Kilns for beginners

I don’t have a studio or a designated pottery space, but nonetheless I have been considering buying a kiln. Going to SB’s studio is great, but getting pieces to her in the car in one piece, waiting 1-3 weeks for them to be fired, another 1-3 weeks to be glazed and fired again… it’s a little frustrating. You can buy small-ish top loading electric kilns on wheels that would be perfect for keeping stored away and brought out for firing.

All this kiln talk got me thinking about firing and the different kinds of kilns and firings etc. As ever, Ceramics Daily have a great article introducing kiln firings, dos and don’ts, with lots of advice thrown in! I would recommend anyone new to kilns to read this article: Ten Basics of Firing Electric Kilns

But. Kilns are expensive. And not just expensive-like-a-pottery-wheel. Kilns are incredibly expensive. Literally £1000+ for a small, top loading kiln that can plug into a normal 240v 13amp household plug and £2000-3000 for larger studio or front loading kilns. I don’t remotely have that kind of money to spare and so I have been trawling eBay and Gumtree for a while for a second hand kiln.

I’m worried about a second hand kiln in many respects, there is a lot that can go wrong with a kiln (and is expensive to repair) and often the paperwork is lost or the kiln’s elements are old, it might be full of rust or all kinds of things. I don’t want to bring something dangerous into my home. But at the same time, second hand kilns can range from £100-500 and this is much more within my price range.

I’ve recently seen a kiln for £100 on Gumtree, a Sitter Kiln LT-3K. I can find the guide for this model online as it is a popular model and make. I’m thinking that as I can get it so cheap, I can bring it to a kiln repair place for them to give it the once over. That way I can be sure it wont burst into flames the first time I try to fire it! If it requires a lot of repair work then I’ll just sell it on.

I have to say the guys at Pottery Crafts at Art in Clay were really wonderful when I spoke with them about their kilns. They didn’t mind me asking probably very basic questions and they didn’t try to push me towards a larger, more expensive kiln. They even had a 10% discount for Art in Clay! If only I had £1,000 lying around.. I’d definitely purchase a kiln from them! I’ll ask Beloved to combine Christmas, Birthday, Valentines & Anniversary gifts for two years… Perhaps one day!

PG xx

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Kilns for beginners

  1. Do not be afraid of buying a second hand kiln. In the 5 years I have been making pottery, which I do full time, I have only used second hand, manual, pretty dang beat up, kilns with great success. I have had to replace an element or two. My kilns have cracked bricks, cracked bottoms and cracked tops but they work!

    Liked by 1 person

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