sentry Sentinel

The Paragon PMT10 Kiln For Heat Treating, Making Knives And Tools, Firing Ceramics And Porcelain, Annealing, Casting, And Fusing Glass, And Melting And Moulting Metals.

The Paragon PMT10 is a 1290°C, square, plug-in, front-opening, table-top. firebrick furnace, with a ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.


Paragon uses inches, not mm. For the PMT10, the number 10 represents the approximate internal depth in inches. However, it isn't 10 inches anywhere: it's about 8.5 inches wide, 9 inches deep, and 9 inches high inside. So, for clarity within the PMT series, it should have been called the PMT9?


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 2340W, so can use a regular mains socket. It's fitted with a switch that cuts off power to the elements when the kiln is opened: a UK-EU legal safety requirement. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The external dimensions are 610mm x 610mm x 508mm high. The case has slots for air circulation and an integral stand with four rubber feet. The door has a stay-cool wooden handle and a spring-assisted door latch. The shipping weight, including the box, is about 37kg.

The firing chamber measures 216mm x 229mm x 222mm high, and heats from the back and both sides, with the elements in dropped recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. The kiln normally 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, hold times, and cooling rates, making it easy to set up and re-use accurate heating, holding, and cooling sequences. An optional cone-fire mode, up to cone 10, will simplify any work with ceramics.


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

List. a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List. a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 12-key to a Sentinel Touch: more useful features: factory fitted
List. a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted
List. an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List. an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: factory fitted
List. a USB computer interface: factory fitted
List. a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List. a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List. stacking shelf kits and 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

EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS, AND MY OPINION

Reviews And Opinions.

The PMT10 is a 1290°C kiln, made for years of continual high-temperature firing. It's robustly made and fully programmable, so ideal for a heat-treating workshop, a commercial ceramics or glass studio, an engineering facility, or a technical lab.


It normally has an enhanced Sentry 12-key programmer. Features include thirty-five free-to-set 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. An optional cone-fire mode, up to cone 10, will simplify your work with ceramics.

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 connectivity and updates: so a functional upgrade not just a design preference.


The door has a spring-assisted latch so it stays tightly closed preventing heat loss around its edges. The stay-cool wooden door handle makes closing and opening safer. The 76mm thick firebricks ensure good insulation, steady temperatures, and economic firings.


However, the PMT13, described below, is about the same height inside but has an internal floor area 2.20 times larger than the PMT10, so might be worth the extra cost.

THE PARAGON PMT10 KILN FURNITURE
Paragon Shelf Kits For The PMT10. Stainless Steel Pans for Activated Charcoal: 1 litre or 3 litres. Activated Charcoal: Coal or Coconut. Tray And Mesh For Lost Wax Burnout And Casting.

Shelf Kits For The Paragon PMT10.

The US-international kiln doesn't come with a shelf or posts or kiln wash so, if you don't need a shelf kit, you won't have to pay for one. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: one durable 178mm x 178mm x 15mm cordierite shelf, four 12mm shelf posts, and 450gm of kiln wash.

The 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, fusing, and heat treating as the elements turn on and off.

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 recommended kit, not included in the price: one 178mm x 178mm x 25mm shelf and four posts. The kiln normally has room for two shelves so you can choose 12mm, 25mm, 50mm, or 75mm posts.

Whatever you choose, don't work directly on the floor of the firing chamber as any accidentally melted clay, glass, or metal will ruin the firebricks.


The kiln can accommodate a 1-litre 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 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 tray and mesh can also be used for supporting beads, enamel work, and fused glass.

THE PARAGON PMT13

HEAT-TREATING, CERAMICS, GLASS, CASTING, AND PORCELAIN
Paragon PMT13 Kiln With A Sentry Controller For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Programmer. Bartlett-Paragon Sentinel SmartTouch Controller.
Paragon PMT13 Colour Choices Sentry Sentinel

The Paragon PMT13 Kiln For Heat Treating, Making Knives And Tools, Firing Ceramics And Porcelain, Annealing, Casting, And Fusing Glass, And Melting And Moulting Metals.

The Paragon PMT13 is a 1290°C, square, wired-in, front-opening, table-top, firebrick furnace, with a ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.


