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Purchasing an enameling kiln


#1

I am interested in purchasing an enameling kiln. Also, I would love
to have a kiln that I could use to do investment burnout. Have any of
you ever used a kiln for double duty or is it best to have one kiln
for each job? There are some small Paragon kilns with a programable
burn option. It looks like they could do both? Thoughts and advice
appreciated.

Shand


#2

Paragon puts out a very nice variety of kiln’s. So here are a couple
thoughts.

When doing an investment burn out, there can be a lot of dust after
only a few burnouts. This very fine dust can get all over the inside
of the kiln. As you open and close the door quickly this dust can
float and land on yourglass. This can create flaws in the surface of
your enamels. If your goingto be doing a lot of enameling, I would
consider getting a second kiln, dedicated to just enameling and
glass.

The pmc kilns with the window are great enameling. They are digital
and maintain the temps very well.

If you are going to use the kiln for both, enameling and burnout,
the kilnneeds to be kept clean. The Kingpin 88 Metal Clay Kiln with
Viewing Windowis a great kiln. The Paragon can be ordered with a
window as well. These kilns have a vent hole on top that can be
plugged when working with glass and enamels or removed during the
burnout process.

Both are great kilns and will work enamel, glass fusing, burn
out/casting and metal clay projects.

Hope this helps.

Phillip Scott

Technical Support
Rio Grande


#3

Hi Shand

An enameling kiln and a burnout kiln are both made if brick and hold
temperature well. A burnout kiln should have a vent in top and the
enameling kiln should be closed. Technically the same kiln can be
used for both, as you can put a plug in the vent, but there is a
downside. A burnout kiln will get very dusty very fast. Dust is not
good for enameling as the dust particles will settle onto the surface
of the enamel and cause a rough cloudy surface.

Mark Nelson
Rio Grande


#4

Hello Shand, I agree with Mark that the kiln needs to be kept clean
if it is going to have multiple uses. Keep a cordless vacuum handy
and use before enameling or glasswork after doing burnouts. Having
different kilns that are dedicated would be everyone’s dream but how
many of us have that kind money or space. If your just doing enamels
then I would use a trinket kiln or a torch. The trinket kiln runs on
regular household current and is small and very affordable. The torch
is something most of us have already. I use a trinket kiln for flat
pieces because they have a tendency to warp. Most of my enamels are
repousse or domed and can be torch fired with very little if any
warpage. With that said I would, if doing a lot of casting,would
dedicate a kiln for just that purpose. Best, Chris Hierholzer


#5

Chris- I’m curious abut torch enameling. I was always taught that
for enamel to to be stable and to not warp it needed to be counter
enameled.

How do you do that with a torch without ruining the counter enamel?

Jo Haemer


#6

I have been on a trip and missed some of the previous posts. I
don’t know how to contact the person who asked the initial question
here, but if you’re interested (or anyone else!), I have a used
Paragon e-AX enameling kiln I need to find a new home for. I’m
thinning out my tool/equipment inventory. I purchased the kiln from
Thompson Enamel in 2007. It is in excellent condition, hasn’t been
used all that much. I also have trivets, accessories available.
Ifanyone is interested, I will photograph what I have and suggest a
price (or you can offer me a price.) Thanks, Pegi


#7

Hello Jo,

Yes, I was always taught to use counter enamel also and still do on
everything but my repousse and chased work. I do not have a problem
firing counter enamel with a torch but sometimes it has a tendency to
become brittle after many firings if it is too thin. There are so
very many people that are torch firing enamels and have found,
through experimenting, their own technique for doing so. I do
multiple layers of fine silver and gold foil and sometimes fire 20 or
more times before finishing a piece. The counter enamel usually is
not affected by the torch. I have seen it become burnt and brittle on
rare occasions but I really can not explain why. Maybe not enough
oxygen was used in the flame and the enamel started reducing similar
to the reduction atmosphere in a ceramic kiln. Am sure someone out
there can enlighten me. Jo, that is a good question that I am rarely
asked. Hope this helps.

Best,
Chris


#8

Pegi, I’m very interested in your Paragon e-AX enameling kiln kiln.
Can you tell me a bit more about it? Size, etc? Pics would be
welcome. I have little to no knowledge about enameling, but am
interested in starting down this path. I’ve been reluctant in
starting with a torch since I understand that can be tricky. You
have other leftover enamels as well? BTW, where are you located? I
have to figure the cost of shipping into this. I attempted to write
you privately but was unable.

Peggy in Louisville, Ky


#9

Hello Kinnetz,

Torch firing enamels is not so tricky. You sift enamel onto a piece
of copper and place on a trivet. Then you put the trivet on the edge
of a firebrick or on an elevated thick soldering screen and fire
from underneath. You will see the enamel melting in less than a
minute. Just let the tip of the flame touch the bottom of the piece.
On YouTube there are hundreds of short videos of the process. Some
designs are simple and some complex. It is a very user friendly and
economical way to add more color to your jewelry. One thing I would
like to add is that most anything that is done in a kiln can be done
with a torch. I have had some very accomplished and skeptical
enamelists visit me to watch me work and they left enlightened about
the potential.

Best, Chris


#10

Peggy, I too, am having problems replying directly to you. Your
address comes up as gobbledygook.

I have another person interested in the kiln, but if she does not buy
it, I will send the pics/info to you, too – IF I can figure out how
to get your email address!

I do have trivets and tools and some enamels, although I’m not sure
about the quality of the enamels, as I haven’t used them in 4+ years!

I’ll let you know what the result is with the other party.

Thanks so much.

Pegi
pegipikejewelry