If you have discovered that handmade ceramics is your passion and you want to dedicate yourself to it, this post interests you. We analyze the key points to make the jump and buy our own ceramic kiln for domestic use. To do this, we have developed a shopping guide with all the factors that you must consider before buying your first kiln.
Ceramic kiln for home use: Which one you have to buy?
If you have started looking for some options online, you may have already realized that there is a wide range of options and prices. The boom of the handmade ceramics of the last years has stimulated the demand of this type of machines, generating a very varied offer and with prices more and more competitive. And it is that, more and more ceramists begin to elaborate their pieces in their own house, transforming one of the rooms in a small workshop or laboratory. Manufacturers of ceramic kilns are aware of this reality. Therefore, they have developed smaller and more efficient models capable of operating in any home.
To avoid possible confusion and correct your choice, you need to raise these questions:
What kind of ceramics do we want to make?
As we saw a few days ago, there are different types of clay and each one requires a special type of cooking. Depending on the type of mud or clay you are going to work, you must take into account the maximum cooking temperature. Remember that glazed, lacquered and porcelain effects require higher temperatures.
How big are the pieces you’re going to produce?
It seems a little obvious, but this point will condition many of your future decisions. You may think that with a small kiln you can make most parts, like cups, glasses or plates. But if you want to produce vases or salad bowls, it can be a problem. Therefore, you should make a forecast of how your future creations will be, their size and the amount you want to produce in each baking.
Most commonly used household ceramic furnaces are top-load circulars. They are compact, efficient and more economical than front-loading, designed for higher productions. Among the circular kilns for domestic use, the most recommended measures are 60cm x 70cm. Remember that these measures refer to the interior of the kiln-where the parts will be-and not to the external or total measures. With a size like this, you will be able to produce most of the possible shapes and compete with other small artisan workshops.
And the size of the kiln?
In addition to the load capacity, we must consider the space that occupies the kiln itself. Whether circular or rectangular, a small ceramic kiln already occupies more than a washing machine. If we talk about one with a load of 60cm x 70cm, you will need a minimum radius of 80-100cm. To these measures you must add a safety perimeter of at least 70cm on each side for the kiln to breathe. And to all this, we must add the weight of this machine, which easily exceeds 100kg.
Power and electrical consumption
The two most common versions of ceramic kilns today are those that are powered by gas or electric current. Gas is increasingly used less, especially for safety, supply and sustainability issues. For home use, no doubt the most common and recommended option is electric as they are easier to use and efficient. Even so, they consume a lot of energy and a bigger size, more consumption. If you remember the interview we did to ceramist Cata Echegaray, we confessed that the average cooking time of a kiln is 5-6 days. It is No wonder that the bills of light are one of the main concerns of consequence ceramists.
Most ceramic kilns for home or small workshops work with a single-phase (lifetime plug) receptacle. But for medium-large size kilns, with greater capacity and power, you will need 240v or three-phase socket. It is important to consult before buying the kiln. Our recommendation is that you consult an electrician and check if your home network is capable of supporting its use.
Price and guarantees
Finally, if you have already selected some models, it is important to analyze which includes the price. Is the kiln delivered assembled and ready to operate? What accessories do you include? Does the delivery take place at the street or they will install where we indicate it?
On the other hand, there is the warranty and aftersales service. By law, in Spain all furnaces, such as electrical machinery, must offer a minimum of 2 years warranty. Although it can be boring, reading the small print is more than advisable to see which includes each manufacturer. If for any reason, the ceramic kiln stops working well, who will offer us repair or spare parts? Is it an immediate service or will they put us on a waiting list? Will they come to check the machine personally or will I have to send it? It is as important to purchase as after-sales service, especially in critical situations. For example, imagine that you lack very little to deliver an order, you have all the pieces made and the cooking has not run well. Although the price of the kiln was cheap, you will have asked for a lot of money and valuable time.
If you follow these points, you will be able to compare more and better to find the best ceramic kiln for domestic use. And if you want to recommend any brand or model, do not forget to leave your comment 😉
See you in the next post!