Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Callum Donovan-Grujicich

Looking for a firing service in Ontario

Recommended Posts

Hello, I am looking for a large kiln to rent, within a 2-hour drive of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (near Toronto). I would like to fire a large (5ft tall, 2ft wide, 2ft deep) porcelain sculpture to cone 6. The kiln can be either a gas or electric shuttle/front-loading kiln, but the firings need to be oxidation. Does anyone here offer this service or know of a place where I could fire this sculpture?

Thanks,

Callum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to say it, but you're going to have a difficult time finding someone to fire that for you. Most people are not keen to put things into their kilns that were made by people they don't know. The risks to the kiln are too great, and the issues that could arise should the firing not go as the creator had planned are not worth it. If something that large melted down, not only would it cost a lot to rebuild the kiln, but the owner would be without a kiln to use while it was being rebuilt. Way too much risk. And it's a pretty tall kiln you're looking for, which aren't all that common.

I only fire work that my students make, and only with clay that they buy from me. It's the only way to be pretty sure that bad things aren't going to happen to my kiln. If someone were to use some random clay body to make a large sculpture that melted down in my big electric kiln, I'd be without my kiln for about 6 weeks while I waited for a new one to be delivered, which would have a massive impact on my business. It's too big a risk.

I don't mean to be a downer, and I do hope you're able to find someone that can fire for you, but it's unlikely. Do you have a relationship with any studios or school programs that may be able to help you out? Where did you learn clay work- can you fire there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, neilestrick said:

I hate to say it, but you're going to have a difficult time finding someone to fire that for you. Most people are not keen to put things into their kilns that were made by people they don't know. The risks to the kiln are too great, and the issues that could arise should the firing not go as the creator had planned are not worth it. If something that large melted down, not only would it cost a lot to rebuild the kiln, but the owner would be without a kiln to use while it was being rebuilt. Way too much risk. And it's a pretty tall kiln you're looking for, which aren't all that common.

I only fire work that my students make, and only with clay that they buy from me. It's the only way to be pretty sure that bad things aren't going to happen to my kiln. If someone were to use some random clay body to make a large sculpture that melted down in my big electric kiln, I'd be without my kiln for about 6 weeks while I waited for a new one to be delivered, which would have a massive impact on my business. It's too big a risk.

I don't mean to be a downer, and I do hope you're able to find someone that can fire for you, but it's unlikely. Do you have a relationship with any studios or school programs that may be able to help you out? Where did you learn clay work- can you fire there?

I know quite a few schools and galleries which would be willing to fire ceramics, but none that could fire my sculpture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the size of the piece is going to put this request into the "not possible" category, unless you can cut it down somehow.  Anywhere that I know of with a large enough kiln to fit something 5' tall is going to want you to prove a certain level of technical facility if you just want to rent a kiln, supposing they offer such a service. Typically they want to see a degree or other certificate from a program known  to them, or if you have a recommendation from someone they know. I'm thinking of Medalta's rates, which I know is well out of the 2 hour radius you're looking at. I can't think it will be cheap to do, either. Again, knowing you aren't likely to drive this thing to Alberta but just using it as a reference point, Medalta charges $600 +tax to walk in (if you have credentials) to rent their 30 cu ft gas kiln, which is the only one that *might* be tall enough at that facility. If you can cut this piece in half and reattach it afterwards,  you will drastically increase your chances of finding someone who can do it in a 10 cu ft electric kiln in 2 batches though.

As for who can do something like either scenario, you might try giving Tuckers a call. They'll have a line on anyone in your area who will have a kiln of a size that can accomodate you. We don't have so many clay suppliers in Canada: they tend to know everyone in their regions.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

I think the size of the piece is going to put this request into the "not possible" category, unless you can cut it down somehow.  Anywhere that I know of with a large enough kiln to fit something 5' tall is going to want you to prove a certain level of technical facility if you just want to rent a kiln, supposing they offer such a service. Typically they want to see a degree or other certificate from a program known  to them, or if you have a recommendation from someone they know. I'm thinking of Medalta's rates, which I know is well out of the 2 hour radius you're looking at. I can't think it will be cheap to do, either. Again, knowing you aren't likely to drive this thing to Alberta but just using it as a reference point, Medalta charges $600 +tax to walk in (if you have credentials) to rent their 30 cu ft gas kiln, which is the only one that *might* be tall enough at that facility. If you can cut this piece in half and reattach it afterwards,  you will drastically increase your chances of finding someone who can do it in a 10 cu ft electric kiln in 2 batches though.

As for who can do something like either scenario, you might try giving Tuckers a call. They'll have a line on anyone in your area who will have a kiln of a size that can accomodate you. We don't have so many clay suppliers in Canada: they tend to know everyone in their regions.

 

The sculpture is a box with faces and legs, so I could cut off the legs. The only problem is that the box part may be too heavy to lower into a top-loading kiln. I don’t want to cut through the box, because the cut marks would be clearly visible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knowing where and how it's going to be fired should be the first thing you do before building something like that, because that will dictate how it's going to be constructed. There are ways of building in sections where the seams become part of the design. In this case, I would cut the thing in half, fire the pieces separately, join them up with epoxy after firing, and fill any gaps with epoxy putty or body filler. Then sand everything smooth to hide the joints, and paint it rather than glazing and firing again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, neilestrick said:

Knowing where and how it's going to be fired should be the first thing you do before building something like that, because that will dictate how it's going to be constructed. There are ways of building in sections where the seams become part of the design. In this case, I would cut the thing in half, fire the pieces separately, join them up with epoxy after firing, and fill any gaps with epoxy putty or body filler. Then sand everything smooth to hide the joints, and paint it rather than glazing and firing again. 

Is this op the ceramist who asked how to move this sculpture in another part of this forum?

Is this a commissioned piece?

I'd go back to the drawing board and work a way through the entire process with totally front and centre of brain a kiln you know you can use...with permission given and size limitation knnown to you.

. And with your knowledge gained from advice on these forums construct your sculpture.

Many sculptures are constructed in pieces and assembled after firing.

A very hard lesson Callum but an essential one for future projects.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fired a large bubbler fountain in my Skutt 1027,  I made it in two piece.   I took the rings off of the kiln  and place one half of the fountain on the bottom of the kiln and then put the rings back on it.  It was a tight fit on the bisque firing.   Layering the rings was much easier on the glaze firing because of the shrinkage.   My poor husband had to help me.  it was too heavy to lift by myself and we had to do the whole process four times.   I apologized to my husband and told him I would try to keep the size of my work under control.   He said he didn't mind helping and he knew that I liked to work large and it would happen again someday.    Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.