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QotW: Would you be willing to participate in a kiln space rental that would bring in a little extra cash, and supply a service to potters without a kiln in your area, and if so why? 


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Hi folks, not much in the way of activity in the QotW pool of late so I am STUCK once again. Not to give away any trade secrets as I am sure that some of you know or guess that there is communication between moderators on their own forum category. Put this together with a posting in the marketplace of late targeting a web site or app  for renting out kiln space. There was a bit of back and forth over whether to post it, and where. As you can see, the issue is resolved and it is posted. However, is it really resolved? My response from in the moderators "dungeon" was: 

Interesting concept, not that I would join, but interesting. I would not want to be responsible for a "precious object" being ruined some way, either perceived or actual, as I would  not want to be privy to a piece that would damage my kiln either by wrong clay, glaze, or application. Too many uncontrollable factors for me. Much different than in a classroom where everything was controlled by me.

To put this into a question: QotW: Would you be willing to participate in a kiln space rental that would bring in a little extra cash, and supply a service to potters without a kiln in your area, and if so why?  If you would not want to participate also tell us why.

You can thank @Min for this question as she saw my response and thought it would be a good QotW,

 

best,

Pres

 

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My answer is “no” as well, for the exact reasons that you explained so clearly. 

I’ve had a few people approach me about firing their work at my house. In every case, the person was trying to avoid the expense of using a community studio. Community studios need to charge what they charge for a reason. A person who doesn’t see those reasons is generally going to be difficult to work with. In one case, a neighbor got angry with me when I said no. Very entitled person. Imagine how she would have complained if a firing didn’t turn out the way she was expecting!

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No

I have fired a few items for people over my 47 years. I stopped doing it about 20 yaers ago. No much risk. The last person said clay was high fire but it was cone 6 and bloated badly and made a mess.Never again.

That said I also have fired the local elementry school kids work twice using my clay and my glaze (onece was unglazed planters)

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No.  I have fired for friends but they are interrogated and vetted fully.  I have to know exactly what clay and glaze they are using.  No exceptions.  Everyone will get in a pinch at times and I am glad to help, but the maintenance and upkeep on a kiln is expensive.  And as mentioned if something doesn't turn out or if someone doesn't know the difference between low fire and mid fire, disaster could ensue.  

Roberta

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I would have to say no,  I have seen to many disasters where a low fire piece was stuck in a high fire.  The person swore it was high fire clay,  I have fired a few pots made with my clay  by friends and neighbors,  but I am usually unhappy with glaze applications and do some clean up before I fire them.   Denice

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No no no no no no no no no no. In addition to all the issues for potential damage to my kilns and kiln furniture, there are the problems of storing the work before and after it's fired, and conflicts over the results of the firing. It's too easy for people to blame the kiln owner for something not coming out like they expected- "it didn't look like that when I had it fired at another studio"- or to blame the firing for the glaze running and damaging a shelf/kiln- "it never ran like that at the other studio". Chances are if they don't have a kiln they don't understand the variation that exists from kiln to kiln. Too much potential for arguments and unhappy people and unpaid invoices. My opinion is that if you want to work in clay then you need to either invest in being part of a community studio or invest in your own equipment. Both are costly, but most hobbies are.

That said, I do have two people for whom I fire. One is a very good sculptor I have known for years who makes unglazed figurative forms, so no firing trouble there. The other is a former student whom I totally trust, and who understands that she has to work around my schedule. She brings stuff in on the day I can load the kiln, and picks it up on the day it comes out.

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Not as a side business, no. You’d have to be able to vet someone’s capabilities somehow.  A bunch of that leads to me doing teaching, even if it’s only about kiln firing, and I don’t have the time or physical space for that. If someone I already know needs a firing, (emergency bisque or whatever) and I don’t have something scheduled myself for that timeframe, I have no problem helping out.

Honestly, electricity costs in my area are pretty reasonable, and there’s 2 privately run clay studios that do beginner classes, 2 city run facilities that teach beginner and intermediate courses, and a handful of paint your own places that you can fire the odd piece at. There *could* have been some room for me to do some kiln for hire stuff during the pandemic, but I did NOT have the emotional wherewithal to be able to put a system together for that at the time. 

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