The Kitiki MiniKiln
distributor for the kitiki mini-kiln more small kilns at electrickilns.co.uk or larger kilns at paragonkilns.co.uk
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The Kitiki MiniKiln
The French Flag The Italian Flag The Spanish Flag The Swedish Flag
EU Plug
UK Plug
The AX-4 Digital Controller
MiniKiln Closed
Paragon BlueBird Open
Lauscha by Carrie Fertig
Activated Charcoal Granules
Caldera A Closed
Caldera AB Closed
Fusion CS14D Open
Fusion CS14SB Closed
Caldera XL Closed
FireFly A Closed
The Paragon Fusion-7 Open
Fusion 8 Open
GL18ADTSD Open
HT-14D Closed
Janus 1613 Open
KM14D Open
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Unassembled
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Suction Cup
Pearl 18 Open
PMT21
Potter & Brumfield Relay
SC-2 Black Open
SC2 Open
SC2B Open
Paragon SC2W Open
SC4 Closed
Paragon SC1 Closed
Paragon SC1 Open
Paragon SC1W Closed
Paragon SC2BW Open
SpeedFire Pro Closed
SpeedFire Pro Open
Sentry Xpress 4.0
Sentry 2.0
SC-2 Pink Open
SC-2 Turqoise Open
SC-2 Purple Open
The Paragon ST-8 Table
TNF 1613 Closed
GL Table
Xpress Top Row Bricks
USB Plug
Xpress E-12A Open
Xpress E-12AB Closed
Xpress E-14 Closed
Xpress Q-11A Open
The Kitiki Mini-Kiln Pro-1

The Prometheus Pro-1 MiniKiln For Firing ArtClay, PMC, And Other Metal Clays, Dichroic Glass, Enamels, Glass Fusing, And Heat Treating.

The Kitiki Mini-Kiln Pro-1 is a low-cost table-top kiln used for making jewellery, annealing glass, painting china, applying decals, dental work, fusing dichroic glasses, enamelling, fire polishing, glass art, glass clays, glass fusing, sagging, and slumping, heat treating, laboratory testing, lamp-work, lost-wax casting, firing bronze and copper metal clays, moulding gun and model parts, pâte de verre, sintering gold and silver clays, staining glass, hardening and tempering blades, cutters, dies, and tools, and many other materials and processes.

It's a 1000°C, rectangular, front-opening, plug-in, ceramic-fibre kiln, with an AX4 4-key digital controller. It's probably the most popular minikiln in the UK.

It's ideal for your arts centre, college, course venue, craft classes, dental or medical laboratory, engineering workshop, home business, jewellery studio, school, or technical facility.
It heats up quickly, so it's just right for a classroom, and it's small enough to pack away if you want an occasional hobby kiln. As it only weighs about 6kg, it's easy to take to craft fairs, demonstrations, and exhibitions.


Cherry Heaven is a distributor for Paragon, Prometheus, Kitiki, SpeedFire, and UltraLite kilns, so you have access to a diverse selection of kilns, options, upgrades, accessories, and tools, comprehensive advice about choosing wisely, free competent technical support, a prompt service and repair workshop, and telephone time if you have to fit spare parts.

Cherry Heaven internet resources will help you choose the right kiln, and avoid an expensive mistake: especially if, later, you discover new materials or processes, win a challenging commission, want to make larger pieces, decide to run courses, or find a promising business niche. There's a lot to read, so it's up to you. Or you can just mail or call.


Within the kiln's size and temperature limits, you can make unique hand-crafted pieces or repeatable stock for sale. Here are some ideas: beads, bracelets, brooches, candle holders, chandelier components, decorations, earrings, figurines, fingerprint keepsakes, glass-art, jewellery, miniatures, gun and model parts, necklaces, ornaments, pendants, pet-id tags, rings, souvenirs, stained-glass designs, tableware, thimbles, tiles, tools, and trinkets.

Small kilns are perfect for jewellery-making, so you can work with many of the popular materials such as Accent Gold, Art Clay metal clays, BullsEye glasses, dichroic glasses, enamels, GlasClay, Image Transfer Solution, Metal Clay Veneer, PMC silver clay, Prometheus bronze clay, ProCopper clay, and SilverEtch.
And there's an increasingly diverse range of other metal clays, such as Cinter, Clay Mania, Creative, Goldie, Hadar Jacobson, Metal Adventures, Meteor, Noble, and PMC Sterling.


