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#1 deHues

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:27 PM

I live in North County San Diego and I have no kiln. I have many years experience in Pottery but my little studio in the garage of my rented condo is no place for a kiln. Not to mention no permission from the rental office. I have a wheel and a slab roller and the studio is cram packed with unfired cone 6 and cone 10 small pieces. I am currently enrolled in the local college so I can fire but I am restricted to their clay and glazes. I have searched for a workshop in the area but haven't found one yet. Or even better would be someone with a small studio that could use another potter to share the cost of firing. My email is darthehues at sign gmail dot com. Thanks

#2 Kabe

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:12 PM

I live in North County San Diego and I have no kiln. I have many years experience in Pottery but my little studio in the garage of my rented condo is no place for a kiln. Not to mention no permission from the rental office. I have a wheel and a slab roller and the studio is cram packed with unfired cone 6 and cone 10 small pieces. I am currently enrolled in the local college so I can fire but I am restricted to their clay and glazes. I have searched for a workshop in the area but haven't found one yet. Or even better would be someone with a small studio that could use another potter to share the cost of firing. My email is darthehues at sign gmail dot com. Thanks



Good Luck. I'm no help I live in MO. But it sounds like your all dresses up and no place to go. I bet it will work out. Ain't clay fun? Kabe

#3 deHues

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:29 AM


I live in North County San Diego and I have no kiln. I have many years experience in Pottery but my little studio in the garage of my rented condo is no place for a kiln. Not to mention no permission from the rental office. I have a wheel and a slab roller and the studio is cram packed with unfired cone 6 and cone 10 small pieces. I am currently enrolled in the local college so I can fire but I am restricted to their clay and glazes. I have searched for a workshop in the area but haven't found one yet. Or even better would be someone with a small studio that could use another potter to share the cost of firing. My email is darthehues at sign gmail dot com. Thanks



Good Luck. I'm no help I live in MO. But it sounds like your all dresses up and no place to go. I bet it will work out. Ain't clay fun? Kabe


You are a help indeed, Kabe. I am ready to make some clay, just looking for a dancing partner...

#4 TJR

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:54 AM

Wow. I would love to live in San Diego. What a beautiful spot. I can't help you out either. I have a studio with kiln, but I live in the middle of Canada. Sorry. I hope you are successful.
TJR.

#5 Lucille Oka

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:51 PM

Have you tried any community centers? There are quite a lot of them in San Diego and you can do a zip code search to see which ones are near you and those that offer ceramics. See if they can help you fire.
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#6 Kabe

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:05 PM

I think it is fun to see people concerned for other people.(old softy here) I think competition is over rated. Wasn't it cooperation and people working together that built the pyramids. Maybe forced cooperation, but cooperation just the same and it is cooperation between team members that builds a winning team. Competition reaps a war. cooperation keeps the peace. Just a thought. I bet you find a place to fire. Ain't clay fun Kabe

#7 deHues

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:34 PM

Hi TJR, Yes, this is a wonderful place to live. It never freezes so working in the garage studio never gets too cold. Great place for gardening also. I've had chard and lettuces growing all winter this year. Thanks!




Lucille, that is a good idea about the community centers. I just found a few in the area and one has a kiln. I will be able to talk to the person with that info tomorrow. I so hope it is a high fire kiln. The woman on the phone said there is no pottery program right now so maybe I could think about leading some workshops myself. So thank you for your great suggestion.




Kabe, I am so in agreement with you about competition. I have always believed that the more potters there are then the more people will be introduced to buying and using hand made pottery. So other potters are like an advertisement for all of our work. I also really enjoy owning other potter's pieces that I use in my kitchen, etc.



#8 deHues

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:15 PM

Well, Oh dear, the woman I spoke to yesterday has a few kilns. She said to fire a full load to cone 10 would be $250. and the bisque fire would also be $250. Yikes!! So maybe the best bet would be for me to continue my Craigs list search for a used kiln and maybe put it in my daughters garage. Although it would be so great to find another potter to share the firing with.

