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carolinemayer

High School Student In Need Of Help!

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Hello! I am a high school student who is interested in creating a studio at home. I would like to try and build a kiln outside for raku pottery, but am also interested in buying a kiln for regular ceramic use. I would really appreciate any help i can get in order to find the supplies i need (kiln, potters wheel, glazes, tools, etc.) I've taken a few ceramic classes at school so i am not totally clueless, but would really appreciate knowledge from those who are more experienced.

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For equipment needs, check your local Craig's List listings and check it often. I bought a brand new Shimpo VL Lite, 150 pounds of Laguna B mix and a ton of assorted tools for less than half of list price for just the wheel. Granted, that was an exceptional find, but it just illustrates that great deals such as this can be found. But you have to watch the listings like a hawk. Local surplus auctions can also be a good place to find deals on things like kilns, pug mills, etc.

 

If we knew your current location, it would help those of us who are near you to aid in your search. ;)

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Yes craigslist is the best! That's where I got my first kick wheel. I also got my brent wheel used (the art museum was getting rid of the ceramics program) and found a used kiln.  Just be sure that you understand the electrical needs for a kiln, they need to be specially wired and many electricians do not know how important it is to do it right.  If you are living with your parents they may need to play a role in the location of the kiln and the wiring etc.  

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If you have a clay supplier in your town, they sometimes have bulletin boards where people buy and sell used equipment. They may also know the name of an electrician that knows kilns.

Raku kilns can be made simply from barrels lined with fibrefrax, or even by stacking soft brick. Firing with a tiger torch and a bbq propane tank is a fairly standard beginning and easy access method.

 

If you post your home city in your profile, someone can recommend a clay supplier in your area.

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Craig's List is definitely a good place to watch. I recommend using "Search Tempest", which is a search engine for Craig's List. Makes browsing much easier.

 

I would also look at Govdeals.com and Publicsurplus.com. They are large organizations, getting rid of equipment, like schools and such. The nice thing is, they generally don't know much bout what they are selling, and you can get things cheap. There was a kiln in my area, that went for under four hundred. It was a NICE kiln too.

 

I built my own Raku kiln a couple years ago. It took a couple days, but was relatively cheap, and works well. You do need to bisque them first, but as it sounds like you will be getting another kiln, that won't be an issue.

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