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Lesson Plans

Re: Kiln questions

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Dennis Freeman (freemad)
Sat, 04 Dec 1999 09:34:43 -0700

John - This is a pretty big question, but here's the quick & dirty: Gas &
Elect. kilns are different animals. A gas kiln is big, requires major gas
supply and ventilation, a flue, etc. However, only kilns which consume fuel
with a flame (gas, wood, oil, buffalo chips, etc.) can achieve a reduction
atmosphere. This is a whole subject on it's own, but if reduction is no big
deal, then you don't need gas.

Electric kilns are much cheaper, easier to ventilate, but higher maintenance
(replacing burnt out elements). In my dept., we use electric for bisque
firing, low temperature earthenware pieces and enameling. We have Paragon &
Skutt electrics. Biggest advice for electric: thick wall bricks (3") are
best for long life & short firing times, and wall thickness & size are the
biggest factor in cost. Size? How big does it need to be? lots of small
pieces? a few big ones? This really depends on your use. We have 2 22"` X
32" electrics, and in our situation, this is adequate.

For me, here's the kicker: "There are two kinds of potters: those who like
to make mud pies & those who like to start fires." - Anon. I KNOW which one
I am! Nothing like a 2' blue-green flame leaping out of the top of our old
Alpine HF-20! Raku firing, where we get to mess with still-glowing pots is
cool, too. Best of all, pit firings, where we have a huge bonfire going and
put it out with manure - smoke! flame! smell! OOhh, ooh! ooh! Sorry, I
guess I revealed too much. Hope this helps! Dennis
----- Original Message -----
From: John Kupcinski <jckup>
To: ArtsEdNet Talk <artsednet>
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 1999 8:24 AM
Subject: Kiln questions

> Hi all:
> I hope some of you can answer my questions regarding kilns:
> What are the pros and cons of gas vs. electric kilns?
> Also, any recommendations as to a good size?
> And are some brands better than others?
> What are your favorite features on a kiln?
> I appreciate any help / opinions you have regarding the above.
> Cheryl
> ---
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