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

The Kitiki Mini-Kiln is a low-cost jewellery kiln used for silver clays, bronze clays, copper clays, dichroic glasses, enamelling, fire polishing, glass clays, glass fusing, gold clays, making jewellery, sintering metal clays, and pâte de verre.

It's a 1000°C, rectangular, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, ceramic-fibre kiln, with a ramp-hold 4-key digital controller. It's probably the most popular mini kiln in the UK.

It's ideal for your arts centre, college, course venue, craft classes, engineering workshop, home business, jewellery studio, medical laboratory, 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.


Within the kiln's size and temperature limits, you can make beads, bracelets, brooches, decorations, earrings, figurines, fingerprint keepsakes, jewellery, miniatures, model parts, necklaces, ornaments, pendants, pet-id tags, rings, souvenirs, thimbles, and trinkets, as unique hand-crafted pieces or repeatable stock for sale.

You can use most of the 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.


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 For Dichroic Glass, Enamels, Glass Fusing, Heat Treating, And Firing ArtClay, PMC, And Metal Clays.

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 Or Paragon Kilns? Or Mail Or Call A Technician For Help.

This comprehensive internet resource lets you research and compare kilns in your own time. And it'll help you make the right choice instead of an expensive mistake: especially if, as you learn, you discover new materials or processes, want to make larger pieces, want to run classes, or find a promising business niche.


Cherry Heaven is an EU distributor, sales, and service and support centre for electric kilns, including kilns made by Paragon, Prometheus, Kitiki, Odak, SpeedFire, and UltraLite. 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, you can mail an experienced technician or call .

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

The Kitiki Mini Kiln For Dichroic Glass, Enamelling, Glass Fusing, Heat Treating, And Firing ArtClay, PMC, And Metal Clays.

The Kitiki Mini-Kiln is a 980°C, rectangular, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, ceramic-fibre kiln, with a ramp-hold 4-key digital controller.

It's used for silver clays, bronze clays, china paints, copper clays, dichroic glasses, enamels, fire polishing, glass art, glass clays, glass fusing, sagging, and slumping, gold clays, heat treating cutters, dies, and tools, lampwork, making jewellery, moulding model parts, sintering metal clays, pâte de verre, staining glass, and many other materials and processes.

You can use most of the 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.


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. There are limitations, although you might be perfectly happy with what it can do rather than unhappy with what it can't.

The Mini Kiln digital controller isn't the same as a digital programmer. It 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.

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 KILNS MADE FOR CHERRY HEAVEN AND THE EU

Kitiki Kilns Made For Cherry Heaven And The 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 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.

This comprehensive internet resource will help you choose the right kiln, and avoid making an expensive mistake: especially if, as you learn more, you discover new materials or processes, want to make larger pieces, decide to run courses, or find a promising business niche.

So, why buy a Kitiki MiniKiln from Cherry Heaven? Let's look at what else is available:

Cherry Heaven is a distributor for the Kitiki Mini-Kiln: it's in a smart black finish, However, at least one company is selling the same kiln as the Prometheus Pro-1 and painted red, that costs about 44% more.

If you want a larger kiln with a comprehensive programmer, look at the 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. I've included a specification table below and, further down the page, a comprehensive comparison with other makes.


VERSION DESCRIPTION MAX °C POWER W WEIGHT KG FIRING CHAMBER INTERIOR SIZE MM
MiniKiln 1000 700 6 ceramic fibre 113 x 135 x 066
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
Xpress-Q11A 1290 1440 20 firebrick 147 x 153 x 159
Xpress-E12A 1230 2700 38 firebrick 216 x 305 x 222

The digital controller allows you to set a target temperature. There are no restrictive features such as single-sequence use or 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, such as those in the Caldera and Xpress series, 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 delivery and VAT.

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.

FIRING CHARACTERISTICS

How Electric Kilns Work.

Generally, programmable kilns work like this: as soon as the programmer's sequence starts, the kiln starts to heat up. The thermocouple tells the programmer the current internal temperature and, depending on the sequence you've chosen, the programmer turns the elements on or off to control the heating rate, maintain the target temperature, or control the cooling rate. When the sequence is complete, the kiln beeps, and the sequence stops.

For safety, the programmer doesn't switch the full mains voltage. Instead it drives a relay, an electro-mechanical switch. The programmer uses a low voltage to activate the switch which turns the high voltage elements on or off.


When the target temperature is reached, the programmer switches the elements off. However, residual heat in the firing chamber allows the internal temperature to overshoot the target temperature briefly before starting to fall back.

This overshoot is more evident at low temperatures than at high temperatures. For example: 300°C will probably overshoot to 330°C whereas 800°C will probably only overshoot to 805°C before starting to fall back.

During the hold-time, with the elements still off, the temperature starts to fall. When the programmer switches the elements back on, the firing chamber will initially absorb some of the new heat before the temperature recovers. The continual switching of the elements on and off causes the internal temperature to oscillate either side of the target temperature.

This is similar to central heating. If you set it for 21°C, it probably oscillates, quite slowly, around 20°C to 22°C: and you won't notice. The accuracy will depend on where the thermostat is sited, how quickly it responds, how accurate it is, how long it takes for the radiators to heat up, and if you have doors and windows open. The temperature will probably be slightly different in each room.

So, regardless of the thermocouple temperature, the actual temperature of your work will be slightly different, depending on its position on the kiln shelf, the vertical spacing of any stacked shelves, and its nearness to the elements, a lid, a door, a bead door, or a window. Learn to take it into account if you're working with temperature-critical materials or processes.


Remember that glass needs radiant heat and will fuse, sag, or slump better on one shelf at the bottom than between closely stacked shelves.


Kiln doors and lids are not meant to be a perfect fit otherwise, at high temperatures, there'd be no room for expansion and movement, and the door could stick and the ceramic-fibre or firebricks could crack.

All kilns smell a bit during the first few firings, just like a toaster or a fan heater. If you're worried about fumes, open a window.

Eventually, with normal use, kilns discolour slightly, inside and outside, and some firebricks might develop hairline cracks. Your kiln is a versatile, robust, red-hot tool: not an ornament.

KEEPING A KILN LOG

Keeping A Kiln Log.

Using your kiln successfully needs critical research and frequent tests, especially as things that work for your friends or teachers might not work in the same way for you. It's also very important to learn how to creatively use unexpected effects. So, keep a firing log:


Buy a durable notebook. Use a new page for every firing, and draw diagrams of the shelves, their vertical spacing, and the position of your work on the shelves. Along with your work, put a few scraps at different places on the shelves to learn how things change. Describe the material, the shape of your work, the firing cycle, and the end result. Add a few photos and sketches, and mark the page corners with coloured dots or symbols as a quick reminder of your success rating.

A kiln log is vital if you're experimenting with temperature-sensitive materials, or working with coloured dichroic glasses, enamels, glazes, or china paints, and a skilled artist will use the kiln log to advantage to re-create effects. It'll be particularly useful if you have to repeat a commission, or you have a long holiday before returning to your studio.


Some Paragon kilns have a Sentry 12-key programmer which can be connected to your computer through a factory-fitted USB interface. The Control Master software allows you to control and monitor the firing, and analyse, arrange, print out, and save the data. If you want this feature, make sure you order the USB interface in the on-line shop.

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, materials, tools, 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 on-line, 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, home diagnostics, repairs, or reselling opportunities.