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Clamshell Kiln
Clamshell Kiln

Kilns Buying Guide

Your kiln will be the most expensive, but also the most important investment you'll make when taking on sculpting as a hobby. Whether you're working metal, clay, beads, pottery, or ceramics, it is simply impossible to achieve a finished product without a kiln. Some great reasons for one to buy a kiln include:

  • Convenience of working at home
  • Ensuring safety of your project by preventing its transport
  • Never having to share the kiln with other artists
  • Building a personal relationship with your kiln can help you achieve greater perfection  

Thinking Ahead:

As with most costly purchases, it is important to think ahead and ask yourself, "What is the purpose of this purchase?" Most importantly, you'll want to make sure you have a safe area ready for when your kiln arrives. Some important safety considerations include:

  • Space: You will need a sizeable distance available between the kiln and the wall (ranging from 45-90cm) to allow for appropriate cooling. Account for an additional 15 cm for a duct damper .
  • Small Mammals: Should you have children or pets, a kiln may pose a very dangerous threat. A table-top kiln  can help avoid major catastrophes.
  • Safety: Ensure there are no flammable household items nearby.
    Front-Loading Kiln
    Front-Loading Kiln

Aside from safety, there are a number of practical questions that need answering before buying your kiln.

  • What size pieces will you be attempting? And in what quantity?
  • The smaller the kiln, the more batches of work you will have to fire on a given day. So if you plan to make holiday gifts for the family, or want to sell some of your jewellery, you may want to avoid leaving the kiln on for the week and simply buy a larger one.
  • Also consider that if you decide to start making larger, taller pieces, but you have a stout kiln, you'll be in deep regret.
  • However, by having excess space in your kiln, you may risk firing your pieces unevenly, causing defects. 
  • Remember, you will need a kiln that reaches 2000°F (1092°C) for firing clay and glazing.

Recommended Models:

Home Models

Tabletop Kiln

  • Jewellery
  • Tiles
  • Candy dishes
  • Annealing
  • Fusing
  • Slumping

Perfect for the beginner, moderately priced, and it comes with or without a viewing window.

20x20x11.5cm, Max temp: 1800°F (982°C

 

Tabletop Kiln

  • Portable
  • Good for fusing and annealing. 
  • Programmable computerized controller gives the user maximum control.
  • Sliding door and optional bead door.
  • Max temp. 1800°F (982°C) , and 13.7cm³.

Tabletop Kiln

  • Handles everything from slumping and annealing to fusing and painting.
  • For something a little more fancy, the 23-9 model  is perfect for the pro studio.
  • Glass firing up to 1800°F. 21cm³.

Major Manufacturers