For prices, use the shop link below the menu bar near the top-right of any page. They're for UK-EU voltage CE-marked kilns and include comprehensive instructions, a kiln shelf, UK VAT, and UK mainland delivery. So, no other charges and you can start work straight away.


Cherry Heaven TV has made a photo book featuring other popular kilns: click the Cherry Heaven TV Player above. To learn more about them, use the links above the menu bar near the top of the page.

THE KITIKI MINIKILN: PHOTOS

The Kitiki Mini-Kiln Pro-1 MiniKiln For Firing ArtClay, PMC, And Other Metal Clays, Dichroic Glass, Enamels, Glass Fusing, And Heat Treating.

To look at the pop-up photos, hold your mouse over the zoom buttons below: you don't need to click.


The Kitiki MiniKiln The Kitiki MiniKiln.

The AX-4 Digital Controller The AX-4 Digital Controller.

STAY ON THIS PAGE, OR LOOK AT OTHER KILNS?

Electric Kilns, Kitiki Kilns, Paragon Kilns, Prometheus Kilns, or the SpeedFire? Or Mail Or Call Cherry Heaven.

For convenience, I've separated the kilns into two groups on separate internet resources, Electric Kilns and Paragon Kilns, although there's cross-over.

Generally, the smaller plug-in table-top kilns are used for smaller things. They're popular for annealing beads, Art Clay metal clays, dichroics, enamelling, fusing, making jewellery, mixed-media work, PMC silver clay, porcelain, Prometheus bronze clay, and ProCopper clay. Refer to Electric Kilns.

Generally, the larger wired-in floor-standing and work-top kilns are used for larger things. They're popular for annealing, casting, ceramics, earthenware, glass, heat treating, knife making, pottery, raku, and stoneware. Refer to Paragon Kilns.


Depending which resource you're currently on, links to other resources are above the menu bar near the top of the page. If you need help, mail or call Cherry Heaven.


After looking at the kiln in detail, I'll introduce the accessories, options, and upgrades.

THE KITIKI MINIKILN METAL CLAYS, DICHROICS, ENAMELS, GLASS FUSING, AND HEAT TREATING
The Kitiki MiniKiln

The Prometheus Pro-1 MiniKiln For Firing ArtClay, PMC, And Other Metal Clays, Dichroic Glasses, Enamelling, Fusing Glass, And Heat Treating.

The Kitiki Mini-Kiln Pro-1 is a 1000°C, rectangular, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, ceramic-fibre kiln, with an AX4 4-key digital controller.

It's typically used for making jewellery, lampwork, annealing beads and glass, firing bronze and copper clays, painting china, applying decals, dental work, fusing dichroic glasses, enamelling, fire polishing, glass art, glass casting, fusing, sagging, and slumping, glass clays, glass panels, gold clays, heat treating, knife making, laboratory testing, lamp-work, lost-wax casting, melting silver, moulding gun and model parts, pâte de verre, sintering gold and silver clays, staining glass, hardening and tempering blades, cutters, dies, and tools, and many other materials and processes.

You can use most popular small-scale materials such as Accent Gold, Art Clay metal clays, BullsEye glasses, dichroic glasses, enamels, GlasClay, Image Transfer Solution, Metal Clay Veneer, PMC silver clay, Prometheus bronze clay, ProCopper clay, and SilverEtch.
And there's an increasingly diverse range of other metal clays, such as Cinter, Clay Mania, Creative, Goldie, Hadar Jacobson, Metal Adventures, Meteor, Noble, and PMC Sterling.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V 700W, so it can use a regular mains socket. To comply with EU safety regulations, the element is embedded: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 224mm x 244mm x 274mm high, and is slotted for air circulation: so it keeps cool. The door is hinged on the left, opens 90°, has a positive-action ball catch, and has a small vent-hole for processes that release fumes. The vent also serves as a peephole: it's not a glass window.

