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Enameling Kilns for startup


#1

OK let’s say I’m going to jump in with both feet (I probably will, I
always do) and set myself up with a small starter kiln for metal
enameling (working on silver or copper, cloisonne or champleve). What
would be a good kiln to start with ?

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers


#2

Hi Brian

Personally for starting and continuing I prefer the table top 6"
diameter kiln from Amaco. They are a ceramic kiln producer, but they
make this small kiln specifically for metal and enamel workers. Yes,
I also have a paragon kiln and 3 others, but I prefer this one. Why?
well, the piece goes directly onto the element and I put it on a
piece of mica, it heats up fast, I can keep an eye on it and it fits
right on the table top. I use it for cloisonne, small plique-a-jour,
and granulation. I teach enamelling and I use this kiln the most. I
originally had a “firebrite” table top kiln for 30 years and then one
day it died and I could no longer get the elements to fix it. So, I
found this one. Thompson Enamels and Rio Grande sell a 3" diameter
table top kiln for the same amount of money as the Amaco.

Jennifer
Ventura, CA
enamelist, jewelry artisan


#3

Hi, Jennifer,

Yes, I saw those table-top kilns during my searches. They looked
like a good starter kiln to me, but I was skeptical. Thanks for the
feedback. I may just go snag one. :wink:

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel.: (717) 691-0286


#4

Hi Jen,

What is the model number of the Amaco enameling kiln you recommend?
Thanks.

Joel


#5

Hi Bill,

The decision regarding size of the kiln you buy should be influenced
by the size of the items you hope to create now and in the future,
as well as price and room in your studio. If you know that you want
to do goblets or scuptural work then definitely get the largest kiln
you can afford. I have a Paragon kiln with a inside chamber of 8.5"w
x 9"depth x 4.5" height. I love my kiln for enameling jewelry, but
now wish it was taller to accomodate the glass fusing that I have
been doing (I like to fuse mutliple shelves of glass at a time and
mine can only accomodate 2).

I have used a trinket kiln for fusing silver links, but do not like
it for enameling.–Way too small.

Here is a link to the paragon kilns: http://www.paragonweb.com
There is lots of useful info on this site for making your decision.
I know others have a Vcella which is another good brand and probably
have a website too.

Happy hunting.
Brenda Schack
http://www.brendaschack.com


#6

Hi,

I’m a newbie with enameling too and I just started playing with PMC.
I love the small tabletop kiln I bought after taking my first
enameling class. The investment was minimal, more so than for most
kilns. It is called the ultralite kiln and can be purchased from Rio
Grande for $141.00 It is the same kiln they use at the Jewelry Arts
Institute in Manhatten. I recently bought the PMC disks they sell for
it too. Everything works great and it saved me a lot of money.
Eventually I plan on buying a bigger kiln when I am more experienced,
but this one is fine for now.

Augest Derenthal
Cry Baby Designs


#7

Something to keep in mind when getting a kiln for enameling is that
the metal needs to be counter enameled…enamel on both sides.
Enamel can craze or pop off in some conditions if not counter
enameled. The small table-top kilns must have enough room with the
lid on to accommodate some sort of trivet/stilt so that pieces can
be counter enameled. I have two of the beehive kilns, a Kerr ceramic
muffle kiln, a small Paragon and a small square kiln from Thompson
Enamels. I particularly like the small Thompson kiln and take it
when I teach enameling. It’s interior dimensions are around 4" x 6"
x 4" high and it heats quickly to enameling temperature but has no
pyrometer.

Donna in VA


#8

Joel,

And anyone else who is interested. The Amaco kiln for enameling
metal is: model # FA-5-E amaco.com

Jennifer
Ventura, CA


#9

Thanks, Jen that is the model I thought you were talking about and I
wanted to be sure.

Do you mostly work through the small front opening? It looks like
you might lose a lot of heat popping the top, and have to wait
awhile for it to come back to temperature.

Also, from looking at the picture, there doesn’t appear to be any
temperature control is that correct?

Thanks for helping with all the questions, it might not have been a
model I would have considered carefully before but your
recommendation and thoughts makes it worth a more serious look.

Joel


#10

Jennifer,

I just ordered one of those puppies, along with 25 different
Thompson enamels. Can’t wait until it all gets here. I can wait to
pay the credit card bill. :slight_smile:

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel.: (717) 691-0286


#11

Hi Joel,

The Amaco table top kiln has no temp control (pyrometer). I work by
taking the top off, peeking thru the openning and removing the top
again. It is completely hot as soon as I need it again. I certainly
haven’t had any problems with it.

Good luck,
Jennifer