Fired Arts & Crafts
Selecting The Right Size Kiln
Friday, 22 October 2010 13:12

Look at the size and quantity of items you generally make. If you usually create smaller pieces less than 12 inches in height or diameter, consider purchasing a small kiln. Look at a larger model if you are crafting almost all big items.

Should you discover your items are composed of a variety of sizes, don't automatically jump to a larger size kiln. Ask yourself how many huge pieces you create in a year; you might be better off purchasing a small kiln a taking the few bigger objects to a shop for firing. Weigh the additional cost for a larger kiln with the cost of firing those few things. Can you justify spending several hundred dollars more to go bigger? Does it makes sense to purchase a gigantic kiln and consistently fire it only partially full? It does not make an enormous difference in the cost of electricity to fire a kiln full or only partially filled.

Another thing to consider is the space you have for the kiln and if it will require special wiring. Some smaller kilns will plug into a regular household outlet, while others may run on different voltage. Check out this important factor before you purchase a kiln and bring it home. Most kilns have the information on a plate attached to the control panel. You can also obtain this information through the company's web site literature.

This may seem obvious, but make sure you can reach the bottom of the kiln. Tall kilns can be a bit of a challenge for some people. You may even need a step stool next to the kiln to give you extra height.

Finally, measure to be certain larger kilns will fit through any doorways or make it around tight curves in stairways. Unexpectedly having to tear out walls to get a kiln in your home can be messy and expensive.