The ceramic firing chamber, enclosed in an inner steel case, measures 113mm x 135mm x 66mm high internally, and heats from the top, sides, and bottom, with the fast-firing element safely embedded in the fibre: important if you're working in a public space or you like to open the kiln whilst you work


The accessories for this kiln are in the on-line shop:

stacking shelf kit and shelf paper
charcoal for the stainless steel box used for firing some metal clays
ceramic fibre cloth
ceramic block
HEPA dust mask
glare-resistant glasses
heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion.

The Kitiki MiniKiln is a reliable, robust, well-made kiln at a good price. It's small enough to use in your home, school, craft workshop, jewellery studio, or course venue, as it only weighs about 6Kg. It's guaranteed for a year, and there's an informed and supportive user-base, and international spares and repair centres.

The Kitiki MiniKiln is sometimes called an Art Clay kiln, a craft kiln, an enamelling kiln, a glass fusing kiln, a jewellery kiln, a hobby kiln, a metal clay kiln, a PMC kiln, a Prometheus Kiln, a Prometheus Pro-1 Kiln, a SilverClay kiln, or a trinkets kiln: a measure of its popularity.

THE KITIKI MINIKILN: NOTES

The Kitiki MiniKiln: Notes.

It's very important to understand that the Kitiki Mini-Kiln has a digital controller, not a comprehensive digital programmer such as the Sentry Xpress on the Paragon SC2 or the Orton AutoFire Express on the Prometheus Pro-7. There are limitations, although you might be perfectly happy with what it can do rather than unhappy with what it can't.

Unlike a digital programmer, a controller doesn't offer sequences and segments: it heats to a set temperature and stays there until you turn it off. For most people doing small-scale work, that's enough, although it helps if you buy a small digital timer to remind you that time's up. You can buy a digital timer in the on-line shop.

For example, the Paragon SC-2 digital programmer allows you to set up, and re-use, four accurate drying, heating, holding, and cooling sequences: and do something else whilst the sequence is running. A sequence can consist of up to eight segments.
A segment is one step in a sequence: often the time it takes to reach a target temperature. For example: a segment could take 50 minutes to reach 650°C, could hold at 850°C for 12 minutes, or could cool down over two hours.


The MiniKiln has a smaller firing chamber than that of the Paragon SC2, so you can't fill three shelves with twenty-four pieces of jewellery: just four or five average things on the floor of the firing chamber, on a ceramic-fibre cloth or shelf. And it heats to 1000°C, not 1095°C.


Some bronze and copper clays can be fired in activated charcoal granules in a stainless steel container. The MiniKiln will hold a small container. The SC2, SC3, E9A. E10A, 1193, and Caldera hold a one-litre container: the E12A, E14A, and J14A hold a three-litre.

Particulates represent a health risk if they're breathed in, so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln, mixing kiln wash, and working with charcoals, ceramic-fibre blocks, cloths, and papers. And, ideally, use protective glasses.

If you want to touch anything hot or move your kiln before it's cooled off, it's important to wear heat-resistant gloves. And, if you want to look into a red-hot kiln, wear glare-resistant glasses which protect your eyes from IR and UV.


The kiln is fired in the factory to harden the ceramic, so it may not look bright white. It's also important to understand that all ceramics develop hairline cracks or tiny bits may flake off: this does not affect its safety or use.

In the unlikely event that your kiln develops a fault, it's reassuring to know that home repairs are easy and need little more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. If you need help, an engineer can guide you on the phone.

THE KITIKI MINIKILN: KILN FURNITURE

The Kitiki MiniKiln Kiln Furniture.

There's a recommended shelf, included in the price: one ceramic-fibre shelf 75mm x 118mm x 6mm for metal clays, enamels, and glass.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: one ceramic-fibre shelf 75mm x 118mm x 6mm and four 12mm shelf posts. You can buy extra shelf kits in the on-line shop.

Depending on the material or process, and the sizes of your pieces, stacked shelves will hold more work, free up your time, and reduce the unit firing cost: so you might want more kits. This kiln has room for two.


If extra kits are packed with the kiln, the delivery charge doesn't increase. Ordered later, not with the kiln, they need a box and protective packing and attract an extra delivery charge. Outside the UK mainland, this might be expensive. So, if you think you'll need them, order them with your kiln, along with any other accessories, materials, parts, or tools.

