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Glass Kiln Vs. Ceramic...can't Make Up My Mind


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#1 bandonart

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:29 AM

Hello, all. I was formerly an active member but a change of e-address left me missing my favorite forum. Pilot error, now fixed.

I am respectfully asking for advice. I have been an avid fan of my precious Paragon Home Artist kiln for nearly two years. I bought it before I ever even took a class but knew if I didn't commit myself via a kiln purchase, I would never get off my duff and start out on my lifelong dream of becoming a potter. Then, along the way, I wound up being a glass artist as well, enjoying paid fruits of my labor in a local gallery. Now, I am in the position of needing to purchase a larger kiln to accommodate the orders for glass work at the gallery. I adore ceramics, however, and have no intention of limiting myself with a glass kiln purchase. I still want cone 8 (or 10 someday), a fully programmable kiln with ramp/hold as well as cone capabilities, and am even considering a front loading kiln to help with a fused back situation. I've tried to load a friend's Skutt 1227 but cannot reach the bottom safely. Additionally, due to my location, I've decided to stay with an electric kiln.

I have been reading posts about used kilns and have found one on Craig's list (a six year old Cress with furniture for $450.00) but it is not digital and does not have elements in the lid. I realize this is primarily a ceramics forum. I'd like to add that to date I have had (to my knowledge) good results with my Paragon which also does not have lid elements. Maybe I don't even need lid elements...I've heard a lot of talk in that direction but cannot find a forum to which I can address this question.


So, this leads me to my request for assistance from you folks. If the kiln looks good, would this be a good price IF I COULD RETROFIT IT WITH A DIGITAL CONTROLLER? Does anyone have anything to offer about the ease and success of such a conversion? Obviously, I'd check with the folks at Cress but I'd like an objective opinion from people with nothing to gain! And, is there truly any advantage to having lid elements? It would be nice to know I had every option available to me, but as I said previously, I've had great success thus far, just need the additional firing space that a larger kiln can offer. The price of the used Cress isn't really as important as knowing I've invested in the correct tool for my trade.

Anyone out there who has gone through a similar situation? Anyone have any gut instincts for me? I appreciate any assistance you can send my way. I'd like to get this decision behind me so I can a) get some sleep, B) do something besides research this topic and c) get some sleep...I think I already said that.

Take care,

Sue
bandonARTS

#2 AmeriSwede

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:37 AM

My two cents, from the background of glass artist to ceramics.

Overhead elements are not really that important if you are utilizing warm-casting techniques (using plaster molds within the kiln). If your emphasis is on fusing and slumping then the overhead elements are more critical to the success of the work, without the sheets of glass cracking (from areas of different heat rates - center to edge of the sheets). This is most critical for larger sheets of glass as small jewelry projects (earrings, brooches,etc) generally aren't as susceptible to these thermal stresses upon heat-up.

Many years ago, I purchased a SKUTT 818 porcelain kiln (cone 10) with just a kiln sitter and purchased a digital controller the kiln plugged into. I used this for 'annealor investment casting' of glass pieces as thick as 3"-4", with nary a problem. Next month I'll be purchasing a SKUTT 1227 for initial ceramic work, but I know in the future, I'll be using it again for glass casting as well.


------Rick



Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it. (Fernand Leger
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#3 bandonart

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 10:58 PM

Dear AmeriSwede...

Oddly, you have/are going to purchase the very same two Skutt kilns I have been examining. And your advice/experience is exactly what mine has been. However, the critical advice you gave me is that LARGER PIECES are different from SMALLER PIECES. Currently, my round shelves measure 10" and I assumed that if I was doing well with no lid elements, then I could continue expecting that result. However, All the kilns I have seriously considered have significantly larger shelves and without your advice about the lid elements, I would likely have experienced cracking and not have known the reason. I think I'll stay on the prowl for the perfect kiln with lid elements and start working my way toward the new experience.

Thank you so much for that critical piece of information!

Take care,

Sue

#4 AmeriSwede

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 01:25 PM

Dear AmeriSwede...

Oddly, you have/are going to purchase the very same two Skutt kilns I have been examining. And your advice/experience is exactly what mine has been. However, the critical advice you gave me is that LARGER PIECES are different from SMALLER PIECES. Currently, my round shelves measure 10" and I assumed that if I was doing well with no lid elements, then I could continue expecting that result. However, All the kilns I have seriously considered have significantly larger shelves and without your advice about the lid elements, I would likely have experienced cracking and not have known the reason. I think I'll stay on the prowl for the perfect kiln with lid elements and start working my way toward the new experience.

Thank you so much for that critical piece of information!

Take care,

Sue



Your welcome, wish you luck on your endeavor.

P.S. is 'bandonart' as in Bandon, Oregon?


------Rick



Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it. (Fernand Leger
)

#5 bandonart

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:43 AM

P.S. is 'bandonart' as in Bandon, Oregon?


Yes, indeedy. Do you know Bandon?




#6 AmeriSwede

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 12:21 AM

P.S. is 'bandonart' as in Bandon, Oregon?


Yes, indeedy. Do you know Bandon?




I'm originally from E. Oregon, later lived in Eugene & Portland, prior to moving to Florida and then (now) Sweden. I recall there was a glass studio of hot glass near Bandon, if I'm not mistaken (read about it in the paper). Was that you?

Love the cheese, as well...lol


------Rick



Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it. (Fernand Leger
)

#7 pent19

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 11:44 AM

Hello, all. I was formerly an active member but a change of e-address left me missing my favorite forum. Pilot error, now fixed.

I am respectfully asking for advice. I have been an avid fan of my precious Paragon Home Artist kiln for nearly two years. I bought it before I ever even took a class but knew if I didn't commit myself via a kiln purchase, I would never get off my duff and start out on my lifelong dream of becoming a potter. Then, along the way, I wound up being a glass artist as well, enjoying paid fruits of my labor in a local gallery. Now, I am in the position of needing to purchase a larger kiln to accommodate the orders for glass work at the gallery. I adore ceramics, however, and have no intention of limiting myself with a glass kiln purchase. I still want cone 8 (or 10 someday), a fully programmable kiln with ramp/hold as well as cone capabilities, and am even considering a front loading kiln to help with a fused back situation. I've tried to load a friend's Skutt 1227 but cannot reach the bottom safely. Additionally, due to my location, I've decided to stay with an electric kiln.

I have been reading posts about used kilns and have found one on Craig's list (a six year old Cress with furniture for $450.00) but it is not digital and does not have elements in the lid. I realize this is primarily a ceramics forum. I'd like to add that to date I have had (to my knowledge) good results with my Paragon which also does not have lid elements. Maybe I don't even need lid elements...I've heard a lot of talk in that direction but cannot find a forum to which I can address this question.


So, this leads me to my request for assistance from you folks. If the kiln looks good, would this be a good price IF I COULD RETROFIT IT WITH A DIGITAL CONTROLLER? Does anyone have anything to offer about the ease and success of such a conversion? Obviously, I'd check with the folks at Cress but I'd like an objective opinion from people with nothing to gain! And, is there truly any advantage to having lid elements? It would be nice to know I had every option available to me, but as I said previously, I've had great success thus far, just need the additional firing space that a larger kiln can offer. The price of the used Cress isn't really as important as knowing I've invested in the correct tool for my trade.

Anyone out there who has gone through a similar situation? Anyone have any gut instincts for me? I appreciate any assistance you can send my way. I'd like to get this decision behind me so I can a) get some sleep, Posted Image do something besides research this topic and c) get some sleep...I think I already said that.

Take care,

Sue
bandonARTS






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