This week I am looking at a new model small kiln made by Paragon. I got these pictures from friends who have this kiln. It is especially versatile because it combines the small kiln advantages of being able to be filled up quickly, since it is small, and the extra space and height needed for a larger load or larger pieces. The folks that have this kiln also use it for fusing glass. It has the wonderful dual function digital controller that can either be used in the ramp mode (great for glass because you can program it exactly as you want) and the Cone mode whereby you can pick the Cone firing you want and the controller takes care of the rest.
As you can see it is top loading which I think is great for both glass and ceramics. For glass it helps you align your pieces exactly and for ceramics it makes it much easier to load pieces without knocking over ones already in place ( a problem I find with a front loader.)
Another great advantage to this kiln is that it has a hinged door. And the hinge is extremely sturdy. I love the Paragon Caldera that I have but I find that the removable lid (no hinge) means that I always have to have an extra open space where I can set the lid while I load the kiln.
This kiln also has a completely sealed lid which means that the bricks don't shed bits and pieces into the kiln during the firing, again a feature the Paragon Caldera doesn't have. This is especially important when fusing glass.
The Xpress 1193 features an 11” diameter x 9” deep firing chamber and 3” brick walls. It operates on 120 volt household current and draws 18 amps. With a maximum temperature rating of Cone 8, it is ideal for low-fire earthenware and mid-range stoneware & porcelain. The Xpress 1193 is equipped with the Sentry Xpress 3 Key Controller for precise control over every firing. Other features include:
Large enough to fire a 10” plate
Lock-in lid support with positive catch
Coated lid, peepholes & rim of firebrick
Heavy duty stand with mar-proof feet
Full-formed galvanized steel base
Wide-view tapered peephole
Heavy duty elements
Cold rolled stainless jacket
Price range is $890.00 to $698.00 with free shipping.
Sources for purchase include: Bailey Ceramic Supply, Clay-King ,Sheffield Pottery
What do you like especially about your small kiln? Please feel free to make comments about your small kiln. We love to hear from you. More small kiln reviews to come in future Tool Talk Thursday blog posts.