KITIKI PROMETHEUS KILNS MADE FOR CHERRY HEAVEN FOR THE UK AND EU

Kitiki And Prometheus Kilns Made For Cherry Heaven For The UK And EU.

The Kitiki MiniKiln has been re-engineered and comprehensively tested for the UK, so will work in the EU and most other countries. It's CE Marked and complies with EU safety standards.

It uses regular single-phase 230V mains, and has 230V EU elements. The heating element is embedded in ceramic fibre: an important and legally necessary safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.


The Kitiki MiniKiln has a UK three-pin plug. If you're not in the UK, use a plug adapter or cut off the UK plug and fit your own: it won't invalidate the guarantee.

WHY BUY A KITIKI MINIKILN?

The Kitiki MiniKiln Pro-1 Compared to Similar Kilns.

The internet, like any other unchecked resource, is open to claims that whatever is being sold is the best, the newest, or the cheapest, and it's being sold by the largest dealer or the premier distributor.

So, why buy a Kitiki MiniKiln from Cherry Heaven?


Cherry Heaven internet resources will help you choose the right kiln, and avoid an expensive mistake: especially if, later, you discover new materials or processes, win a challenging commission, want to make larger pieces, decide to run courses, or find a promising business niche.

The MiniKiln is made for Cherry Heaven by Odak, the maker of Prometheus kilns, to our own design. It's a smart black finish with an attractive apricot and grey fascia, Black doesn't discolour easily with use, so the kiln looks better for longer.

In November 2014, one on-line shop was selling a red version, without a shelf, for considerably more. With other shops you had to register to find the price. With others, they were out of stock. And I suspect that none of them offers free competent technical support, a prompt service and repair workshop, and telephone time if you have to fit spare parts.


The digital controller allows you to set a target temperature. When it's reached, it holds at that temperature until you turn it off. There are no restrictive features such as pre-set fixed programmes.

Pre-set fixed programmes might seem to be an advantage. However, having experimented and diversified, many people fire materials, or combinations of materials, at different temperatures and for different times than are recommended. So pre-sets soon become a serious limitation.


The MiniKiln heats from the top, both sides, and the botton. This minimises the front-to-back temperature difference that's common with smaller kilns. The element is embedded in ceramic fibre, an important safety feature if you run classes or like to open the kiln whilst you work. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.


Although there's cross-over, 1000°C front-opening ceramic-fibre kilns that heat and cool quickly, such as the MiniKiln, are preferred for Art Clay and PMC metal clays, dichroic glass, enamelling, glass clays, and mixed-media jewellery.

And, generally, 1230°C to 1290°C front or top-opening firebrick kilns that heat and cool evenly, are preferred for ceramics, porcelain, pottery, and stoneware, especially as firebrick kilns are better suited to continual high temperatures.


In the unlikely event that your kiln develops a fault, it's reassuring to know that home repairs are easy and need little more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. If you need help, there are on-line repair videos or an engineer can guide you on the phone. Alternatively, we can repair the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven.


Kilns from competing manufacturers typically don't have built-in controllers, don't come with a shelf, have out-dated features, use restrictive pre-set programmes, aren't in stock, or there are no spares. They're generally more expensive, but smaller and don't get as hot, so less versatile. Mis-leading first-sight prices often exclude VAT and delivery.

Here are a few facts that you can easily check for yourself, based on net-shop specifications and prices in June 2011 for Efco, Evenheat, and KilnCare kilns. However, buy a Paragon and, with the saving, you can treat yourself to a luxury five-star weekend break.


The Efco 110, 135, 150, and 180 kilns don't have rotary controllers or digital programmers: without one, they'll just heat up and burn out. The KilnCare EN-1, EN-2, and EN-3 kilns have built-in manual rotary controllers.

So they're all usually sold with a KilnCare KCR1 digital programmer, probably made by Stafford Instruments. It's a separate box with a separate mains cable, a separate thermocouple, and a separate stand: so more stuff on your worktop. This adds about £300 to what might appear to be the price of the kiln.

The Paragon SC series kilns have built-in, comprehensive, automatic, digital programmers, with just three keys: you set the ramps and holds in sequence: you're not stuck with pre-sets that will restrict you sooner or later. So remember this when someone tells you that some programmers have confusing menus and masses of buttons.

