I just bought a Paragon B88B Kiln. I was hoping to use it to fire
Pottery, but based on the limited information I have found on the 'net,
it seems to be more suited to "greenware", whatever that is. Can
someone tell me what I can expect to use this Kiln for?
[Greenware is pottery before it's fired. So you should be okay there. Once
it's fired, it's called "bisqueware". You then glaze it - much easier than
glazing greenware, which takes up water from the glaze and self-destructs -
and fire it again, after which you can call it "earthenware" if it's fired
under cone 5, or "stoneware" if it goes over that temperature. Paragon
should be able to tell you the maximum cone your kiln is good for - some
electric kilns go to cone 10, a relatively high stoneware temperature;
others max out at cone 6.]
Your best bet is to call or email paragon for information on how high this
kiln fires to. From what I can find it is an old kiln but that should not
prevent you from using it to do pottery. Greenware is unfired clay so
saying that this kiln is suited for 'greenware' doesn't really say much.
You use the kiln to turn 'greenware' into fired clay - either an
intermediate state called bisqueware which is clay that is fired to a low
enough temperature that it will not dissolve but will be porous and easily
hold glaze, or the finished state where the clay has reached maturity (more
or less - you can always do the highest firing you are going to and then
follow with another firing that is a lower temperature where you add luster,
decales, etc.). You are probably not going to be doing high fired pottery
with this kiln. However there is a great deal you can do with low fired
ceramics and you might be able to do mid-fire which is done a lot now. You
can also use this kiln to do glass work.
In both cases you will need to know how to time things and how to heat your
kiln. You can't for example just turn it on high and run it for 12 hours.
There is a lot to understand about firing and it is something you should not
do blindly. I would really recommend that you take a local community
pottery class or read many books before you dive in.