This should really be the first post, but that only occurred to me yesterday.
Kelvin is a two-year-old (possibly three-year-old) Paragon Fusion Eight kiln. He came to me from a woman in Yorkshire who had decided that lampworking was her true love and that Kelvin needed more space as well since she’d moved to a house with a smaller garage….
I live in a house with no garage at all, so Kelvin lives in the back room alongside the children’s toys and the piano. Kelvin’s being in there means the temperature in that room goes up and down like a yo-yo, which is terrible for the piano, though doubtless very nice for the piano-tuner.
For some unaccountable reason, despite being a British kiln, Kelvin is calibrated in Fahrenheit. That’s how he came to me and that’s how he stays. I’ve been told that it is possible to reprogram the controller quite easily with just a screwdriver and nerves of steel, but frankly I lack one of the aforementioned (you may guess which) and as most of the information I encountered, and most of the books, and most of the websites seemed to be written by and for Americans anyway, Fahrenheit looked like a sensible option. So should any British or European person stumble by here, my apologies for being retrograde about centigrade, which is a perfectly nice scale indeed, and the one I conduct the rest of my life in. Also, if anyone wants to convert between one scale and the other, it’s easy to look up an online conversion tool like this one: http://www.onlineconversion.com/temperature.htm
Regarding technicalities, he is about 42 cm in diameter and octagonal, as should probably be obvious from the name. I have 12 2.5 cm round posts and a spare shelf 35 cm in diametre. This – and occasional cunning use of my large 40 cm plate mould – allows me to stack the kiln in two (occasionally three) layers. I am still working out the temperature differentials between the shelves, the number of posts, the various molds etc. Sometimes I turn out to have been considerably less cunning than I thought (or too clever by half) and everything comes out overdone or half-baked. But my goal is ever-greater amortization. And lots and lots of learning curve.