If you want a kiln specifically designed for batch-annealing beads, look at the Paragon BlueBird series: especially as the regular BlueBird is wider than the Maxi and costs about £95 less. The BlueBird XL is a professional batch-annealing kiln: it's 230°C hotter than the Maxi, so more versatile.


If you need help choosing or have a specific project, mail or call. However, all the kilns are described on their own pages: use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page.

MAKING A CHOICE

Now you've read this page, you need to be clear that you've chosen a kiln that will best suit your current and future ideas. If you're not sure, there are four important things to consider: the maximum temperature, the internal size, the type of door or lid, and is it a plug-in.

Although there's crossover, generally a glass kiln heats to 925°C, a jewellery kiln to 1095°C, and a ceramics kiln to 1290°C. However, I can't list every kiln on this page, especially those made for a specific purpose like annealing beads, making knives, or casting glass, but here are a few starter-suggestions:

If you want a small simple cheap kiln, look at the SpeedFire Pro. If you want a larger kiln but with a comprehensive programmer, look at the popular SC-2. If you want a hotter kiln, for ceramics, look at the Xpress Q11A. If you want a larger hotter kiln look at the Xpress-E12A. Finally, for glass work, start with the Fusion CS-14D. I've included a specification table below.

To learn more about these and other kilns, you need to make sure that you're on the Electric Kilns internet resource. If you're not on it, use the electric kilns link above the menu bar near the top of this page, then choose the appropriate link. Or mail or call.


VERSION DESCRIPTION MAX °C POWER W WEIGHT KG FIRING CHAMBER INTERIOR SIZE MM
MiniKiln 1000 700 6 ceramic fibre 113 x 135 x 066
Pro 7 1100 1950 22 ceramic fibre 230 x 205 x 155
SpeedFire Pro 980 440 5 ceramic fibre 114 x 114 x 076
SC2 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145
SC2B bead door 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145
SC2W window 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145
SC2BW bead door and window 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145
SC3 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195
SC3B bead door 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195
SC3W window 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195
SC3BW bead door and window 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195
Fusion CS14D square lid and body-opening 925 1800 71 firebrick 356 x 356 x 165
Xpress-Q11A 1290 1440 20 firebrick 147 x 153 x 159
Xpress-E12A 1230 2700 38 firebrick 216 x 305 x 222

This concludes the part of this page about kilns. The remainder is just general imformation about glass, glass clay, and metal clays. If you're a beginner it's a condensed explanation of common materials and processes. I've not included ceramics as the MiniKiln isn't hot enough.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO METAL CLAYS
Silver Clay Acrylic Tools Clay Shapers Hand Tools

What Is A Metal Clay?.

Metal Clays are clay-like materials made of fine metal powders and water-soluble organic binders. Out of the packet they feel like modelling clay, so can be shaped using anything appropriate. If you don't like what you've made, you can roll it up and start again. Any scraps can be wrapped up and re-used, so there's almost no waste.

When you're happy with your work, it's dried so that the moisture can evaporate. At this stage it feels like a plaster, so you can still refine the shape: and even add more clay.

As it's fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid metal: real metal, not something that just looks like metal. The firing temperature isn't high enough to melt the metal otherwise your work would lose it's shape and liquify.


Although Art Clay and PMC silver clays were first to market, there's now an increasingly diverse range of other metal clays, such as Cinter, Clay Mania, Creative, Goldie, Hadar Jacobson, Metal Adventures, Meteor, Noble, and PMC Sterling.


All our tools have been chosen for their engineering excellence and clean functionality, to help you manage a creative and efficient work environment. And you'll enjoy using good tools rather than continually improvising. To learn more, use the accessories:tools link below the menu bar near the top of the page.

SILVER CLAY
Art Clay Silver Pendant

Aida Art Clay Silver And Mitsubishi PMC Silver Clay.

There are two popular makes of silver clay: Art Clay made by Aida Chemical Industries and PMC made by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, in Japan. They're both clay-like materials made of fine silver powder and water-soluble organic binders.

Art Clay Silver and PMC Silver, sometimes just called silver clay, metal clay, or precious-metal clay, are easy to fire: put your dried work on a kiln shelf and programme the temperature and hold-time.

As they're fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid 999 silver: real metal, not something that just looks like metal.

