Question about kilns

Hi all! First let me say thank you everyone for all your insight and
support without really realizing I even exist! I am a lurker, and
rightly so as I have little knowledge of jewelry making as compared
to all of you. What a bundle I have learned so far!

I want to buy a kiln for making jewelry and want to be able to use
it for making glass beads as well as PMC and clay beads, maybe for
casting (do I sound cheap? ). Is this something I can find? I
have experience in working with kilns from college making pottery
and sculpture (gas -high and raku- and electric kilns), but I am not
so versed about the differences between a burnout kiln, a ceramic
kiln, PMC, lampworking/glass bead making, burnout for lost wax (?)
or an enameling kiln (which I have one but have no idea if it works
-or how-, someone gave it to me -who has passed away- and it has
never been used… but it is about 30 years old).

Since estate and tag sales are coming into season, I want to keep my
eyes open Also, I am hoping to save up if I do not find a used one.

I have a small hop of becoming successful with all of these things,
but would like to be able to experiment with everything, just in
case I find a superior new addiction (I am SO addicted to wire
jewelry making).

Any and all help or direction would be appreciated. Thanks in
advance for all your help!

Robin :o)

Hi Robin- I just purchased a Vcella kiln #15 (I believe that was the
model #) I will be using it for exactly what you describe except for
the burnout part. I chose it because it was the only front loader
that would go up to 2300 F and was not going to become a MAJOR piece
of furniture in my house. It has a 15x15x11 interior so I will have
plenty of space to enamel, fire small scale ceramics as well as
annealing beads.

THe Vcellas come in a huge range of interior/exterior sizes.

Hope this helps.

Robin, Studio PMC has an article in the Spring 2003 issue on
selecting a kiln for PMC work which you might be interested in. The
one thing I will say is that most ceramics kilns are not suitable for
PMC. The problem is that there can be large variations in temperature
within a ceramics kiln, which can leave the PMC unsintered in one
portion and melted in another. (This is particularly true for
original PMC, which has a fairly narrow “window” for firing and
requires you to hold temperature for two hours.) PMC kilns and
burnout ovens have electronic controllers that will hold particular
temperatures for set periods of time. (Yes, you can use a casting
burnout oven to fire PMC.)

If you need a copy of the article, drop me a note with your e-mail
address and I’ll send it along.

Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255