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Kiln Safety

Always check the kiln from time to time during firing.
Listen for the normal sounds that it makes and the length of firing time.
Once you are familiar with the normal operation of your kiln, you will be more likely to notice when something goes wrong.

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How To Pick A Kiln For My Needs
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Kiln Safety
The Magical Kiln God
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Kiln Firing Gauge
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Coat per Kiln Load
Building a Fast Firing Kiln
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How Different Temperatures Effect Clay
Electrical Plugins
Carbon Burnout Problems And Solutions
Cracks In Bottom Of The Kiln
Kiln Temperature Distribution
What Is Your Kiln Trying To Tell You
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Common Kiln Firing Faults
What About Kiln Elements
Making Fire Bricks Last
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Loading The Kiln
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Temperature & Rate Conversion Formula
Kiln Firing Logbook

Full Kiln Load from Paragon Kilns Below is a list of some safety practices, that if followed will make your work with pottery and ceramics go a little more smoothly and safely.

Place the kiln on the stand that it comes with. When a kiln is safety-tested by UL, the lab fires the kiln on the stand designed for that perticular pottery kiln. Cinder blocks or bricks can inhibit the flow of air under the kiln and can also change the kiln’s heating characteristics.

Place the kiln on a non-combustible surface.

Do not install closer than 12” from any wall or combustible surface.

Fire only in a well-ventilated, covered and protected area.

Do not open the lid until kiln has cooled to room temperature and all switches are off.

Dangerous voltage: do not touch the heating elements with anything.

Disconnect kiln before servicing.

Do not leave the kiln unattended while firing or turned on at your studio while you are at home sleeping.

Wear firing safety glasses when looking into a hot kiln.

Keep the kiln lid or door closed when the kiln is not in use. This not only keeps dust out of the kiln, but also, should someone turn on the kiln while you are away, the closed lid will keep the heat safely inside the firing chamber.

Never place anything on the kiln lid, even when the kiln is idle. If people get used to placing papers and other objects on the kiln, they may forget and do that while the kiln is firing.

Remove all tripping hazards from around the kiln. Keep the kiln’s supply cord out of traffic areas.

Do not let the cord touch the side of the kiln, this may damage the cord.

Never use extension cords.

Do not remove your pottery or ceramics from the kiln until the kiln has cooled to room temperature. Thermal shock could break the hot ceramic pieces. The sharp edges of broken pottery or ceramics can injure your hands.

After firing glazed pottery or ceramics in your kiln, check the shelves for glaze particles. Sharp slivers of glaze stuck to the shelf can cut hands. Before rubbing a hand over a shelf, be sure the shelf is free of glaze shards.

Fire only approved materials purchased from a knowledgeable supplier. Do not fire marbles, pieces of concrete, rocks or other miscellaneous objects. Rapid heating to high temperature can cause violent explosions in many materials.

Avoid firing toxic materials inside the kiln, such as moth balls, as it will cause toxic fumes.

Never fire tempered glass inside a kiln because it could explode.

Greenware, which is unfired clay, must be bone dry before firing. Moist greenware or pottery can explode inside the kiln, damaging the piece and the kiln. A good rule of thumb to follow when checking to see if a piece of pottery or greenware is dry enough to fire, place a piece of greenware against the inside of your wrist. If it feels cool, it is too wet to fire.

Do not fire on cracked shelves. They can break during firing, damaging the pottery and ceramics inside the kiln.

Store kiln shelves in a dry area. Moist shelves can explode inside a kiln.

If you smell burning plastic, turn the kiln off and examine the wall outlet and supply cord for signs of burning.

Never place extra insulation around the kiln in an attempt to conserve energy. The extra insulation can cause the wiring and the steel case to over-heat.

Do not wear loose fitting clothing around a hot kiln.

Unplug the kiln or turn off the electrical shut off box or circuit breaker when the kiln is not in use, especially if you are concerned that someone could turn it on while you are away.

Remove flammable materials from the kiln room. If you fire a kiln in the garage, park your car outside. Remove the lawn mower, gasoline, and other flammable materials. Keep packing materials such as shredded newspapers out of the kiln room also.

Keep unsupervised children away.

Peace is when time doesn't matter as it passes by.

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

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With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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