All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away, but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit-cost of firing: so you might want more than one.


Although we chose to work with, sell, and provide classes in Art Clay, both makes fire in a similar way. So any kiln suitable for Art Clay will be just as good for PMC.

If you're currently using PMC, try Art Clay. There are differences in the feel, the shrinkage, the strength, the surface lustre, the product range, the pricing, and the general commercial setup if you're running a serious business.


To learn more, use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page. You can buy ArtClay, bronze clay, copper clay, glass clay, gold clay, and related products in the on-line shop.

BRONZE CLAY
Bronze-Copper Lobster Bangle By Gordon Uyehara

Bronze Clay And BronzClay.

There are three popular makes of bronze clay: Bronze Clay made by ClayMania, BronzClay made by Metal Adventures, and Prometheus Bronze ProClay made by Odak. They're all clay-like materials made of fine bronze powder and water-soluble organic binders. However, they're fired in different ways:

Prometheus Bronze Clay is easy to fire: wrap your dried work in kitchen tissue or ceramic cloth, put it on a kiln shelf, and programme the temperature and hold time. It can also be fired in charcoal.

Clay Mania Bronze Clay and MetalAdventures BronzClay fire in a special way. Fired normally, the surface would oxidise so, to minimize this, they're embedded in activated charcoal granules in a covered stainless steel container. Charcoal made from coconut shells produces a natural bronze colour, and charcoal made from coal produces a colourful range of patinas.

As they're fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid bronze, an alloy of 89% copper and 11% tin: real metal, not something that just looks like metal.


The stainless steel container for the Paragon SC-2 measures 162mm x 176mm x 100mm, and holds 1 litre of charcoal. To fire larger pieces, or more pieces at the same time, you'll need a larger kiln, such as the Paragon Xpress E-12A. The container for the E-12A measures 265mm x 162mm x 152mm and holds 3 litres of charcoal.

The 1230°C firebrick E12A costs more than the 1095°C ceramic-fibre SC2. However, it's two and a half times larger than the SC-2 and is a versatile mixed-media kiln suited to continual high temperatures.

Particulates represent a health risk if they're breathed in, so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln, mixing kiln wash, and working with charcoals, ceramic-fibre blocks, cloths, and papers. And, ideally, use protective glasses.

All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away, but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit-cost of firing: so you might want more than one.


I can't recommend one clay as being the best. There are differences in the feel, the firing, the shrinkage, the strength, and the surface patinas, so try them and experiment: they're not expensive.
However, as Prometheus Bronze Clay is easy to fire and costs less than the others, try it first? It comes as 100gm of soft clay in a packet, or 10gm of creamy clay in a syringe with three tips that you can cut or shape.

There's also Creative Bronze, which is almost certainly Prometheus Bronze Clay renamed. I'll leave it you to work out why, in November 2014, ProBronze is £17.75 for 100gm and Creative Bronze is £23.95: both including postage.


Also, in November 2014, 100gms of Art Clay Silver Clay costs about 12 times more than Prometheus Bronze Clay. So, if you're still in the learning phase, you can try out ideas before possibly wasting your expensive silver clay. However, bronze is a beautiful metal so, as with many materials, you need to exploit its qualities and try to produce beautiful original pieces.

To learn more, use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page. You can buy ArtClay, bronze clay, copper clay, glass clay, gold clay, and related products in the on-line shop.

COPPER CLAY
Copper Earring By Zina Kuscynska Richterova

Copper Clay And CopprClay.

There are four popular makes of copper clay: Art Clay Copper made by Aida Chemical Industries, Copper Clay made by ClayMania, CopprClay made by Metal Adventures, and Prometheus Copper ProClay made by Odak. They're all clay-like materials made of fine copper powder and water-soluble organic binders. However, they're fired in different ways:

Clay Mania Copper Clay and MetalAdventures CopprClay fire in a special way. Fired normally, the surface would oxidise so, to minimize this, they're embedded in activated charcoal granules in a covered stainless steel container. Charcoal made from coconut shells produces a natural copper colour.

Art Clay Copper is easy to fire: put your dried work on a kiln shelf, and programme the temperature and hold time. In most kilns, several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time: so you might want more than one.

