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ambersol

Small Studio Design Considerations

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ambersol    0

hi everyone--i inherited a small cone 10 skutt kiln (KS manual kiln) and a brent wheel. a friend and i are thinking to form a small clay co-op. both of us have taken ceramic classes but are not professional potters. another friend has offered to build an 8x8 studio shed in my backyard. we'll either buy a pre-fab kit or he'll build one himself out of wood or siding, have a plywood floor set on cement blocks below, and place the kiln on cement pavers. there will be two large windows on the east and west walls and a double swing door to the south, so i'm thinking a vent isn't necesarry, though after reading the forum discussion on this topic, i might change my mind. we don't plan on working in the building when the kiln is firing, though i suppose we'd need to check the cones. any design recommendations/advice on building a studio would be appreciated. we'll have electricity in the shed, but no running water.

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Chris Campbell    1,084

I would recommend venting the kiln ... you don't think you'll be working in there during a firing

but then something happens and you have to ... and then pretty soon you are regularly working

in there ... best to just do it while you are building it.

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hi everyone--i inherited a small cone 10 skutt kiln (KS manual kiln) and a brent wheel. a friend and i are thinking to form a small clay co-op. both of us have taken ceramic classes but are not professional potters. another friend has offered to build an 8x8 studio shed in my backyard. we'll either buy a pre-fab kit or he'll build one himself out of wood or siding, have a plywood floor set on cement blocks below, and place the kiln on cement pavers. there will be two large windows on the east and west walls and a double swing door to the south, so i'm thinking a vent isn't necesarry, though after reading the forum discussion on this topic, i might change my mind. we don't plan on working in the building when the kiln is firing, though i suppose we'd need to check the cones. any design recommendations/advice on building a studio would be appreciated. we'll have electricity in the shed, but no running water.

 

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An electric kiln produces a lot of heat, requires 220 V wiring (unless a small 110 V one) and should be vented. The best vent is one that draws air out of the kiln through a fan to the outside. Your bigger problem is the 8 x 8 shed. You can go to SKUTT's websit and download the users manual if you know the model number. It will show you the setback from different wall surfaces. Wood is the worse. If you are going to build with wood, you will find that at least 18 inches is required, and possibly with a metal heat shield. If it is a 3 foot diameter kiln, this is a width of 6 feet side to side and 18 inches behind you are now filling up more than half of your space just for the kiln. You need at least a place to put the kiln furniture, and a shelf to stack your wares waiting to be loaded. You will find that an 8x8 structure will house only one kiln and no room to expand if your co-op takes off. Build big.

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ambersol    0

thanks for the feedback. perhaps it would be better to have the kiln in a separate small structure protected from the elements yet open enough to allow ventilation.

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Christine    4

hi everyone--i inherited a small cone 10 skutt kiln (KS manual kiln) and a brent wheel. a friend and i are thinking to form a small clay co-op. both of us have taken ceramic classes but are not professional potters. another friend has offered to build an 8x8 studio shed in my backyard. we'll either buy a pre-fab kit or he'll build one himself out of wood or siding, have a plywood floor set on cement blocks below, and place the kiln on cement pavers. there will be two large windows on the east and west walls and a double swing door to the south, so i'm thinking a vent isn't necesarry, though after reading the forum discussion on this topic, i might change my mind. we don't plan on working in the building when the kiln is firing, though i suppose we'd need to check the cones. any design recommendations/advice on building a studio would be appreciated. we'll have electricity in the shed, but no running water.

 

 

 

Hi .... my outdoor studio is in a 12x8 shed in my garden and contains a vented kiln in the corner opposite the door. I had a platform and two walls built about 6" from the shed wall in this corner and lined it with stone floor tiles. The kiln stands on the tiled platform with a 4" gap between it and the two tiled corner walls. This protects the shed walls and provides a nice firing area. This shed studio has served me very well for many years and I still use it in the summer or when the weather's warm. Good luck - I wish you every success with your project

Christine

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Guest Sherman   
Guest Sherman

thanks for the feedback. perhaps it would be better to have the kiln in a separate small structure protected from the elements yet open enough to allow ventilation.