Paragon uses inches, not mm. For the PMT13, the number 13 represents the approximate internal depth in inches. It's about 13 inches wide, 13 inches deep, and 8.5 inches high inside.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 3600W, so it needs a 15A minimum wired-in power supply. It's fitted with a switch that cuts off power to the elements when the kiln is opened: a UK-EU legal safety requirement. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The external dimensions are 864mm x 635mm x 584mm high. The case has slots for air circulation and an integral stand with four rubber feet. The door has a stay-cool wooden handle and a spring-assisted door latch. The shipping weight, including the crate, is about 100kg.

The firing chamber measures 330mm x 330mm x 216mm high, and heats from the back and both sides, with the elements in dropped recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. The kiln normally 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, hold times, and cooling rates, making it easy to set up and re-use accurate heating, holding, and cooling sequences. An optional cone-fire mode, up to cone 10, will simplify any work with ceramics.


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

List. a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List. a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 12-key to a Sentinel Touch: more useful features: factory fitted
List. a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted
List. an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List. an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: factory fitted
List. a USB computer interface: factory fitted
List. a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List. a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List. stacking shelf kits and 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

EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS, AND MY OPINION

Reviews And Opinions.

The PMT13 is a 1290°C kiln, made for years of continual high-temperature firing. It's robustly made and fully programmable, so ideal for a heat-treating workshop, a commercial ceramics or glass studio, an engineering facility, or a technical lab.


It normally has an enhanced Sentry 12-key programmer. Features include thirty-five free-to-set 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. An optional cone-fire mode, up to cone 10, will simplify your work with ceramics.

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 connectivity and updates: so a functional upgrade not just a design preference.


The door has a spring-assisted latch so it stays tightly closed preventing heat loss around its edges. The stay-cool wooden door handle makes closing and opening safer. The 76mm thick firebricks ensure good insulation, steady temperatures, and economic firings.


However, the PMT18, described below, is rectangular and has an internal volume 2.12 times larger than the PMT13, so might be worth the extra cost.

THE PARAGON PMT13 KILN FURNITURE
Paragon Shelf Kits For The PMT13. Stainless Steel Pans for Activated Charcoal: 1 litre or 3 litres. Activated Charcoal: Coal or Coconut. Tray And Mesh For Lost Wax Burnout And Casting.

Shelf Kits For The Paragon PMT13.

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

The 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, fusing, and heat treating as the elements turn on and off.

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 recommended kit, not included in the price: one 305mm x 305mm x 25mm shelf and four posts. The kiln normally has room for two shelves so you can choose 12mm, 25mm, 50mm, or 75mm posts.

Whatever you choose, don't work directly on the floor of the firing chamber as any accidentally melted clay, glass, or metal will ruin the firebricks.


The kiln can accommodate a 1-litre or a 3-litre 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 203mm x 203mm 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 tray and mesh can also be used for supporting beads, enamel work, and fused glass.

THE PARAGON PMT18

HEAT-TREATING, CERAMICS, GLASS, CASTING, AND PORCELAIN
Paragon PMT18 Kiln With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Programmer. Bartlett-Paragon Sentinel SmartTouch Controller.
Paragon PMT18 Colour Choices Sentry Sentinel

The Paragon PMT18 Kiln For Heat Treating, Making Knives And Tools, Firing Ceramics And Porcelain, Annealing, Casting, And Fusing Glass, And Melting And Moulting Metals.

The Paragon PMT18 is a 1290°C, rectangular, wired-in, front-opening, table-top, firebrick furnace, with a ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.


Paragon uses inches, not mm. For the PMT18, the number 18 represents the approximate internal depth in inches. It's about 18 inches wide, 18 inches deep, and 13 inches high inside.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 6500W, so it needs a 27A minimum wired-in power supply. It's fitted with a switch that cuts off power to the elements when the kiln is opened: a UK-EU legal safety requirement. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The external dimensions are 914mm x 965mm x 965mm high. The case has slots for air circulation and an integral stand with four rubber feet. The door has a stay-cool wooden handle and a spring-assisted door latch. The shipping weight, including the crate, is about 140kg.

The firing chamber measures 330mm x 457mm x 330mm high, and heats from the back and both sides, with the elements in dropped recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. The kiln normally has two electro-mechanical relays and a long-life nickel-chromium K-type thermocouple.

The programmer's electronic display prompts for heating rates, target temperatures, hold times, and cooling rates, making it easy to set up and re-use accurate heating, holding, and cooling sequences. An optional cone-fire mode, up to cone 10, will simplify any work with ceramics.


