Well hello! Avid readers will remember that very recently I was looking at the pros and cons of secondhand kilns. Well let me tell you this past weekend I found myself buying not one kiln but two!?
Top loading electric kilns regularly sell on eBay for £250-800 depending on the size, make, condition and accessories etc. On Gumtree they sell for a similar amount. Being the dedicated bargain hunter that I am (albeit an impatient one at times!) I regularly checked both sites for good condition kilns for sale.
You can imagine my excitement then, when I saw a Cromartie kiln listed for £100! I looked at the timing of the posting on Gumtree and new I was in for a chance – it had only been up an hour or two. I immediately messaged the seller and we arranged collection for the coming weekend – woohoo!
Beloved and I dropped Little One off with her Granny and drove on over to checkout the kiln. I must add that in the week leading up to this, I read as much as I could find online about kilns, firing and buying kilns secondhand, so as to avoid buying a complete doozy.
As it happened the seller was clearing a house and had an entire potters shed to clear with not one, but TWO kilns, tons of kiln furniture and literally hundreds of porcelain moulds. He wanted £100 for each kiln and would throw in the kiln furniture for free. It was such a bargain I could hardly contain myself! Even Beloved got excited!
One of the kilns was the advertised Cromartie kiln:
And the second was a smaller, but in better condition Olympic kiln:
We shook hands on the deal, money was exchanged and the kilns were loaded into the car. I was unsure which kiln to keep but I was certainly keeping one of them and I knew for a fact that I could sell on one of the kilns and make my money back instantly.
I took a look at the kiln furniture and had a good think about storage and use etc. As I don’t have a studio I’d need to find a space not only safe to store the kiln but to fire it too. As it happens we have an outdoor toilet in the garden that has turned out to be the perfect space for both storage and firing!
After taking all of this into consideration I decided on keeping the Olympic kiln. I took a few photos of the Cromartie kiln and popped it on Gumtree for £300. My experience with Gumtree is that people will negotiate down considerably and so I priced the item high, but it wasn’t up there an hour before someone offered to pay full price and pick it up the next morning! And sure enough, they did! Not only did I cover the cost of my kilns but I made £100 which I shall be using to buy cones to fire the kiln and a couple of pots of glaze.
It goes to show, it’s well worth waiting for a bargain!
Now I just need to get to grips with kiln firing… If anyone has any links or tips, do let me know!