 

 

ambersol,

 

This is the best possible solution. My studio is in the basement of my house, but my kilns are in the garage for this very reason. Even if your kiln is in an adjacent space, physically separated by walls, partitions, etc., you still need to make sure the kiln exhaust does not come back through your workspace. If a separate kiln structure is upwind from your studio door, you're only addressing part of the issue. To echo what Chris said: When you get an itch to be in the studio, trust me, you'll find a way to justify working in there when the kiln is firing. Vent, vent, vent---well above the roof so that the exhaust can dissipate more efficiently.

 

So exciting to be making a studio!

 

Sherman

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

hi everyone--i inherited a small cone 10 skutt kiln (KS manual kiln) and a brent wheel. a friend and i are thinking to form a small clay co-op. both of us have taken ceramic classes but are not professional potters. another friend has offered to build an 8x8 studio shed in my backyard. we'll either buy a pre-fab kit or he'll build one himself out of wood or siding, have a plywood floor set on cement blocks below, and place the kiln on cement pavers. there will be two large windows on the east and west walls and a double swing door to the south, so i'm thinking a vent isn't necesarry, though after reading the forum discussion on this topic, i might change my mind. we don't plan on working in the building when the kiln is firing, though i suppose we'd need to check the cones. any design recommendations/advice on building a studio would be appreciated. we'll have electricity in the shed, but no running water.

 

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

With such a small space for working, I'd recommend keeping the kiln outside. I had two kilns on my covered back patio. There was a roof and two sides to protect the kiln and I covered it when not in use. You need to keep it dry, so a roof and several sides are necessary. I lived in Montana and the kiln didn't rust. I south texas, even inside my kilns are rusting. Just remember to keep any combustible walls 18" from the kiln.

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hansen    3

hi everyone--i inherited a small cone 10 skutt kiln (KS manual kiln) and a brent wheel. a friend and i are thinking to form a small clay co-op. both of us have taken ceramic classes but are not professional potters. another friend has offered to build an 8x8 studio shed in my backyard. we'll either buy a pre-fab kit or he'll build one himself out of wood or siding, have a plywood floor set on cement blocks below, and place the kiln on cement pavers. there will be two large windows on the east and west walls and a double swing door to the south, so i'm thinking a vent isn't necesarry, though after reading the forum discussion on this topic, i might change my mind. we don't plan on working in the building when the kiln is firing, though i suppose we'd need to check the cones. any design recommendations/advice on building a studio would be appreciated. we'll have electricity in the shed, but no running water.

 

 

My L & L kiln provided standard operating proceedures of a minimum of 3 feet between kiln and any flammable surface. I have kept good with that. I'd look into what Skutt says - but probably the same thing. Anyway you can get a metal shed and not have to worry about that. I don't vent my detached cinder block garage & don't see the necessity. Amazing how much cinder block is around when you look for it, maybe that and corrogated metal roof?

h a n s e n

 

 

 

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Lucy    0

Hey. I have an 8x16 kiln shed, only for firing and some storage so if you get serious about this venture you'll be tight on space. My shed is wood w/ concrete pavers under the kiln, 3 windows, and a double door. I use 2 fans w/ doors and windows open and it still gets well over 100 degrees in there. For me a kiln run usually takes 30+ hours, so that's lots of time you wouldn't be working in the shed. I live in the south and have had trouble with the kiln shutting off (Skutt 1027 KM) due to the board overheating. I did not vent and this might not be a problem if I had. Many summer days are too hot to run the kiln.

 

I'd concur with the idea of getting as much space now as possible.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

hi everyone--i inherited a small cone 10 skutt kiln (KS manual kiln) and a brent wheel. a friend and i are thinking to form a small clay co-op. both of us have taken ceramic classes but are not professional potters. another friend has offered to build an 8x8 studio shed in my backyard. we'll either buy a pre-fab kit or he'll build one himself out of wood or siding, have a plywood floor set on cement blocks below, and place the kiln on cement pavers. there will be two large windows on the east and west walls and a double swing door to the south, so i'm thinking a vent isn't necesarry, though after reading the forum discussion on this topic, i might change my mind. we don't plan on working in the building when the kiln is firing, though i suppose we'd need to check the cones. any design recommendations/advice on building a studio would be appreciated. we'll have electricity in the shed, but no running water.

