Description:

One of the most common questions for people just starting with PMC or Art Clay Silver is, How do I fire this stuff? The choices are:

- Kiln
- Ultra Light Beehive Kiln
- Hot Pot
- Speedfire Cone
- Stove Top Firing
- Torch Firing

All of them have their pluses and minuses, I won't go into all of that here. A kiln is obviously best, but also the most expensive.

What's the best compromise choice? To me, the best choice must:

- be able to be used indoors, by folks who may live in a big city high rise, and those who do not have a garage
- not have open flames or black smoke
- be able to fire all of the different types of clay

The only method (besides a kiln) that meets all of those requirements is the UltraLight Beehive Kiln by JEC Products. It's relatively affordable ($150.00 with required ceramic inserts) and available from JEC and Rio Grande.

It heats up to about 1500 degrees F. It uses 110 electricity and can be used on your kitchen counter. I'd put it on a ceramic tile or kiln shelf, as the metal feet do get hot.

I own one of these and take it along to all of the classes that I teach for students to try if they want. The manufacturer also makes a nifty carrying case now, if you have a need for that.

I get no kick backs for recommending this product, it's just a great little kiln. You can also use it for glass fusing, enameling and granulation.

A reader asked me:

Is the temperature controlable? How is this done?

Ah, good question. There is a controller that can be purchased separately, people use that to turn the temperature down to about 800 for use for Keum-boo.

The top temperature of this kiln is about 1500 degrees (as stated in the Rio Grande catalog). You fire all three types of PMC in the kiln, just for different lengths of time.

Firing Procedure
Place your metal clay items on the ceramic drying disk, and that on the lid, place the lid on the kiln. Plug in the kiln. Allow the kiln to pre-heat for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, use the provided spatula to move the metal clay pieces from the drying disk on to the ceramic insert. Now keep the lid off until the metal clay is done flaming and/or smoking. This is the binder burning away. Place the lid on and fire for the amount of time specified in the instructions. PMC+ fires for 20 minutes, PMC Standard fires for 2 hours.

Where to buy the Ultra-Lite Beehive Kiln:

From Rio Grande or
jecproducts.com
ultralitekiln.co.uk