Prometheus Copper Clay is easy to fire: wrap your dried work in kitchen tissue or ceramic cloth, put it on a kiln shelf, and programme the temperature and hold time. It can also be fired in charcoal.

As they're fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid copper: real metal, not something that just looks like metal.


The stainless steel container for the Paragon SC-2 measures 162mm x 176mm x 100mm, and holds 1 litre of charcoal. To fire larger pieces, or more pieces at the same time, you'll need a larger kiln, such as the Paragon Xpress E-12A. The container for the E-12A measures 265mm x 162mm x 152mm and holds 3 litres of charcoal.

The 1230°C firebrick E12A costs more than the 1095°C ceramic-fibre SC2. However, it's two and a half times larger than the SC-2 and is a versatile mixed-media kiln suited to continual high temperatures.

Particulates represent a health risk if they're breathed in, so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln, mixing kiln wash, and working with charcoals, ceramic-fibre blocks, cloths, and papers. And, ideally, use protective glasses.

All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away, but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit-cost of firing: so you might want more than one.


I can't recommend one clay as being the best. There are differences in the feel, the firing, the shrinkage, the strength, and the surface patinas, so try them and experiment: they're not expensive.
However, as Prometheus Copper Clay is easy to fire and costs less than the others, try it first? It comes as 100gm of soft clay in a packet, or 10gm of creamy clay in a syringe with three tips that you can cut or shape.

There's also Creative Copper, which is almost certainly Prometheus Copper Clay renamed. I'll leave it you to work out why, in November 2014, ProCopper is £17.75 for 100gm and Creative Bronze is £23.95: both including postage.


Also, in November 2014, 100gms of Art Clay Silver Clay costs about 12 times more than Prometheus Copper Clay. So, if you're still in the learning phase, you can try out ideas before possibly wasting your expensive silver clay. However, copper is a beautiful metal so, as with many materials, you need to exploit its qualities and try to produce beautiful original pieces.

To learn more, use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page. You can buy ArtClay, bronze clay, copper clay, glass clay, gold clay, and related products in the on-line shop.

GOLD CLAY
Gold Clay Pendant By Claudia S Atkins

Aida Art Clay Gold And Mitsubishi PMC Gold Clay.

There are two popular makes of gold clay: Art Clay made by Aida Chemical Industries and PMC made by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, in Japan. They're both clay-like materials made of fine gold powder and water-soluble organic binders.

Art Clay Gold and PMC Gold, sometimes just called gold clay, metal clay, or precious-metal clay, are easy to fire: put your dried work on a kiln shelf and programme the temperature and hold-time.

As they're fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid 22 carat gold: real metal, not something that just looks like metal.

All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away, but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit-cost of firing: so you might want more than one.


Although we chose to work with, sell, and provide classes in Art Clay, both makes fire in a similar way. So any kiln suitable for Art Clay will be just as good for PMC.

If you're currently using PMC, try Art Clay. There are differences in the feel, the shrinkage, the strength, the surface lustre, the product range, the pricing, and the general commercial setup if you're running a serious business.


To learn more, use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page. You can buy ArtClay, bronze clay, copper clay, glass clay, gold clay, and related products in the on-line shop.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO GLASS AND GLASS WORK
Obsidian

What Is Glass?

The main component of glass is silicon dioxide, often called silica: found naturally and plentifully as sand. When it melts, at around 1700°C, it's like syrup on a cold day. When it cools, it forms a rigid brittle glass called quartz glass.

To lower the melting point, and reduce the cost of melting, chemicals are added: typically sodium carbonate and calcium oxide. Other chemicals, and different heating and cooling processes, produce a range of colours and mechanical properties.

Chemically, glass is defined as an amorphous solid but, as it's heated, it becomes softer allowing it to be blown, cast, coated, decorated, engraved, heat-treated. moulded, poured, pressed, sagged, and slumped.

A form of glass occurs naturally within the mouth of a volcano when the intense heat of an eruption melts sand to form Obsidian, a hard black-to-brown glassy type of stone, shown in the photo. Although it was used decoratively, when it fractures it has very sharp edges, many times sharper than a steel knife-edge, so was also used for tools and weapons, and the pitiful ritual of circumcision.

ANNEALING
Annealed Beads Made Into A Necklace

Annealing.