 

 

My L & L kiln provided standard operating proceedures of a minimum of 3 feet between kiln and any flammable surface. I have kept good with that. I'd look into what Skutt says - but probably the same thing. Anyway you can get a metal shed and not have to worry about that. I don't vent my detached cinder block garage & don't see the necessity. Amazing how much cinder block is around when you look for it, maybe that and corrogated metal roof?

h a n s e n

 

Eric,

I am concerned that the L & L standards are 36". Always follows the manufacturer's recommended installation. However, my kilns (Cress, Crucibles, Paragon, and Olympic) have recommended 18". Maybe it depends on the quality of insulation?

This needs to be looked into.

Marcia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jeri    0

So very exciting to be building a studio! My studio is currently in a 9x10 spare room of the house. I find it to be a little on the small side, but my kiln is outside in the garage and vented to help keep the fumes away and allow me to continue working day or night. So, vent, vent, vent, and most of all, enjoy yourself!

 

thanks for the feedback. perhaps it would be better to have the kiln in a separate small structure protected from the elements yet open enough to allow ventilation.

 

 

ambersol,

 

This is the best possible solution. My studio is in the basement of my house, but my kilns are in the garage for this very reason. Even if your kiln is in an adjacent space, physically separated by walls, partitions, etc., you still need to make sure the kiln exhaust does not come back through your workspace. If a separate kiln structure is upwind from your studio door, you're only addressing part of the issue. To echo what Chris said: When you get an itch to be in the studio, trust me, you'll find a way to justify working in there when the kiln is firing. Vent, vent, vent---well above the roof so that the exhaust can dissipate more efficiently.

 

So exciting to be making a studio!

 

Sherman

 

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ambersol    0

i wanted to thank each of you for taking the time to give your input--what a great way to "meet" people with similar passions and learn so much. here's an update: yesterday we moved the 5x8 low metal garden shed (and some resident native geckos and cockroaches) over to the nw corner of the yard. now its easier to visualize the new shed. we're still leaning toward an 8x8x8 (possibly up to 10 feet in length) structure, though now it has morphed into a more substantially-built building with either good siding or corrugated metal outside, insulation and drywall inside, a possible wall a/c, and a sealed concrete floor. the north wall will be close to the existing cement block wall that surrounds 3 sides of our property. we'll have 4x4 casement(?) windows on the east and west sides, and two 2 1/2 foot doors on the south side that swing out--plenty of light and ventilation. because of space limitations in the yard, we decided to keep the 2x2 foot kiln inside, most likely with a vent, since any location for it outside would be either closer to our 600sf adobe home, which we'd like to avoid, or right next to the studio (in which case the bad air would be close by anyway). the 18" away from walls that skutt recommended will be achieved by putting the kiln on a metal pad with lockable casters/wheels on the bottom. we figure we can move the kiln to the center of the room when firing (we really don't plan to be there when it's firing---vent or no vent! too hot to be around for long especially in tucson's heat right now). our thinking is to have most items easily movable, like a central work table on wheels that can be moved out of the way when firing, perhaps even taken outside when the weather is right.

well, that's the plan on paper anyway--! all this started out as a simple kiln covering in order to fire some tiles from a neighborhood park bench tiling project...then i thought, why not have space for a wheel, and then...

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MerryMary    0

I too have inherited a couple of manual kilns. I wanted to know if using cement board against the walls could reduce the setback requirement. My studio is also small. Also, would you recommend the enviro-vent type system or the vent-a-kiln hood type system? I'm leaning toward the hood type, since I have two kilns, but I hear you speaking of better results with a little air movement in the kiln.

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ArtView    2

I added the cement boards to the wall since I am working in a small studio. But I also added a rolling stand and move the kiln away from the wall during firings. Enjoy your creative space!

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clay lover    133

I started with a 12/12 space, the feed room of the stable, already had a sink and hot water, but had to add$$$$$$$$$$$$$ electrics. With the kiln outside under a roof in the main stable area,on a cement pad. Then I added a 12/20 portable building joined to the existing building.

