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Wanting to buy an Electric Kiln.... Need Help


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#1 Donna N

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:15 AM

HELP!!! I am a NUBIE!!!!!! That is mild. Just starting out and I want to make sure that I invest in the right type of Kiln to do the items that I want to make. I am interested in a little bit of everything.....Jack of all trades, master of none....... LOL!!!

I want to make glass items, beads, metal and some pottery. I have done some research, but figured it was best to get the input from the specialist! I am looking to spend around 1500 to 2000.00 to start off.

I have tried to find a chart comparison of different types of kilns by different makers, but not having much success. I would really appreciate any type of help.

Also, I have looked on the Kiln-Frog website and they have a beginners class on glass. Wondering if this would be a good start. I live in Alabama, but will be in the Lakeland, FL area in a couple of weeks.

Thanks in advance for any input. Look forward to sharing my future work with you guys :)

Donna

#2 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:35 AM

It looks like a good site for a company. If you are able to take a class there, that would be helpful for you. I haven't used a kiln for both glass and pottery. Glass requires a low temperature, and an annealing cycle as far as I know.
Take the class and try to talk to the techs there. Find out as much as you can about the needs of a kiln for glass beads...might as well include slumping glass which you may grow into.

Then do more research to see what qualities you need for both and if it is feasible to use one kiln.

Marcia

#3 Donna N

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:04 AM

It looks like a good site for a company. If you are able to take a class there, that would be helpful for you. I haven't used a kiln for both glass and pottery. Glass requires a low temperature, and an annealing cycle as far as I know.
Take the class and try to talk to the techs there. Find out as much as you can about the needs of a kiln for glass beads...might as well include slumping glass which you may grow into.

Then do more research to see what qualities you need for both and if it is feasible to use one kiln.

Marcia



Thanks for the input. I really do want to do the glass slumping more than the glass beads. More my style. I will definitely take the class and go from there.

Thanks again!! :)

Donna

#4 JustaWhittle

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:50 PM

I am by no means an expert on this but I have done a bit of glass slumping years ago with someone else and it was in a kiln that was normally used for pottery. It was fired much lower and then at a temperature when the glass was melted I remember we had to shock it by holding open the kiln to allow it to cool ( I think that's how I remember it but I was just following instruction and it was a while ago) the only other thing I would comment on is if you are going to be doing glass beads etc and pottery pieces the scale/size of your kiln would need to be different. It would take forever to make enough glass bead to do in my medium sized electric kiln and also you wouldn't want one of those tiny little glass kilns for pottery as you might fit one large piece!

#5 JohnnyK

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 12:47 PM

I have a friend who is a glass artist and I spoke to her about doing glass in a ceramic kiln and she suggested against it.

She said that there may be contaminants from the firing and glazing processes that may affect the glass products. I would speak to your glass suppliers to get their input on any possible cross contamination. If they feel there wouldn't be a problem, I would suggest that you use shelves dedicated to glass for your glass projects and shelves dedicated to ceramics for those projects and keep them labeled and separate from each other. 



#6 Mart

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 05:19 AM

You need a good controller for your kiln. What I mean by that, you must be able to program controlled cooling for the kiln. Ask your glass guy for advice. Kilns with "low", "medium" and "hot" will probably not do the trick for both, clay and glass.



#7 Pugaboo

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:46 AM

I know nothing about glass working but when I was looking for a kiln I found several from Olympic Kilns, other brands probably have them as well, that were called dual media kilns which are designed to fire ceramics and glass. They have a lid element for glass fusing, don't know if that's what you need or not but you might do a search online for Dual Media Kilns and see what pops up, if nothing else at least you will learn a bit more about the different typed of kilns out there.
Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#8 kathleenMK

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 06:32 PM

Donna you sound like me. I am a bit of a pyro enjoying clay, glass and a little metal work and joke about being a kiln collector. (4 but only 1 useable currently)

 

Purist who do fine glass work will tell you you need a separate glass kiln with elements in the lid for more even heat. However you can do a lot of glass in a ceramic kiln with a computer controller. Glass needs a ramp/hold firing schedule where the temperature is held at certain stages. For slumped wine bottle and fused jewelry a small ceramic kiln will do fine. And I 've found I really don't have to do that flash venting or opening a hot kiln to cool the glass.  If you use slump molds or firing paper you can use the same shelves for glass and clay.

Kilns designed for glass may not get hot enough for your claywork especially if you like stoneware. So a ceramic kiln would be a good start for you. I'm partial to Paragon Kilns because they are in my neighborhood and that's what has been in all the schools where I've taught. There are other well known brands that might be in your area and they all work about the same and you can  go crazy trying to compare their different extras.

The big thing to check is the wiring and plug. I got a hot deal on a big used kiln but after taking 3 people to haul it into my garage I found out that the big plug was not the same as my dryer plug and it would cost more than the kiln to have the house rewired with the 60 amps it needs. Check you house's fuse box to find out if you would have enough wiring if you get something bigger than a standard outlet.

Good luck finding a kiln.



#9 neilestrick

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:04 PM

I have several students who do glass work in their pottery kilns with no problem. I don't see how there can be a risk of contamination from firing pots in the same kiln, since glass and glazes are made form the same materials. Elements in the lid are not necessary, however you may have to slow down the firing for very wide pieces to get them to slump evenly. You usually hear these 'requirements' from glass people who have never used a pottery kiln. 

 

Many glass kilns are not rated for the high temperatures that you may want to do in pottery, like cone 6. I recommend buying a pottery kiln for that reason.

 

If you have any questions about L&L Kilns feel free to contact me.


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#10 Benzine

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:32 PM

Neil,

 

I've mentioned before, that I have a L&L in my classroom.  Are there any lesser known tips or tricks with the kilns, especially when it comes to firing and the controller?  Or are there any no-nos you've heard of people doing?


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#11 neilestrick

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:21 AM

Neil,

 

I've mentioned before, that I have a L&L in my classroom.  Are there any lesser known tips or tricks with the kilns, especially when it comes to firing and the controller?  Or are there any no-nos you've heard of people doing?

One of my students slumps very wide glass platters, over 20" in diameter. She found that with the pre-programmed slumping schedule the edges got too soft and the middle didn't slump enough. She ended up lowering the final temp and slowing down the final climb, to keep the edges from overheating and giving the middle time to catch up. With smaller pieces she doesn't really have any problems, just loads it up like loading pots. Just remember that any firing schedule for glass is just a starting point, and may require tweaking to get it to work right for you.


Neil Estrick
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Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

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#12 Benzine

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:55 AM

I only fired ceramic in my kilns, so no worries, regarding glass. 


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"




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