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

List. a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List. a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 12-key to a Sentinel Touch: more useful features: factory fitted
List. a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted
List. an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List. an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: factory fitted
List. a USB computer interface: factory fitted
List. a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List. a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List. stacking shelf kits and 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

EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS, AND MY OPINION

Reviews And Opinions.

The PMT18 is a 1290°C kiln, made for years of continual high-temperature firing. It's robustly made and fully programmable, so ideal for a heat-treating workshop, a commercial ceramics or glass studio, an engineering facility, or a technical lab. At 6500W it heats quickly and will reach its maximum temperature easily even if the elements age or the local voltage drops.


It normally has an enhanced Sentry 12-key programmer. Features include thirty-five free-to-set 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. An optional cone-fire mode, up to cone 10, will simplify your work with ceramics.

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 connectivity and updates: so a functional upgrade not just a design preference.


The door has a spring-assisted latch so it stays tightly closed preventing heat loss around its edges. The stay-cool wooden door handle makes closing and opening safer. The 76mm thick firebricks ensure good insulation, steady temperatures, and economic firings.


However, the PMT21, described below, has an internal floor area 1.88 times larger than the PMT18, so might be worth the extra cost.

THE PARAGON PMT18 KILN FURNITURE
Paragon Shelf Kits For The PMT18. Stainless Steel Pans for Activated Charcoal: 1 litre or 3 litres. Activated Charcoal: Coal or Coconut. Tray And Mesh For Lost Wax Burnout And Casting.

Shelf Kits For The Paragon PMT18.

The US-international kiln doesn't come with a shelf or posts or kiln wash so, if you don't need a shelf kit, you won't have to pay for one. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: one durable 305mm x 430mm x 15mm cordierite shelf, four 12mm shelf posts, and 450gm of kiln wash.

The 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, fusing, and heat treating as the elements turn on and off.

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 recommended kit, not included in the price: one 305mm x 430mm x 25mm shelf and four posts. The kiln normally has room for three shelves so you can choose 12mm, 25mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, or 150mm posts.

Normally, the bottom shelf stays in the bottom and others are stacked up. However, shelves are heavy so, if you plan on moving them often, the half-size shelves are easier to put in and take out.

Whatever you choose, don't work directly on the floor of the firing chamber as any accidentally melted clay, glass, or metal will ruin the firebricks.


However, there is an alternative: a 400mm x 400mm x 50mm 1430°C rigidised ceramic-fibre square. It's much lighter than regular ceramic and very easy to cut to shape. The off-cuts can be used as shelf supports. Its high heat-resistance and low thermal-mass make heating and cooling faster, so it's ideal for glass and ceramic kilns.


The kiln can accommodate a 1-litre or a 3-litre 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 267mm x 279mm 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 tray and mesh can also be used for supporting beads, enamel work, and fused glass.

THE PARAGON PMT21

HEAT-TREATING, CERAMICS, GLASS, CASTING, AND PORCELAIN
Paragon PMT21 Furnace With A Sentry Programmer For Annealing, Ceramics, Glass, Heat Treating, And Porcelain. Paragon Blue Or Customised Berry, Black, Jade, Navy, Pink, Purple, Or Turquoise. Orton-Paragon Sentry Programmer. Bartlett-Paragon Sentinel Smart-Touch Controller.
Paragon PMT21 Colour Choices Sentry Sentinel

The Paragon PMT21 Kiln For Heat Treating, Making Knives And Tools, Firing Ceramics And Porcelain, Annealing, Casting, And Fusing Glass, And Melting And Moulting Metals.

The Paragon PMT21 is a 1290°C, square, wired-in, front-opening, table-top, firebrick oven, with a ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon blue or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.


Paragon uses inches, not mm. For the PMT21, the number 21 represents the approximate internal depth in inches. It's about 21 inches wide, 21 inches deep, and 13 inches high inside.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 9600W, so it needs a 40A minimum wired-in power supply. It's fitted with a switch that cuts off power to the elements when the kiln is opened: a UK-EU legal safety requirement. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The external dimensions are 1016mm x 889mm x 711mm high. The case has slots for air circulation and an integral stand with four rubber feet. The door has a stay-cool wooden handle and a spring-assisted door latch. The shipping weight, including the crate, is about 192kg.

