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.
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?
- 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.
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.