During annealing, fabrication stresses are relieved as the molecules cool and arrange themselves into a regular stable matrix. Successful annealing is the key to creating glasswork that will remain attractive and durable. It's quite a long process, so a kiln with an automatic comprehensive programmer is essential.

DICHROIC GLASS
Dichroic Glass

Dichroic Glass.

Dichroic glass has two different colours: a transmitted colour and a reflective colour, both of which change depending on the angle of view. For example blue-red will be blue in transmission and red in reflection.

During manufacture, quartz and metal oxides are vapourised onto the surface of the glass using a vacuum deposition process, forming a multi-layer crystal structure.

FIRE POLISHING
Fire Polished Glass

Fire Polishing.

To fire polish glass, return the items to the kiln and melt them just enough to give a smooth polished appearance. It needs a temperature of around 700°C, and is typically used to round the edges of glass between fusing and slumping.

Fire polishing already-slumped items is more difficult because the polishing temperature is close to the slumping temperature and it can distort the appearance of the piece. So it generally works best for flat items, rather than slumped ones. It has the slight limitation that the part of the item that touches the kiln shelf won't polish.

FUSING, SAGGING, AND SLUMPING
Lauscha By Carrie Fertig

Fusing, Sagging, And Slumping.

If two or more pieces of glass in contact are heated, they begin to soften and fuse together. With careful heating and cooling, the separate pieces of glass become one.

If glass is put on a mould and heated, it begins to soften and collapse, or sag, onto the mould: a common technique for making bowls and plates.

Sagging and slumping are often thought of as being the same. Correctly: during sagging, heated glass, supported at its edges, sags down in the middle to conform to a mould; during slumping, heated glass, supported at its middle, slumps down at its edges to conform to a mould.

LAMPWORK AND BEADS
Beads

Lampwork And Beads.

Very briefly, lamp-working is the traditional name for glasswork that uses a flame to melt glass rods and tubes. As the glass softens, it's shaped by turning and using tools.

Early lampworkers used an oil-lamp, and blew air into the flame through a pipe. Later, propane, natural gas, or butane torches replaced the lamp, although kilns are now increasingly popular, particularly for annealing.

Beads are usually made on steel rods, or mandrels. When the beads are finished, the rods are removed leaving holes for threading the beads. Cold working techniques can be used, such as etching, faceting, polishing, and sandblasting.

PÂTE DE VERRE
Pâte De Verre

Pâte De Verre.

Pâte de verre involves making a glass paste, applying it to a mould, firing it, and removing the piece from the mould. The glass paste is usually made from glass powder, a binder such as gum arabic, distilled water, and colouring agents or enamels. It allows precise placing of colours in the mould, whereas other techniques often result in the glass straying from its intended position.

I think, currently, Daum is the only large commercial crystal manufacturer using the pâte de verre process for art glass and crystal sculptures.

TACK FUSING
Tack Fused Glass

Tack Fusing.

Tack fusing is the joining together of glass, with as little change to the shape of the pieces as possible. Tack fusing may be used either decoratively, or to assemble a large piece of glass from laminations.

Where tack fusing is used to apply small decorative details to a larger piece, you might want to partially melt the small pieces so that they change shape, usually becoming more spherical under the influence of surface tension, but without changing the shape of the carrier piece. This can be done by using an increased temperature, but only briefly. The carrier piece has a larger thermal mass, so heats up more slowly than the small decorations.

WARM GLASS

Warm Glass.

The term warm glass refers to fusing, slumping, and other glass processes which take place at temperatures between about 600°C to 925°C. Although that doesn't sound warm, it is when you compare it to glassblower's working temperatures, which often exceed 1100°C. The term warm glass is often replaced by kiln forming.

THE KITIKI MINIKILN

A Cherry Heaven Internet Resource

This internet resource is provided by Cherry Heaven, an international distributor, on-line shop, and support centre for kilns, accessories, tools, materials, and tumblers. It's not a bead, ceramics, crafts, glass, or metal-clay home-business, selling a few things to a market niche.

As it's an on-line resource, there isn't a paper catalogue or a price list. However, you can mail or call a technician about kilns, power supplies, public area safety, a special project, business ideas, diagnostics, repairs, or reselling opportunities.