The firing chamber measures 533mm x 533mm x 330mm high, and heats from the back and both sides with the elements in dropped recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. The kiln normally has three electro-mechanical relays and a long-life nickel-chromium K-type thermocouple.

The programmer's electronic display prompts for heating rates, target temperatures, hold times, and cooling rates, making it easy to set up and re-use accurate heating, holding, and cooling sequences. An optional cone-fire mode, up to cone 10, will simplify any work with ceramics.


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

List. a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List. a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 12-key to a Sentinel Touch: more useful features: factory fitted
List. a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted
List. an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List. an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: factory fitted
List. a USB computer interface: factory fitted
List. a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List. a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List. a three-zone long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List. stacking shelf kits and 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

EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS, AND MY OPINION

Reviews And Opinions.

The PMT21 is a 1290°C kiln, made for years of continual high-temperature firing. It's robustly made and fully programmable, so ideal for a heat-treating workshop, a commercial ceramics or glass studio, an engineering facility, or a technical lab. At 9600W it heats quickly and will reach its maximum temperature easily even if the elements age or the local voltage drops.


It normally has an enhanced Sentry 12-key programmer. Features include thirty-five free-to-set 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. An optional cone-fire mode, up to cone 10, will simplify your work with ceramics.

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 connectivity and updates: so a functional upgrade not just a design preference.


The door has a spring-assisted latch so it stays tightly closed preventing heat loss around its edges. The stay-cool wooden door handle makes closing and opening safer. The 76mm thick firebricks ensure good insulation, steady temperatures, and economic firings.

THE PARAGON PMT21 KILN FURNITURE
Paragon Shelf Kits For The PMT21. Stainless Steel Pans for Activated Charcoal: 1 litre or 3 litres. Activated Charcoal: Coal or Coconut. Tray And Mesh For Lost Wax Burnout And Casting.

Shelf Kits For The Paragon PMT21.

The US-international kiln doesn't come with a shelf or posts or kiln wash so, if you don't need a shelf kit, you won't have to pay for one. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: one durable 505mm x 505mm x 15mm cordierite shelf, four 12mm shelf posts, and 450gm of kiln wash.

The 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, fusing, and heat treating as the elements turn on and off.

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 are two extra recommended kits, not included in the price: one 505mm x 505mm x 25mm shelf and four posts, or one 254mm x 508mm x 15mm half-shelf and four posts. The kiln normally has room for three shelves so you can choose 12mm, 25mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, or 150mm posts.

Normally, the bottom shelf stays in the bottom and others are stacked up. However, shelves are heavy so, if you plan on moving them often, the half-size shelves are easier to put in and take out.

Whatever you choose, don't work directly on the floor of the firing chamber as any accidentally melted clay, glass, or metal will ruin the firebricks.


However, there is an alternative: a 500mm x 500mm x 50mm 1430°C rigidised ceramic-fibre square. It's much lighter than regular ceramic and very easy to cut to shape. The off-cuts can be used as shelf supports. Its high heat-resistance and low thermal-mass make heating and cooling faster, so it's ideal for glass and ceramic kilns.


The kiln can accommodate a 1-litre or a 3-litre 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 432mm x 432mm 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 tray and 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 recommended reading, unless you're already using kilns successfully.


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.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO MAKING KNIVES
The Society Of British Cutlers Knife. Knife Blade Supports. 321 Stainless Steel Foil. Kitiki Heat Resistant Gloves.

Steels And Knife Making.

Steels are alloys of iron and carbon, generally described as mild steel, medium-carbon steel, or high-carbon steel, according to the percentage of carbon. Adding other elements such as chromium, manganese, nickel, tungsten, and vanadium change the characteristics of the metal.

There are over 3500 types of steel, most of which have been developed during the last 25 years. If the Eiffel Tower were to be built today, it would only need one-third of the steel that was originally used.

Making knife blades involves many different types of high-carbon steel and a series of forming, heating, cooling, and finishing processes. Knife-making kilns come with a heat treating manual, although professional knife-makers usually adapt the processes and develop their own techniques.


During heat treating, oxygen combines with the steel to form a scale on the surface of the blades. To minimise this, they're either wrapped in heat-treating foil or an inert gas can be injected into the furnace to displace the oxygen.