#9 Lucille Oka

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:21 PM

I am sad to hear about this difficulty. But the person you spoke to is not the first person to overcharge or price 'gouge'. You offered to do a workshop in exchange for firing and she still said you must pay $250? That is sad. Don't worry you will find a way to fire. Keep looking and keep on asking. Do not be discouraged.
I had a rethink of this issue. I won't delete this one but see the next post.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#10 Lucille Oka

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:02 AM

I forgot to ask you, how large are the community center kilns? I paid (a few years ago) $60 per cubic feet for each firing of bisque and of glaze. I did not do the loading or the unloading. I had no control over any of the firing process.


As I now look at the price you were quoted, it is not a gouge but a reasonable cost. It did sound expensive at first but if you load a lot of work, it may not be a bad idea to do it.


I have been thinking and discussing the issue about the charges you were quoted. If the community center has large kilns you can fire a very large load. Also you can always incorporate into the price of the ware the cost of the firing. Also if you are going to do the loading or at least participate this may not be such a bad deal after all.

If you decide to do it, it is time to examine your work and see what is sellable and what can be delayed for firing. I recommend that you plan the loading for the most economical use of the space especially in the glaze firing because these pieces cannot touch as they can in the bisque firing.
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#11 teardrop

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:33 AM

I had the same problem @ my community College. The kilns just sit there unused most of the time, restricted by "policy". While I >understand< the jist of this decision and the problems that could arise by renting out kiln space...by the same token...as in my community...I was told by school Admin that the Pottery classes aren't paying their way and I've heard rumblings that the entire program could go by the wayside if >something< doesn't change. Stuff like that pisses me off because i pay a sizeable chunk of property tax on my home that subsidizes a part of the school...including setting up this studio and the 4 kilns onsite....and when I see resources being wasted/unused I paid good money for (like the 10-15K soda kiln they have never fired) it ticks me off.

If it were me I would go the route of buying a used kiln (lots listed on Inland empire CL compared to Denver listings!) and putting it in yer daughter's garage. For the cost of one load you should be able to snag the kiln...and for the cost of another...get it wired up/etc. After that...it's all gravy!

good luck on your quest!

teardrop
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#12 GEP

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 02:55 PM

Well, Oh dear, the woman I spoke to yesterday has a few kilns. She said to fire a full load to cone 10 would be $250. and the bisque fire would also be $250. Yikes!! So maybe the best bet would be for me to continue my Craigs list search for a used kiln and maybe put it in my daughters garage. Although it would be so great to find another potter to share the firing with.


$250 per firing does not sound unreasonable to me. Especially if you consider how many pots you can fire if you plan your kiln load smartly. Here's some perspective from the kiln owner's point of view. Years ago, I offered to fire some pots for another potter. It was a real hassle and I won't do it again. Her pots were so large and strangly shaped, made by a person who never owned a kiln, therefore she did not think about kiln loading when she made her pots. When you are the one paying the electric bill, firing the kiln with lots of wasted space is very irritating. I wish I had thought of making her fire an entire kiln load for $250, so if she wanted to waste the space it would be at her own expense. And then I had to deal with her time deadlines, and her expectations for the finished pots. Not fun. I'd say $250 might be just enough to make that experience worthwhile.

Even if you find a cheap used kiln, it is a big investment to fire and maintain it. Space, time, work, electricity, elements, thermocouples. I now consider the space inside my kiln to be a very personal space. I don't want to share it, especially with anyone who does not seem to understand the value. I recommend that you continue to look for a community center with a busy pottery program, where their processes are geared towards community firing, and you can have your work fired for a reasonable price. And if you can't find that, then I agree with Lucille, plan your kiln loads as efficiently as possible for the $250 firings.

Edit: just for a basis for comparison, at the community center where I teach, the cost for basic studio/kiln access and an average number of pots fired is about $400-$450 per year.

