Just switch on and go -- this kiln is so easy to use. I was impressed with the speed at which it got up to the selected temperature, about 40 minutes to 700 deg., and then cooled down again. It was my first attempt at firing silver clay and I was delighted with the result.
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The Prometheus MiniKiln PRO-1 is a brilliant little kiln, suitable for both personal and professional use. It is perfect for low-budget small-scale work, and is ideal for Art Clay, PMC, and enamelling. It is also great for low fire ceramics, china painting, annealing and hardening silver, gold and other metals, and small glass fusing, like dichroic glass cabochons.
This kiln is sometimes known as Kitiki Mini-Kiln, or just Mini Kiln. It's a 1000°C front-loading kiln, with a built-in, easy to use, 4 -key digital controller.
The UK kiln is rated at 230V/700W, so plugs into a regular mains socket. It's small enough to use in your home, school, craft work shop, or jewellery studio. And it is ideal to take with you for craft evenings and workshops as it weighs less than 6kg, and is small enough to carry.
You will need a kiln shelf to fire your pieces on, do not fire anything direct on the floor of the firing chamber.
*Please note* - The hole in the door of your kiln is for ventilation purposes and is supposed to be there. It is important that you don't try to plug the hole with anything or use it as a peep hole as getting this close to the kiln whilst firing could damage your eyes. The plate around the hole as well as the area around the door of the kiln can show more discolouration with use and this is completely normal.
The outer steel case measures 225mm x 240mm x 270mm, and is slotted for air circulation, so it keeps cool. The door opens 90°, and there's a small door vent. It is normal for the metal above this vent and sometimes above the door to discolour slightly with use.
The ceramic firing chamber, enclosed in an inner steel case, measures 115mm x 125mm x 70mm internally, and heats from the top, sides and bottom, with the fast-firing elements safely embedded in the ceramic.
Includes a manufacturer's warranty of 2 years.
DIGITAL CONTROLLER OR PROGRAMMER?
The digital controller is not a programmer - it will let you set a target temperature, and then you need to keep track of how long it has fired for and then turn off the kiln manually.
So, you can not set full programmes with sequences and segments, hold times, ramp functions or ramp speeds: instead this kiln heats to a set temperature and stays there until you turn it off. For most people doing small-scale work or working mainly with silver clay, that's all you need.
I recommend you buy a small digital timer to remind you that time's up - I've ended up firing things for over 8 hours as I've happily gone shopping, phoning friends, and gone to sleep forgetting all about the kiln - not ideal. I now set my phone timer and leave it in my pocket as soon as I start firing (or I'll forget...).
If you want a kiln you can program look at our Prometheus Programmable MiniKiln PRO-1 PRG instead. If you're planning to expand into more advanced glass work, or want a larger kiln, I suggest the Prometheus 7 or the Prometheus 7 with Bead Door.
Controller: 4 button digital temperature controller
Max Temp: 1000°C
Heating elements: 4; top, bottom and sides
External Size: 225 x 240 x 270 excl handle (width x depth x height) (mm)
Firing Chamber: 115 x 125 x 70 (width x depth x height) (mm)
Quick explanation of some kiln lingo:
Target temperature: the temperature you want your kiln to heat up to (or cool down to), i.e. the temperature you need to fire your material at.
Digital controller: how you tell your kiln what to do. With a digital controller you press buttons. Older (or simpler) kilns sometimes just have a rotary controller which you turn until you're happy with the temp. - digital controllers are much easier to control.
Ramp function: a function which allows you to tell the kiln how fast (or slow) it should heat up/cool down. Mostly used in glass fusing and for some base metal clay firings, or for other materials which needs heating and/or cooling under more controlled conditions.
Ramp speed: the speed at which the kiln heats up, or cools down.
Hold time: how long your kiln should hold the target temperature. E.g., fire at 650°C for 30 minutes - 30 minutes is the hold time.
Firing chamber: the inside of your kiln, where you place your things to be fired.
Kiln shelf: a small shelf on which you fire things. Never fire direct on the kiln floor.
As a beginner I found the kiln easy to use although I needed to read the instructions through a couple of times to make sure I understood them - the instruction sheet seems to be a direct translation from the original. The hole in the door of the kiln worried me initially, but once I understood from the instructions that it must not be blocked with anything, I felt confident to get started. It would be helpful to have some guidelines for temperatures and times for different precious metal clay products.
I love it. Great and very easy to use.