While this may seem to come out of the blue, I've actually been saving up for a test kiln for quite some time. Even when we were building the studio back in 2008 we added enough power and an extra electrical outlet for the test kiln I hoped to have one day. Yesterday was That Day!About 18 months ago I got serious about saving up and researching what I would need. First of all, why did I want a test kiln? Well I am obsessed with glazing and glaze testing and a smaller kiln will make this process faster and more efficient. I'm hoping all this testing will help me transition into making a new body of work. And, after talking with other clay mamas, there seems to be a consensus that after children the scale of the works decreases as does the quantity you're able to produce. (at least for a while.) A mini kiln just seemed to have the answers.
My first kiln, Lily, is an L&L kiln and I love her! But for this purchase, I had narrowed it down to a Skutt KM 818-3 or KM 714. I was afraid the 818 was still a little too big for what I needed so I was leaning towards the 714, but wanted to check them out in person at the Skutt booth at NCECA.
My new (still-to-be-named) kiln and Lily my L&L. Funny, they look about the same size in this picture.
Well, I was initially disappointed when I didn't see either the 818 or 714 on display at NCECA. But they were more than happy to show me their new GlazeTech kiln. Honestly, I was initially skeptical and not impressed. I think because this kiln is so much different is size and shape than the others I was considering and has a different style computer.
But the salesman (good salesman that he is) kept talking and I began to turn around. Actually, a square kiln does make more sense to test square tiles - you can fill the space more efficiently. And the similar controller still had all the capabilities of the fancier one, just less buttons, so it made the kiln more affordable.
And Atlantic Pottery Supply was offering a 30% NCECA discount! (Which they are still running through the end of April on kilns, wheels, slab rollers, etc. Check it out! Kathy Goldstein over there was so helpful and patient as she answered all my questions.)
So, I did it! I finally bit the bullet and ordered it. Now we just need to hook up the vent and do an electrical update and she'll be good to go. I already have so many things planned for her. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted and will share any exciting glaze recipes I find.
**Click here or check out the Studio Construction tab to read more about how we built the Studio.
**Speaking of glazing - here are some of my favorite cone 04, low-fire glaze recipes
**Check out Atlantic Pottery Supply here.