What to consider when buying a kiln?
There is broad list of considerations when considering your kiln purchase. These two questions will start you on the journey to help you determine what you want, what you need, and what the right choice is for you.
What kind of projects would you like to do?
The answer to this question will dictate the type, shape, and size of the kiln you want. It will lead you into decisions about kiln features and their benefits, for example: top firing vs. side firing-or both, front load vs. side load, brick construction vs. ceramic fiber, manual vs. digital controller, deep vs. shallow, standard firing vs. high temperature, household 120v vs. commercial 240v power, glass vs. ceramic-or both, and finally what brand of kiln best suits your ownership style. Take note: We stated this answer will help you determine what you want. The next issue is to determine whether what you want will match with your current situation. This requires that you carefully consider your answers to the next question.
Where will you be locating the kiln?
The answer to this question also dictates the type, shape, and size of the kiln. Again, there are more decisions about kiln features and their benefits that are particular to the environment in which the kiln resides. In this instance, safety is always the number one consideration. In addition, you’ll need to make decisions regarding the space available in your chosen location, the electrical power available, and the traffic patterns of pets and people in that location. Finally, there are environmental factors in your location that must be addressed including; ventilation, humidity, temperature, cleanliness, etc.
Sometimes, the answers to these questions are at odds with each other. What you want to have sometimes just doesn’t jive with you current environmental realities. For example; you want to do large, deep castings but you don’t have access to 240v power. This is where we as artists must become creative problem solvers in an effort to overcome our environmental constraints. We’re here to help! Feel free to email us any time for additional input!