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How To Fire Without A Kiln?


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#1 Davidpotter

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:11 PM

Right now i do not have the money for a kiln and do not anywhere to put one. However i would like to actually have my stuff fired and get the ball roll on selling my work. So my question is: Do you think other potters in my area (there are a few around here, Cambridge wisconsin) would fire my work if i paid them? How do I ask someone this?


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#2 Chris Campbell

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:40 PM

Yes, they would if you asked nicely and offered to pay and made no demands for perfection in the results. What makes potters nervous is the other persons expectations of wonderful results when no one can guarantee this. Good luck!

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#3 nancylee

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:56 PM

If you were in my area, which you are not, I would let you rent my kiln. I don't know what I would charge, though. I know some people charge around $100, which seems really high, as the kiln doesn't cost 1/5 that much to run. I would not, however, fire above cone 5 or 6. I don't fire higher, but from what I have read around here, it takes its toll on a kiln.

Good luck,

Nancy


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#4 weeble

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:46 PM

I fire for people outside the pottery group from time to time, but they have to properly answer a few key questions first so I can determine if I'll do it or not.  Usually its just one or two items, but sometimes its a shelf or two.  I charge based on how much work they want fired (ok, I'll admit, there IS a PITA factor involved!)

 

First, they have to know (not 'think', not guess, KNOW) what clay and glaze they are working with and what the proper cone for firing is.  "I don't know" is an automatic 'Sorry, but no, I can't fire that.'  Because we're a local art association, I get a lot of 'oh I made this years ago but never got it fired, can you?' I have to protect the kiln, so I end up turning a lot of people down.  I also look at the item and the construction, and I must admit  I've turned down a few doorstops that were just so badly constructed I figured they'd be... well, explosive.  

 

For work that looks good and they're able to answer questions about the clay, I'll go ahead and cautiously fire it.  Often I'll sort of isolate it from other work, on its own shelf just in case, or on a specially constructed tray in case I have my doubts about firing temps for the item, but really I've had very few problems.  The biggest issue I've had is people bringing stuff in at random times, then not picking it up after its fired.  I've got half a shelf devoted to 'orphans'  :/  But if its been left for too long I let others finish the items and take it.  I've also been known to sell it! :)


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#5 neilestrick

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:02 PM

I fire for a handful of people, however I first have to get an idea of what they expect, and their experience level. If they don't make the cut, I recommend they take my classes. If they do make the cut, a firing of large sculptural pieces in my big kilns is $100. Those are the types of folks who typically need my kiln. It's $200 if they have a lot of smaller pots, because it takes an hour to load the kiln. If they do not have a full kiln load, it's $1 a pound for pots. I generally try to avoid firing for people, though, because it can end badly if they have unrealistic expectations. There's been a few posts about this on the forum. Do a search and you'll find a lot of info.


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#6 Stephen

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:03 PM

I see propane gas kilns advertised on CL from time to time for three, four hundred and there are plenty of plans for building cheap Raku setups. You can also buy a used electric for a hundred or so and convert it for few hundred. Both of these options can be fired in your backyard and not require any additional electrical work. You also have the added bonus of being more involved in your firings as well :-)

 

If no where to put it means no backyard or garage then they do make some larger small kilns (3-4cf) that will fire on a dryer plug but it might be hard to find one used and they cost about a grand new.

 

You mention selling your work and I cannot imagine the cost of paying someone to fire production biscuit and glaze loads would pencil better than coming up with your own solution.

 

anyway just tossing this out there and you of course may have already thought of and dismissed these options, Good luck!



#7 jrgpots

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:37 PM

The studio where I fire my stuff will rent a small 3-4 cu ft electric kiln for $35.00. The clay firing temp must be known as well as the glaze cone.

Anyway, the studio charges about $10/cu ft. You can use that as a reference point.

Jed

#8 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 02:48 PM

I have a small kiln, I live near port washington wi.  You are about an Hr and 15 min drive I would guess.  I agree with all of the concerns, what is the item, what cone, what glaze, does it look like it's going to explode etc. 


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#9 Davidpotter

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 01:45 AM

Thank you for all the info!

Currently i live somewhere that I am not allowed to have any type of kiln and i will be moving closer to Madison Wisconsin for college (small business degree), but it will be rental so again no kiln for me. I plan on asking the local production store in town if i could get my work fired their (though from the tone of potters who work their they seem very focused on their own stuff but maybe money in the place of a few more pieces sitting around the shop can persuade them). If they will not than i will just keep asking the potters around my area until i find one that is willing. 

I have yet to have a piece blow up on me (maybe one did a 2 years ago when i was throwing 2 inch walls) the maximum my walls are are a half inch at the base or for larger pieces. Of course i would use glazes and clay that would fire to what they fire at. Now i just need to figure out the best words to use in my email to them.


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#10 Chilly

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 04:43 AM

Thank you for all the info!

Currently i live somewhere that I am not allowed to have any type of kiln and i will be moving closer to Madison Wisconsin for college (small business degree), but it will be rental so again no kiln for me. I plan on asking the local production store in town if i could get my work fired their (though from the tone of potters who work their they seem very focused on their own stuff but maybe money in the place of a few more pieces sitting around the shop can persuade them). If they will not than i will just keep asking the potters around my area until i find one that is willing. 

I have yet to have a piece blow up on me (maybe one did a 2 years ago when i was throwing 2 inch walls) the maximum my walls are are a half inch at the base or for larger pieces. Of course i would use glazes and clay that would fire to what they fire at. Now i just need to figure out the best words to use in my email to them.

 

David, if you can find an address, a letter might go down better than an e-mail.  It shows more effort put in, you can stil "mail-merge" to take less time, but it looks and feels much more personal than an e-mail. 

 

If you do use e-mail, make sure you write Dear John, not Hi all, otherwise they are sure to end in the deleted folder, that's if they haven't gone straight to the trash folder.

 

Also whichever delivery method you use, make sure your spellings and grammar are as good as you can do, and include some information to the recipient that shows you have researched them.    Don't over flatter, but show knowledge of their work and the type of firing they do.  This should get you better results. 

 

Good Luck


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