I teach low level hand building classes top pay for my studio, and have paid for most of it, but I shop thrift stores for building materials and tables, got 3X5 old school tables for $5. going out of business stores produced shelving and peg board,

 

The best advice I got was to put EVERYTHING on rollers,The big table rolls out from the corner when I use it for classes, goes back to the corner when I am in there myself. the smaller work table rolls up over my wheel for times when I am handbuilding, pulls back to access the wheel and is low enought to roll up under the taller table to make more floor space . all bats are on a rolling cocktail table from the junque store, I roll it up under the slab roller that is oposite my wheel, pull it out when needed. Even the glaze buckets are on rolling plant stands, 5$ from big lots.

 

Other good idea, I panneled the walls all the way around with peg board, there is never enough storage, it is very helpful, and I can re arrange things if what I am doing changes.

 

 

Most things I get into tend to grow, so I would plan ways to expand, if I were you. or me, I guess

Happy potting, I love my home made studio, it is funky, on the farm, in the barn and a happy place, birds singing, cats and dogs, I live out there, with a fridge and microwave and coffee pot, good tunes, why go to the house?

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hansen    3

I too have inherited a couple of manual kilns. I wanted to know if using cement board against the walls could reduce the setback requirement. My studio is also small. Also, would you recommend the enviro-vent type system or the vent-a-kiln hood type system? I'm leaning toward the hood type, since I have two kilns, but I hear you speaking of better results with a little air movement in the kiln.

 

 

Or fiber board, like fiber blanket, they are high alumina refractory products. Maybe stucco panels, that is how stucco comes now. If you put the kiln on casters, they need to be locking casters. This could help with the space problems.

 

 

 

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Happy potting, I love my home made studio, it is funky, on the farm, in the barn and a happy place, birds singing, cats and dogs, I live out there, with a fridge and microwave and coffee pot, good tunes, why go to the house?

 

 

Would love to see photos of the various studios, it is so neat to see different folks' solutions to space and money obstacles.

Oh, and I would love to be a recipient of a kiln and wheel, or a slabroller....

I work at a chair in the spare bedroom, my jars of glaze in bins on the floor around my chair, brushes, sponge, towel and water on the end table next to the chair, and the piece I am glazing on a tray in my lap.

Help! I need a studio space to call my own :)

 

 

 

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CarlCravens    58

I work at a chair in the spare bedroom, my jars of glaze in bins on the floor around my chair, brushes, sponge, towel and water on the end table next to the chair, and the piece I am glazing on a tray in my lap.

 

 

You make my nook off the side of the laundry room sound spacious. (At least I've got "the shed" for operations that take a lot of room, like reclaiming clay, but I like having my wheel in a climate-controlled space. I'd only throw about two months out of the year if I had to do it out in the shed.)

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hansen    3

karen - i'd love to send pix but i am still challenged on hoe to turn 1800+ mg in to less than 500

h a n s e n

 

 

Happy potting, I love my home made studio, it is funky, on the farm, in the barn and a happy place, birds singing, cats and dogs, I live out there, with a fridge and microwave and coffee pot, good tunes, why go to the house?

 

 

Would love to see photos of the various studios, it is so neat to see different folks' solutions to space and money obstacles.

Oh, and I would love to be a recipient of a kiln and wheel, or a slabroller....

I work at a chair in the spare bedroom, my jars of glaze in bins on the floor around my chair, brushes, sponge, towel and water on the end table next to the chair, and the piece I am glazing on a tray in my lap.

Help! I need a studio space to call my own :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ambersol    0

hi y'all--it's great to hear what other clay lovers have to work in and with. the clay co-op project is coming along now as an 8x12 foot shed. i bought two 5x4 sliding and one 3x4 single-hung windows 35% off at lowe's (low-e but not enough for the current tax credit). should be nice and bright inside! chris is looking for french doors on craig's list. till then, joe our construction guy can make his own. concrete pour may happen this week (we're getting estimates). re: getting a wheel/kiln/pug mill, you never know. chris' sister-in-law just had a baby and forsees being too busy for her wheel, thus loaning it to chris for a while (possibly to sell or as a gift). another neighbor is moving out of town and gave us some great 8-ft. shelves. serendipity happens:) can't wait to start working with clay again, especially after reading different posts on these forums...

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