January 7, 2013

let's talk about the kiln

I realize I am one lucky girl.
I have a kiln.
But even better that, I am lucky enough to have an electric kiln.
Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people who love their manual kilns.

So let me share some things I have learned.
Never put pots or a shelf on the floor of the kiln.
You can buy small posts to go on the floor of the kiln and set a shelf on that.
Eliminate clay hanging over the edge of your shelf.
That gap in between is for air-flow and it will heat differently than the parts on the shelf.
Always do a post-over-post construction.
Clearly in this picture there would be a shelf in between the post.
Only use three posts per shelf.
(Unless you have a really heavy or large load)
Believe it or not three posts are a lot sturdier than four.
Kiln Wash. 
Get some.
I clearly need to redo mine.
Cheaper to buy kiln wash than to buy a new shelf.
Just sayin'.
Make sure you have ample clearance around your kiln.
Safety first people.

(Do note...I am not a kiln expert...just sharing some helpful advice)


  1. Bravo, six useful and important points to know if you have a kiln! :)

  2. I think you have the same kiln as me! Gotta love the Skutt Easy Fire :).

  3. I have a Skutt kiln as well, but I have to turn the heat up gradually with three knobs...my glass kiln is a Skutt Easy Fire though...

    THANK YOU that someone else uses three posts per shelf! I see people use four all the time and I sadly shake my head....The ONLY time I use more than three per shelf is if I need to make one shelf space taller than the other (my kiln shelves are half shelves, not whole ones).

  4. I have never heard about not putting a shelf on the bottom. Why is this? Can clay go directly on the bottom of the kiln? Or just on the first shelf? I am lucky to have a digital kiln but it is new and I don't have all the tricks. I was used the the manual one.

  5. I have a Skutt electric as well (I call it the Kenner Easy-Bake oven....). I had no problems for eight years. Last spring the relay switch broke and it didn't shut itself off automatically. And of course I set it on Friday afternoon! That is my only tip - don't set it and leave it for the weekend (or worse - holiday break). We had to physically unplug it Monday morning to let it cool down.

    1. Oh man! That sounds really scary.

      Yes, the general rule is never run your kiln before the weekend.

      Also, you should "hand-off" the kiln supervision to a custodian when you leave school for the day. Because if something should happen and you didn't leave someone else in charge to hit the "off" switch if it doesn't go automatically, then you could be held liable. And my guess is that you (like me) don't want to stay at school until the kiln shuts off. :)

      I am so glad everything worked out! Whew!