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new kiln question.

updated sun 3 nov 02


Lily Krakowski on sat 2 nov 02

There are several unrelated questions about a kiln.

1. Do you have space. Kilns don't just stand there like umbrella stands.
They have furniture, shelves, one needs a place to put the ware that goes in
and the ware that comes out. How much space do you have?

2. Is the space a good safe space? A kiln gets very hot, this has been
discussed before, you need space around it, space to vent it, and so on. Do
you have that?

3. How much to you produce? In my opinion someone, especially a novice
should be able to fire once a month. Old timers who know what they are
doing do not need to refer back to how things turned out as often. Empty
space in a kiln is a waste of fuel, and not good for the pots.

4. Gas or electricity. What are the relative costs? What does gas do to
your insurance rates? A gas kiln needs much closer watching than an
electric one, which, essentially, can be fired even by a non-potter. Do you
have the time to supervise a gas kiln properly?

5. I have read that in some communities the utility will not provide gas
in sufficient quantity to a house or in certain neighborhoods to make a gas
kiln feasible. Check that out... And before you decide on kiln size for an
electric kiln check out whether enough juice comes into your house, what the
meter situation is and so on.

Having said all that: point blank I would suggest a kiln about 20"x 20" by
30" on the inside, with the maximum insulation. I had a SKUTT 181 for years
and years before I bought bigger ones, and it worked well for me.

As to brand. I think the major brands all are excellent, and I would buy
what I KNOW CAN BE SERVICED PROPERLY where I am. If there are 6 dealers
within shouting distance and they all carry and service brand X but only one
services Brand Y I would go with X. Pottery supply houses do close....

Lili Krakowski
P.O. Box #1
Constableville, N.Y.
(315) 942-5916/ 397-2389

Be of good courage....