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Choosing the right kiln

Hi folks,

I am desperate to choose a kiln for what I want to do. I’ve been
startled by the number of kiln dealers (including Paragon direct) I
have spoken do who aren’t sure of the capabilities of their kilns.

Here’s what I want to be able to do. I want to be able to fuse,
anneal and slump glass. I also want to be able to paint glass. For
example, buying a set of drinking glasses and then painting imagery
on them and firing. Or painting a commercial plate and firing.
According to a book I’ve read by Eberle called ‘Creative Glass
Techniques’, I need to be able to turn off the top heating element
of the kiln for some projects and turn off only the side elements
for others. The Paragon 7 & 8 cannot indecently regulate these two
sets of heating elements. The local Paragon glass dealer says she
feels certain you don’t need that kind of heating element control
to paint glass and still recommends the Paragon 7 or 8.

However I know there are much more expensive kilns like the Janice
Series by Paragon or some of the T & F kilns that are built for
ceramics but can be used for glass. With these you can regulate
the top and bottom elements. Some people are recommending this and
say the Paragon 7 or 8 is a mistake for what I want to do. If there
weren’t such a price difference I would just get the ceramic/glass

Creative Glass Techniques (Glass)
By Bettina Eberle

Media: Hardcover
Manufacturer : A & C Black (Publishers) Ltd
Release data : June, 2001

Help! No one is sure!
Thanks in advance,

Dear Diana, I can’t answer your kiln questions because I have not
done all the glass techniques you are speaking of but I do know a
good web site for kilns. they sell both new and factory seconds.
The factory seconds have really good prices. the web site is:

Please share with us your experience with “All Fired Up” - delivery speed,
order accuracy, customer service and overall satisfaction. It will
help others to make informed buying decisions.

Good Luck,

Hi Diana -

Have you been to They have lots of information
about working with glass in a kiln, and a bulletin board where you
can ask any questions that the numerous articles and other
discussions don’t answer.


Hi all, A friend of mine in CA and I both ordered and paid for kilns
made up specifically for glass. I ordered and paid for mine in
August of 2003. Finally in May of 2004 I received mine, after many
emails and letters and calls. My friend paid and ordered hers 6
months ago, with still no kiln, and little response from the
designer of the kiln. The kilns are made up according to the
designers specs, and are beautifully made, but the communication
between the designer and the manufacturer and the client is nil.
Not the manufacturers fault, except maybe they should rethink
working with these people. Something not right about taking almost
a thousand dollars and then having the client wait for 9 months with
little service.

I would be cautious about buying second hand when it involves
something as critical as a kiln-producing intense heat, wiring for
same etc. There may be nothing wrong with buying second hand, I would
just want to make certain that the item is in excellent operating
condition, and wired correctly with the proper gauge wires. Caveat

If anyone wants to know the name of the manufacturer or designer of
the glass kiln, email me privately. This has happened to more than
just the two of us.

Cheers! Dinah.


Contact You can’t find a better line of kilns,
plus their service is top draw.

Please share with us your experience with Vcella Kiln - delivery
speed, order accuracy, customer service and overall satisfaction. It
will help others to make informed buting decisions.

rp leaf
Sharon Art Studio
Golden Gate Park, S.F.

I wouldn’t mind putting a plug in for a Vcella Kiln. I have had mine
for many years without any problem other than replacing the
thermocouple. To do this I had to be talked through it by somebody
from Vcella. They sent the part quickly and spent a ridiculous amount
of time on the phone with me patiently guiding me through replacing
the part. When there was a problem with the initial delivery of the
kiln out of Chicago they stayed on top of it, to the point of
refunding me the shipping cost (considerable!) when the trucking
company which they had little control over delayed my shipment by a

Once this kiln hits temperature for enameling it stays there with
fewer fluctuations than most kilns I have worked with. Vcella will
also build any size custom kiln you request.

Usual disclaimers…I don’t get anything out of the recommendation,
they have just earned my loyalty.


Thanks Karen, That’s the type of we can use when it
comes to the purchase of such important tools. There are good
manufacturers out there with great products, and it’s good to know
about Vcella.

Read Vcella Kiln reviews at:


Hi Diana,

I have 5 (or 7…I forget) different kilns, and will be happy to
test what you need. One of them will let me regulate the elements on
the top, the door, and the sides. Most glass kilns will do all of what
you mentioned, in fact I do that every day. I’m firing for Christmas
every night.

I have never ‘painted’ glass, but it sounds like fun. I think you
could probably ‘paint’ glass with a glass kiln, if you raised the
temperature slowly, say 100 degreees an hour or slower.

The elements on a glass kiln are on the top so the glass heats
evenly. If the glass is heated from the sides, like a pottery kiln,
the diameter gets hotter than the center, it expands at a more rapid
rate, and the glass cracks.

If you want to anneal glass, you will need a digital control box
that will give you a number of ramps. The thicker the glass, the
more ramps you need.

Thanks for the info on the book, I’m gonna go out and buy it today.
Got to learn how to paint glass. Gonna put a duck on the bottom of
my milk glass like I had when I was 4…hahahaha.

Give me a call (seems like we just spoke…) and tell me what you

Love and God Bless