Most professional knife makers use a kiln with gas injection for precise control and to save time. The Sentry 12-key and the Sentinel SmartTouch programmers can have an additional solenoid kit which can automatically turn the gas on or off for each segment of the firing: just programme the controller to turn on the gas at the temperature where scale begins to form on the steel.

Argon gas is popular for heat treating because it's inexpensive. But, it's heavier than air and breathing it in won't keep you alive: so your workshop must be well ventilated.

Some knife-makers use 321 stainless steel foil to wrap the blades, mimicking a vacuum furnace. The foil needs to be removed before quenching the steel in oil.

Others use a water-based coating. The steel part can be painted, sprayed, or dipped then allowed to dry before beginning the heat treatment. On cooling, it will crumble off and the steel parts can be rinsed clean under water. It's important to ensure that parts are clean of oil and greases before applying the coating.

HARDENING STEEL

How To Harden Steels.

Steel is already hard, but can be made much harder by heating it to a hardening temperature and then soaking it at that temperature. The temperature and time depend on the steel and the result you want. Hardness is measured using Rockwell testing.

QUENCHING

How To Quench Steels.

After hardening, steel is quenched by cooling it in air, water, or oil, otherwise the steel would lose most of its hardness. The way in which quenching is done is vital.

TEMPERING

How To Temper Steels.

After quenching, most steel is tempered, another heating and cooling process, to relieve stresses, otherwise it can be too brittle for repeated use.

FREE HEAT-TREATING GUIDE

A Free Heat-Treating Guide.

You can download, and print, a Heat-Treating Guide. Paragon created it in 2005 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.

THE SOCIETY OF BRITISH CUTLERS

The Society Of British Cutlers.

The Society Of British Cutlers Logo. The Society Of British Cutlers Knife. The Society Of British Cutlers Knives. The Society Of British Cutlers Knife.

If you want to follow other knife makers, see what they're doing, and contact them, here's a link to The Society Of British Cutlers. Click here. We're featured as a distributor for Paragon's KM knife-making kilns.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO CLAYS

Natural Clay.

What Is Clay?

Clays are formed naturally over millions of years as rocks break up into minute particles. They consist of hydrous aluminium silicates and other compounds such as feldspar, iron oxides, mica, and quartz. Clays are collectively referred to as ceramics.

Clays are often divided into three main categories: earthenware, porcelain, and stoneware. Generally, they needs to be fired for several hours, although the exact chemical composition affects the firing temperatures and times, and the clays' colour, porosity, shrinkage, and strength.

All clays are created to mature at specific temperatures, and any variance can lead to unsatisfactory results in ceramic durability or color. If fired too high, clay can deform or even melt; if fired too low, your pieces will be dry, rough, and potentially unsolidified.

Historically, low-fire has been the most commonly used firing range due to limitations in kiln technology. Modern kilns are now capable of much more complex, high-temperature processes, but low-fire range continues to be popular because it allows ceramic artists to use a variety of colourants that either burn off or become unstable at higher temperatures.

The maximum cone rating of a stoneware or porcelain clay is the temperature at which it vitrifies. This is the hardening, tightening and finally the partial glassification of the clay. Vitrification results from fusions or melting of the various components of the clay. The strength of fired clay is increased by the formation of new crystalline growth within the clay body, particularly the growth of mullite crystals. Mullite is an aluminum silicate characterized by a long needle-like crystal. These lace the structure together, giving it cohesion and strength.

When clay vitrifies it gets very strong. This is especially important for dinnerware where pieces are exposed to a lot of abuse. Vitrification also makes the clay's porosity low.

EARTHENWARE, PORCELAIN, AND STONEWARE

Earthenware Flower Pot.

What Are Earthenware, Porcelain, And Stoneware?

Earthenware is normally beige, red, or white. It has the lowest firing temperature of the three, usually lower than 1150°C. It's slightly porous, and stains and chips easily, so it's often glazed to protect the surface. Its porosity means it's good for making terracotta planters and oven steamers, but not good for jugs or vases.


Porcelain is composed of kaolin, or china clay. Kaolin doesn't melt until 1800°C, so other compounds are usually added so it can be fired between 1250°C and 1400°C. For example, bone china is made by adding bone ash to the clay. It's known for its whiteness, hardness, smoothness, durability, and translucency. When tapped, it makes a distinctive ping: or ming.

