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What s sweet little kiln my #55F-TEW Croft kiln is! It is super fast, super nice having a door that I can shut without jarring my pieces, just a pleasure to use in every way. Get one even if you think you don't need it. You'll be happy.
My other kiln was like a 1999 Civic, got me to my destination eventually. The Croft kiln is like a Porsche, making it a pleasure getting there..
I believe some of my recent cloisonne technical nightmares were possibly related to the abysmal slow recovery time of my other kiln once door was opened. With my new Croft kiln my temperatures hardly drop at all when I open the door, it's remarkable how well it maintains temperatures. I believe maintaining proper temperatures is important for proper fusion, especially once many layers of enamel are involved. It eliminates one of our many variables, always welcome in our enamel world fraught with kiln devils.
Thank you Patsy!
Love it! I use a large kiln for enameling multiple pieces at one time, but it's just too big for my one of a kind cloisonne. This little gem is "just the right size" for doing smaller task including annealing and individual pieces. It really does heat up to 1500 degrees in about 5 minutes! Stays super hot inside, even when opening door, yet you don't feel like your going to melt your arm off when placing your "jewel" inside- a problem on the larger kilns. I had a handle put on mine so I can take it with me on my many travels. Easily works on a kitchen countertop when there's no studio available. One of the best investments I've made. Of course, I knew it would be perfect from the start with Patsy Croft designing it. Thanks for a support product!
The best enameling kiln I have ever owned. I am one of those people that love new kilns and now I own three. I bought the one with the window and controller. Works like a dream. Thanks for this kiln.
I have a larger kiln but wanted one that I could take to Malaysia with me as luggage. This kiln is light weight and has a small foot print. I have used it here in the US.It heats up FAST and holds the heat.The handle did not get hot until after the kiln was on for many hours. The controls were self explanatory. I have one with a window, which made it easy to see when the piece was fired to where I wanted it. I received the kiln in I think less than a week after ordering. Also I had great communication from Patsy when I had some questions about taking this unit to another country.
The Kiln is great for small enamel pieces. I received mine just after finishing my second advanced enamelling course (using an earlier kiln) and decided to try my favorite enamelling technique of Plique_a_jour. Mainly because of the large quartz window, I got lucky from the start and am now progressing well with some amazing pieces. The important thing for me, is that the kiln's ease of use together with the window enabled me to get through the early stages of learning this technique which with my earlier kiln would have ended in frustration. Hence I can now embark on some serious new learning. Thanks much. Robin A.
I have just finished firing my third medallion. For this firing, I used a 2 1/8" copper disc. The speed that the kiln fires to enameling temperature is impressive. We here in Ontario have the highest electricity costs in North America. Having a kiln that fires to 1500 degrees within 5 minutes is a real saving in energy costs. I am impressed at the insulation value built into the kiln. I was able to unlatch and open the kiln door without using insulated gloves while firing a medallion 5 times over a period of 1 and 1/2 hours. I "peeked" into the kiln a number times to monitor the firing progress. Each time I opened the door, the temperature remained within the firing temperature. Again, an energy saving. I suspect part of the efficiency of the kiln is the small firing cavity. Not a criticism as I am only interested in enameling fine silver and copper medallions. My kiln sits on a laminated surface and within 8" from wall board. I have no concern of overheating the surfaces under or behind the kiln. I have been asked to give an enameling demonstration at our turning club in February. The size and weight of the kiln is perfect for easy transport. I have been a wood turner for 30 years and have been involved in ornamental turning for 5 years. This kiln will add a new dimension to my ornamental turnings. The picture I have included was a collaborative effort between Ramsay Holmes and myself. The wine stopper is cast from polyester resin. The medallion inside is guilloched, domed and enamelled.
Last Nov '12, I took basic class instruction from Patsy Croft and purchased a 55F-3KB kiln from her. I had never taken any jewelry or enameling class in my life but I found her instruction clear, detailed, and fun. We made two pieces during the two days of classes and I was able to give one to my first granddaughter, which was a real delight to me. The kiln hasn't given me a moments trouble and I am planning further instruction when I get a little more practice time. But beware, enameling can become addictive!
This is the perfect kiln for anyone doing jewelry size items. It gets up to temperature in about 15 minutes, saving time when I decide to squeeze some enameling into a busy day. It recovers temperature quickly when the door is open but by choosing the window option I can see exactly when the enamel has flowed properly. This is a sturdy little work horse that takes up minimal space. I have recommended this kiln to many other enamelists. Although I have two larger kilns that I also like, this is my go to kiln most days. So this has been a wonderful addition to my studio.
Thanks for letting us test one of your kilns, Patty. I reviewed the analog kiln in the March 2013 issue of Art Jewelry magazine,
and I was impressed! Here's an excerpt from the review: "Plug it in, turn the dial to 'HI,' and five minutes later, you're ready to
enamel." "I was impressed with the lack of heat loss when I opened the door to take a peek at my enameled copper..[and] in
10–20 seconds it was back to temperature." This is a great kiln!