Mea
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#13 Dinah

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:25 PM

To deHues: Oh dear, oh dear. Some very punitive costs being bandied about for some simple firings. Unless, LOL, you've stipulated a byzantine firing schedule to prospective <LA Kilns>. Kilns can be programmed to do fast firings for oxidized shiney glazes, or very, very slower down firings for more matt and crystalline glazes. Don't be alarmed by a discrepancy in hours and times and prices.

Well, IMHO, time for some thinking about the big move to somewhere you can acquire and get the electrics sorted for your kiln. If you want independence from community center politics and byzantine firing schedules set at the whims of beleaguered site managers, and want very much to pursue your vision of What Clay is All About, then this sounds like you are on the cusp of the ideal time to take time and search out a venue. Sorry not to be cozy and proactive, but sometimes if you want to make a break you have to make...a break.
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#14 deHues

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:23 PM

Thank you for all your comments and help with this dilemma. I think I will just slow down and appreciate being able to take these classes at the college for now. I can still take two more semesters after this one. Maybe in a year and a half it will all work out clearly what my next step should be.

#15 neilestrick

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:04 AM

Oh dear, oh dear. Some very punitive costs being bandied about for some simple firings.


As someone who occasionally fires for other people, I have to disagree with that statement. I don't think there is anything punitive about the $250 price for a firing, especially if you are paying a business, not just a friend. I'm assuming it's a gas kiln since you're going to cone 10. Someone is going to have to prep the shelves, load the kiln, tend to it during the firing, and use their expertise and knowledge of the kiln to make sure it fires properly. All in all, they are going to be actively working on the kiln or on call to check on it and adjust it for 10 hours or more. So if you take out the $50 minimum for the cost of the gas, that means you're paying $20 per hour for their work, not to mention wear and tear on the kiln. That's a steal. I get $75 per hour for kiln repair or anything else I do. I have to , because I am running a business. Would I charge a friend that much to fire the kiln in my basement? Heck no! Cost of electricity and a beer. But as a business, I've got overhead and bills to pay, and if you want to use my equipment you're going to pay for it. Plus, in a kiln that size you can easily fit $2000 worth of pots or more.

Also on that note, I rarely fire for anyone other than my students. It's not worth the hassle and the risk of something bad getting into my kiln ('of course it's a high fire clay...'). My general rule is my equipment= my clay and my glazes used under my watch. Call me stingy, but I've got a $7000 kiln I don't want ruined. So most people who want me to fire for them sign up for my classes. It's cheaper for them in the end, and they make new friends and learn new skills. Less hassle for me, more benefits for them.
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#16 Lucille Oka

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:21 AM

Neil, we were never told the size of the kilns, the question was never answered. Or did I miss it?
There are electric kilns that can fire to cone ten you know this. If the offer was to use large kilns (10cu.ft.) this would've been a real coup and a great opportunity to help load it. I am sure it would've been a welcomed request; these large kilns take hours to prep and load.
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#17 bciskepottery

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:16 AM

At the studio I teach at, a full bisque load (7 cu.ft. electric kiln) is $80. A cone 6 glaze load (7 cu.ft. electric) is $100 if you don't use studio glazes; $150 if you use studio glazes. A cone 10 load (Bailey gas kiln) is $250 if you don't use studio glazes, $300 if you use studio glazes. Store does the loading/firing.

#18 neilestrick

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:37 AM

Neil, we were never told the size of the kilns, the question was never answered. Or did I miss it?
There are electric kilns that can fire to cone ten you know this. If the offer was to use large kilns (10cu.ft.) this would've been a real coup and a great opportunity to help load it. I am sure it would've been a welcomed request; these large kilns take hours to prep and load.


OP said cone 6 and cone 10 pots in her studio. When she said the price to fire to cone 10, assumed gas because 99% of the world fires cone 10 in reduction. My bad if I assumed too much.
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#19 Lucille Oka

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:29 PM

99% of the world???
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#20 neilestrick

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

99% of the world???


As in 99% of the people who fire to cone 10 do so in reduction, not oxidation.
Neil Estrick
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www.neilestrickgallery.com

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