Named after a hill in China from which it was mined for centuries, kaolin is the purest form of clay and is the foundation of all porcelain clay bodies. Though pure kaolin clays can be fired, often they are mixed with other clays to increase both workability and lower the firing temperature, so if using a kaolin-based clay body, be sure to note how pure your material is, as this will change the required temperature.

As a clay body, porcelain is known for its hardness, extremely tight density, whiteness, and translucence in thin-walled pieces. Another difficulty with porcelain bodies is that they are very prone to warping during drying in the kiln

When fired, porcelain becomes a hard, vitrified, non-absorbent clay body, very similar to high-fire stoneware. It also develops a body-glaze layer formed between the clay body and the glaze. The absence of any iron, alkalies, or alkaline earths in the molecular structure of kaolin not only dictate its high-fire requirements, but are also responsible for its most identifiable characteristic: its white color.


Stoneware is normally beige, grey, or red-brown. It's usually fired between 1150°C and 1300°C. It's hard, durable, and resists thermal shock. Glazes bond well, so it can be made waterproof.


Stoneware is a plastic clay, often grey when moist. Getting its name from the dense, rock-like nature of the clay body when fired, stoneware is typically combined with other clays to modify it, such as ball clays which might be added for plasticity. It is important to note that stoneware is divided into two types: mid-fire and high-fire.

Like low-fire bodies, mid-range stoneware is relatively soft and porous and has a clearly separate glaze layer after firing. However, a mid-range firing results in increased durability of the ware as well. When fired, stoneware ranges in color from light grey to buff, to medium grey and brown.

Mid-range glazes typically mature between Cone 4 and Cone 6, and most commercial underglazes have a maximum temperature of Cone 6. These glazes are more durable, still offer a fairly extensive color range, and though not quite as harsh as low-fire glazes, can still be quite bright.

BISQUE

Bisque.

What Is Bisque?

Bisque is clay which has been fired once, without a glaze, to a temperature just before vitrification. Firing changes the clay into ceramic material, without fully fusing it. A second, slower, firing melts the glaze and fuses it to the clay body.

BONE CHINA

Royal Victoria Bone China Cup And Saucer. Wedgewood White Dinner Set. Rose Bouquet Dessert Plates. Royal Albert Bone China Tea Set.

What Is Bone China?

Bone china is a type of porcelain composed of bone ash, feldspathic material, and kaolin. It's the strongest of the porcelain or china ceramics, having very high mechanical and physical strength and chip resistance, and is known for its high levels of whiteness and translucency. Its high strength allows it to be produced in thinner cross-sections than other types of porcelain.

From its initial development and up to the latter part of the 20th century, bone china was almost exclusively English, with production being effectively localised in Stoke-on-Trent. Most major English firms made or still make it, including Fortnum & Mason, Mintons, Coalport, Spode, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, and Worcester.

In the UK, references to china or porcelain can refer to bone china, and English Porcelain has been used as a term for it, both in the UK and around the world.

POLYMER CLAY

Polymer Clay Flowers By Olga Zhukova. Polymer Clay Key Rings. Polymer Clay Beads By LiasonWithAlison. Polymer Clay Necklace By Facet Jewellery.

What Is Polymer Clay?

Polymer clay is a man-made material: tiny particles of polyvinyl chloride mixed with plasticisers and pigments. When it's baked, at around 125°C, the particles fuse and the clay hardens.

RAKU

Raku By Lori Duncan. Raku By Brian Seckinger. Raku By Greenwich Community College. Raku By Soley Ceramics.

What Is Raku?

Raku was originally a Japanese technique, but it's now become an internationally popular way to make decorative ware, with each piece having a unique blend of colours.

A bisque piece is fired to about 950°C, then glazed. It's removed from the kiln when red-hot, and put straight into a container of combustible material.

The flames, reducing atmosphere, and mix of chemicals stain the clay. When the piece is removed and quenched in cold water, interesting colours and shades remain: often unpredictable.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO GLASS AND GEMS

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?

Very briefly, annealing generally involves heating glass or metal to it's annealing point, maintaining a specific temperature for a set time, and then cooling it to room temperature.

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 work that will remain attractive and durable. It can be quite a long process, and involve multiple phases, so a kiln with an automatic comprehensive programmer is essential.

FREE BEAD ANNEALING GUIDE

A 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.

