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Kevin7191975 2019-01-30 4:56am

First Kiln
I have recently started in this beautiful world of glass, so it's time to get my kiln, got a gtt bobcat to learn on, I am torn between the paragon bluebird xl, or the standard bluebird. I am mainly doing pendants to start, but want room to expand. Any input would be appreciated.

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yonil 2019-01-30 5:49am

Well that's a tough decision. I wouldn't really worry about power consumption, as kilns overall are pretty efficient. I'd keep in mind how much space it will take up, and whether you need to be able to move it easily.. While I could move my own JenKen by myself, my new Bluebird XL is flat out too big for me to manage on my own. I lived with that smaller kiln quite happily for several years, although I never graduated beyond pendant size, so maybe the larger will be more important to you. How quickly do you see yourself scaling up?

What I like about the Bluebird XL is (1) the extra space, in that I was previously limited to about 8 mandrels of beads, and (2) the bead doors, which my other kiln didn't have. This is a much bigger deal than the space, actually. Not having a bead door on the previous kiln made it tough to go straight from torch to kiln. I had to lift a giant heavy lid, reach into the oven, and try not to touch an element with a mandrel before my skin roasted. I'm sure they had bead door versions available, I was just too new to know the difference it would make. Also, I could have fit in a lot more beads if I batch annealed.

So whatever choice you make, make sure you can easily use your kiln for what you intend to make. (In my case, I should have gotten a bead door on that first smaller kiln!) When I asked my instructor for advice about a first kiln, she enthusiastically yelled out ChiliPepper!

rebecca22mcdonald 2019-01-30 10:06am

Hi! I am trying to build my work space and was wondering if you can help.. I want to really get into Bead and pendant making.. what is your opinion on the short deep guy from Glass hive? Do I need a 240 volt or is 120 volt sufficient? What is a Punti and mandrel gap doors? DO I want these.. Its an expensive transaction and I just want to make sure I am ordering it with things I need or want. my luck I will order and have buyers remorse. Any help is appreciated

Larysa 2019-01-30 12:25pm

Guys, whichever kiln you buy, keep it clean by laying ceramic blanket on the bottom. That will help if you decide to sell and move to another one.

Subduction 2019-01-30 10:18pm

I highly recommend calling Glass Hive with any questions concerning their kilns. (Mine is still in the box, waiting for my studio to happen.)

beckd 2019-01-31 8:18pm

I have had my Glass Hive kiln for 9 years and no problems ever.
They offer several sizes and options, so be sure to check them out !

crystalflipz 2019-02-11 4:49pm

I'll add in my vote for a Glass Hive kiln as well. Well worth the cost.

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