Jonathan Pennington on wed 26 dec 01
Assuming you're talking about electric, I can give you the opinion of
a potting baby who bought a Skutt 1027 (electric) with almost no
knowledge 2 years ago. We did a
lot of research (But not enough on clayart), and decided that it was a
good purchase. Since then I've learned that, depending on what you
want to do, it still can be, but I was very displeased for a
while. Most commercial electric kilns seem too thin walled to get
effecient firing, slow cooling, etc. My glazes were not reacting well
at all, and my pots would often dunt and crack because the temperature
would drop too fast. I dealt with it for 2 years because, after
spending that much money on a kiln, I thought "There's no way I'm
going to take this apart and ruin it!"
However, I'm now very pleased with my Skutt, after modifications that
cost an extra $100 or so (Compared with the extra thousand or so for
Skutt to build a 6in wall), and a single afternoon. Now it cools
slowly (Too slowly sometimes :-), and My glazes are dreamy. I bought
some 1.5 (might be two... it's the next larger than 1) inch kaowool
fiber blanket and used that as many others have had, I also built a
second 3in lid out of some used IFB as many others have had. I cut
some fiber and placed it in between the sections too. Seriously, just
one weekend and $100 is worth it.
Rebecca, when you're buying a new kiln, the thought of doing this is
crazy, trust me, I know. However, buying a thicker walled kiln- as
many have explained to me again and again- is not cost efficient. I've
photographed my entire modification process, and can send you
pictures, list of tools, etc. if you want. You can also call me and
I'll talk you through the steps, or via email, chat, whatever (Hell,
if you're around SC, I'll drive over and help you). I can't express
how worth it the mod is for me (can't speak for others). You can also
fire it down to slow cooling, but that's *way* too expensive for me,
and after 10-20 firings, will cost more than kaowool and bricks.
Do a search for "Kiln wall thickness" and "Cooling rate" on
clayart. Those terms will bring up a lot of info on electric kilns and
their problems and solutions. Email me privately if you want to talk
more about this. Whatever you decide, good luck.
* Rebecca Knight [011225 23:25]:
> A couple of months ago I sent a message to Clayart requesting info/help in
> my kiln buying decision. Unfortunately, I received very few responses, most
> of those being from others who were also looking for information. There is
> no Consumer's Report for potters. I have no where to go except here. The
> info on the different manufacturer's web sites cannot be totally objective.
> I've called different places in addition to web research and have had mixed
> results with that method, also.
Jonathan Pennington | email@example.com
"There are no pots, there is only clay." -original
"It's hard to take life too seriously
when you realize yours is a joke." -also original
Rebecca Knight on fri 4 jan 02
A couple of months ago I sent a message to Clayart requesting info/help in
my kiln buying decision. Unfortunately, I received very few responses, most
of those being from others who were also looking for information. There is
no Consumer's Report for potters. I have no where to go except here. The
info on the different manufacturer's web sites cannot be totally objective.
I've called different places in addition to web research and have had mixed
results with that method, also.
So .... here I am, back at the well. I'm going to order a kiln on Mon. I'm
going to order an Axner with a controller. As you all know, this is a MAJOR
Please, if you know something I should know about kiln buying or Axner's
kilns or anything related, please let me know now. A kiln is not like a
shirt that I can return if I don't like it or it has a problem.
I think I learn something new most days from the list. Keep 'em coming.
Thanks for any input.
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