BOILED GLASS
Boiled Glass.

Glass scraps, with optional bubble powder, are put in a tray or a mould and heated. As the temperature increases the glasses begin to bubble. The bubbles mix the colours and give a natural organic appearance. The glasses need to be compatible as different colours and expansion coefficient might not work, so the boiled glass technique needs experiment and practice.

You increase the temperature at about 300°C per hour to 925°C with no bubble squeeze and soak for 10–15 minutes. Then allow the kiln to drop the temperature as fast as possible to about 815°C and soak there for around 30 minutes to allow the little bubbles to rise to the surface and burst. Then reduce to the annealing temperature and soak for the thickness you calculated in preparation for the firing.

CUBIC ZIRCONIA
Cubic Zirconia.

What Are Cubic Zirconia.

Cubic Zirconia is the most popular substitute for a diamond because they look almost dentical. Cubic Zirconia or CZ, is made from zirconium dioxide which comes closer than any other gem to matching the characteristics of a diamond. It's not quite as hard as diamond and is slightly less sparkly but displays more prismatic fire with more colour sparkles within the gem, especially if metal oxides are added during the production process.

Caring for CZ is important because they are more brittle than diamonds and susceptible to wear and tear such as chipping and scratches over time.

DECALS
Rose By Arwen Moore Design.

What Are Decals?

A decal or transfer is an image or pattern printed on a ceramic, cloth, paper, or plastic substrate that can be moved on to another surface, usually with the aid of water and heat.

A wet decal can be slid into position, allowed to dry, and then heated in a kiln. Most ceramic decals come with a cone number for easy firing, typically cone 022. The programmer on the Paragon Fusion 7XL has pre-set cone numbers as well as the normal ramp-hold options used for general glass work.

Decals are a quick and fun way to decorate bottles, glasses, and vases, as most low-fire ceramic decals and low-fire glass decals will work very well, even on float glass.

DIAMONDS
Diamond.

What Are Diamonds?

Diamonds are not a form of glass: they're naturally occurring gems composed of carbon atoms arranged in a very regular pattern.

Between 1 billion to 3.3 billion years ago, simple carbon containing trace minerals was transformed into diamonds by heat and pressure at depths of over 100 miles below the earth’s surface. We can’t mine down far enough to reach the earth’s mantle but fortunately volcanic eruptions brought the diamonds closer to the surface. They're extremely hard and until recently were regarded as the world's hardest natural material.

Although diamonds are extremely expensive, their price is governed by carat, cut, colour, and clarity. It’s very rare to find a diamond that doesn’t contain flaws: however the impurities, and internal refraction and dispersion of light, give diamonds their brilliance.


Synthetic diamonds are manufactured and are identical in hardness, dispersion, gravity, refraction and chemical composition to the highest quality mined diamonds available. Whereas a one-carat top quality diamond would cost thousands of pounds to buy, the same quality man-made diamond could be made for less than £5.

This will obviously have a huge impact on the diamond industry over the next few years as when comparing a cultured and mined diamond side by side they are virtually undistinguishable. A bit like pearls, they can be grown from a single crystal using chemical vapor deposition.

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 Burnout And 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.

I've written some general instructions here but, as always, making anything 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.

The most popular kilns for lost wax processes are the Paragon W series: the W13, W14, and W18. Learn about these by using the w:lost-wax-burnout link below the menu bar near the top of the page. Wax burnout trays, glare-resistant glasses, and heat-resistant gloves are in the on-line shop.

HOW TO DO LOST WAX BURNOUT

How To Do Lost Wax Burnout And Casting.

1 : Place a metal tray inside the kiln on a few 12mm posts. Place the mould on a grate on top of the tray. The mould’s sprue holes should face down. The tray will catch melting wax as it drips from the sprue holes.

2 : Keep the kiln’s vent hole open during wax elimination. If the kiln has no vent hole, leave the door open 12mm. This allows fumes to escape from the kiln. Heat the kiln to 148°C and hold it at that temperature for at least one hour. Do NOT heat the wax above 148°C.

3 : During this hour, the wax will melt from the mould and drip into the tray. If the kiln gets hotter than 148°C, the wax may smoke and deposit carbon inside your kiln, causing expensive damage.

4 : After one hour at 148°C, open the kiln. Remove the mould and wax tray. Pour the wax from the tray and leave the tray out of the kiln until your next wax elimination. Don't leave the tray in the kiln.

