Finally, the kiln.

Finally, the kiln.

All I had was a bunch of tools and clay.

If you are a beginner like I am, you  probably don’t have a studio or even your own kiln. So sooner or later you would need one. It is not necessary to have a studio for your kiln, you could actually put it in any place in your house. Well. Almost any.

Let me tell you my story behind choosing the kiln. As you already know, at the beginning all I had was literally some clay and a few tools.

And to bo honest, I didn’t even know if I would like working with clay. But it didn’t take long for me to see that I should go ahead. So I started working on my first batch. And then there was the time when I had a bunch of unfired items which was ready to fire.

If you didn’t already, now is the time to find someone with the kiln who can fire your products. That would probably be some local craftsman or some local shop with kilns. But you should pay attention to the process of firing and make sure that your products are fired separately from other ones. That is how you avoid some inconvenience.

At the beginning of my work with clay, I haven’t even think about buying my own kiln. My first thinking about my work with clay was “Let’s give it a try” so there was no reason for buying the kiln. So I fired my first products at the local craftsman with lots of experiences.

Soon I really enjoyed working with clay and producing different items. Some of them you can find on my Etsy store. And that was the reason for me to start thinking about my own kiln. I am really optimistic about my work and I am persistent on making constant progress. So my final decision was, that I am going to have my own kiln.

Where to put it?

Finding the most practical place in your house for a kiln could be a problem if you don’t have your own studio or some rented place.

At the beginning, I was working literally on my dining room table. And not to mention that there was most of the time one of my kids around. So my working hours was mostly late at night when the kids were asleep. So I could really focus on my work.

More about my day schedule following soon.

I am telling you this for a reason. I had actually no idea on where to put the kiln if I would have one. I have to mention here that we are living in the little attic apartment. So there was almost no room in the house to put the kiln in.

After some talking, we finally found a place for the kiln in the basement. It took some of my reorganizing skills but in the end, I had one thing less to worry about.

Important note.

When finding a place to put your kiln in, you should know what kind of kiln you will have. How much room do you need for it? Is there proper installation in that room? If not, could you have one made afterward? Is there ventilation tube?…

You should also consider that the entire room may become warm. And eventually, is there any narrow space or door through which you will bring the kiln in? So you have to know exactly what kiln could you have before buying it. You should measure all spaces and know the dimensions of the kiln.

Some kilns could be disassembled for easier transportation.

Which one is right for me?

Ok, so I have a place in the house where I could put my kiln in. And I know approximately what size it should be. Now the hard part.

First of all. What is the price you are willing to pay?

With that in mind make some wide selection. At this point, you should have at least a few different kilns from different manufacturers. Now you should compare, compare and compare every possible thing. From functions to accessories, power consumption,etc.

The easiest way to do that is, to write down the cons and pros for every single kiln and compare them.  Keep in mind that there isn’t just the number of cons and pros but the value of it, that matters.

At this point, you should ask yourself a few questions.

  • What is the main item You’ll be firing?
  • The size and material of the items. (Depending on material the kiln should have proper temperature capabilities, for example, porcelain.)
  • Toploader or front loader?
  • Movable?
  • The controller capabilities. (depending on your needs)
  • Power rating…

Sure there are many more questions to consider before buying the kiln but I think I summarized the main.

 

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Picture of my ROHDE TE 75 MCC+ kiln and Bentrup TC 507 controller.

 

For beginners

If you are a beginner like me, there is always great to have someone with experiences to ask and to help you through some decisions.

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How I started.

How I started.

Quick about me.

Let me tell you a little about my beginnings of working with clay.

I became a mum at very young age. I finished my school after the birth of my first child. I was a stay-at-home mum and when my first-born son grew up a little bit we were crafting all the time, and now 6 years later he is still crafting on. He makes a toy literally from everything which should go in the trash.

In 2013 my daughter was born. When she was only 3 months old she got sick and she had a respiratory problem because of bronchiolitis. She had a recurrent breathing problem for 2 years. So I had to stay at home to take care of her, and my chance to get a job was none. So I started to figure out how to earn money from home. And I didn’t get any idea. I have actually no idea what I would like to do in my life.

Read more about  me.

So what happened next?

Later on my birthday I got a ceramic hanging plaque as a birthday gift. And I got inspired by that ceramic handmade plaque. So I said to myself, why I shouldn’t try to make my own ceramic products. After brainstorming of that idea with my partner, we somehow decided to give it a try. I searched the web for the items I would design and make. And find out that there is no such item like I would make.

Then the tricky part.

After my decision was fixed, I started to learn about ceramics. This is where things become interesting. I thought that working with clay requires no special knowledge.

Well, I was wrong.

As I searched the web for information about working with clay, I quickly realised that I have A LOT to learn.

And I DID.

Every single day I was looking for more and more information and trying to understand it. There were many new expressions to learn. All the techniques.  Different materials…

Then I meet someone who is working with clay for his entire life and has given me much useful information. And what is more. Besides all the information, he has given me the very needed MOTIVATION. He is still helping me with some advice, when I need it. He saved me a lot of time because I didn’t have to learn so much from my own mistakes (beginner’s mistakes).

How long did it take?

From light bulb above my head to first finished product… 6 months.

There were ups and downs within this six months. As I mentioned above, the first thing I came across was the knowledge. Then I started with what I need to begin working. The list of needed materials and tools was endless. So piece after piece I provided all the important tools and supplies, to begin with.

There was so much experimenting at the beginning. But I enjoyed every moment of it.

At the moment of writing, I have just opened my Etsy shop, and this is where the fun part begins…

Here is one of my items.

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What is it, that I am doing?

What is it, that I am doing?

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In short, I am making different items made of clay. You can see one example at the picture above. So far my main thing is making signs and tiles of different sizes and shapes. You can find refrigerator Magnets with some funny, inspirational and other quotes. Also there is category Hanging, where you can find ceramic tiles which can be hanged on the wall or some other place.  And my favorite so far, the category Self standing, those tiles have special cardboard easel attached on it’s back which unfolds from the back. Those tiles look so good on any table, night table, shelf,…