The new Pearl-18 glass kiln from Paragon got its name from its "clamshell" tilt-top design. The kiln's top lifts away to give access to the shelf area, and air pistons assist in lifting the top. "You can compose directly on the kiln shelf, then close the kiln top and start your firing schedule," said Judith Conway, a glass artist who is using the Pearl-18 in her Washington, D.C., studio. "There is no need to balance and carry a heavy kiln shelf from your work table over to your kiln, trying to load the shelf in the kiln while not disturbing the glass pieces in your design." The kiln's heating elements are mounted in the lid using a new element groove that eliminates element pins. The element coils are wider than the groove opening, so the elements stay in place without pins.