5 : Harden the mould to the temperature recommended by your mould material manufacturer.

6 : Finally, adjust the temperature to the casting temperature of the glass or metal. Hold at that temperature until you are ready to begin casting. Remove the mould with tongs. Wear protective gloves and safety glasses.


Over time, a small amount of carbon can form on the firing chamber walls as any wax residue left in the mould burns off. So I recommend that you periodically open the vent or leave the door open 12mm, and fire the kiln empty to 815°C at a rate of 166°C with a one hour hold.

MOISSANITE
Moissanite.

What Is Moissanite.

Moissanite is another diamond substitute which is a rare mineral found naturally in small quantities, although Moissanite for jewellery is artificially made. It’s made from Silicon Carbide which means it’s able to withstand high temperatures and is very hard.

Moissanite is noticeably much sparklier and displays more prismatic fire than a diamond which is noticeable even to an untrained observer. Moissanite does have inclusions like a diamond and it may also have a greenish tinge to its colour.

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.

SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL
Swarovski Crystal.

What Is Swarovski Crystal?

Swarovski Crystal isn’t a gemstone or even a crystal: it’s a form of glass made at high temperatures by melting silicon oxide powders with lead to form what is known as lead crystal. The exact process is patented by Swarovski but it has approximately 32% lead content to increase the crystals refraction index to resemble that of a diamond. To produce a diamond like effect the crystal glass is precision cut and then polished again by a Swarovski patented process that gives the crystal a high quality finish.

The crystals are often further enhanced by coating the glass with an Aurora Borealis or AB coating that gives the surface a rainbow like appearance to simulate dispersion from a diamond. Swarovski crystal is not as hard as diamond so its susceptible to scratches and chipping from wear and tear, but it’s harder than standard glass.

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. Paragon Caldera Kiln With A Sentry Xpress Programmer For Vitrigraph. Ceramic-Fibre Boards. Crucible.

What Is Vitrigraph?

The vitrigraph process usually uses a Paragon Caldera kiln to make glass stringers. The clip-on bottom of the kiln is removed and set aside. The kiln body is put on a thick ceramic rectangle with a central hole. The rectangle is put on two wall brackets or any stable structure away from the floor.

A crucible of glass is put in the kiln and, as it heats, the moulten glass falls through a hole in the crucible to form long stringers. Skilled artists can control the thickness of the stringers and can even draw with the glass as it comes out.


The Caldera needs a 500mm x 400mm x 50mm rectangle, which we cut for you from a much larger sheet. Normal kiln shelves are made from cordierite: a very dense hard ceramic. A suitable-size rectangle would be fairly heavy and hard to cut and drill, so we we use ceramic-fibre board. Ceramic-fibre rectangles are in the on-line shop.

Ceramic-fibre board is made from vacuum-formed fibre. It doesn't retain heat, has a low thermal conductivity, and is stable at temperatures up to 1430°C. If you need to trim it, use a knife, handsaw, or electric jigsaw, but cut it neatly because, as it's fibrous, you can't use a file or sandpaper successfully.


When you work with any fibrous material, don't get the fibres on your hands or breathe them in: ideally, you should put on gloves, wear a HEPA dust mask, use clear protective glasses, and wash your hands afterwards.

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.

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KILNS, OVENS, FURNACES, PARTS, AND SUPPORT
Paragon Sentry Xpress Programmer PCB. Paragon Type-K Thermocouple. Paragon Relay. Paragon Shelf Kit.
Programmer PCB Type-K Thermocouple Electro-Mechanical Relay Pro Shelf Kit

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, and ovens, 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.
Large Rubber Drum 950gm Open
The AX-4 Digital Controller.
MiniKiln Closed.
Bartlett-Paragon Touch Screen Digital Controller.
Paragon BlueBird Bead Annealing Kiln.
Lauscha by Carrie Fertig.
Activated Charcoal Granules.
Paragon Caldera Ceramics And Glass Kiln.
Paragon Caldera Bead, Enamels, And Glass Kiln.
Paragon Crucible.
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 KM36 XL PRP Knife-Making Furnace.
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Unassembled.
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Suction Cup.
Paragon Pearl 22 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.
Paragon Vitrigraph Kiln.
Prometheus Pro-7.