A Buyer’s Guide to Pottery Kilns: Types and Their Uses - LovingLocal
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A Buyer’s Guide to Pottery Kilns: Types and Their Uses

Pottery is not only about talent and skills. Every ceramic artist knows how much the right tools matter for creating uniform, durable and finished pieces. If you’re new to pottery, you might not be familiar with the fact that using heat is much needed to bring ceramics to life. Heat enables the creation of everything from delicate pottery to robust sculptures. 

To help make your creations happen, find a pottery kiln that best suits the needs of your project. Why is this important? Because this essential tool comes in a variety of types, and each type is more or less suitable for certain types of ceramic pieces.

What is a Kiln in Pottery?

A kiln is a special kind of oven used in pottery to fire and harden clay objects into finished pieces. This process is called firing and is essential in ceramic art and craft because it causes chemical and physical changes in the clay, making it solid, strong and often beautifully glazed.

Do You Really Need a Kiln for Pottery?

source: potterycrafters.com

It is preferable that you have one for your work because it will help you transform the raw clay into durable, functional and beautiful ceramic pieces that would serve as stylish décor in various interior styles, including French country. However, whether you absolutely need a kiln will mostly depend on your specific goals, the type of pottery you wish to create, and the methods you are willing to explore. Explore the different types, learn about their specifics and choose the pottery kiln that you can most benefit from for your type of work. 

Types of Pottery Kilns and What They’re Used For

Woodrow Kilns

This is a brand known well for its electric and gas kilns that are often used in professional studios and by professional potters. They are suitable for a wide range of firing needs, including bisque and glaze firings, as well as high-temperature stoneware and porcelain firings. They have chambers that can develop temperatures as high as 1295°C. 

Therefore, these ovens are more suitable for high-temperature firings. The features provide reliable temperature control and reduced power consumption. Their construction is strong and durable, and they come in various sizes able to accommodate different volumes of work.  

Pyrometric Kilns

Pyrometric kilns are kilns that use pyrometric cones to measure the temperature within the kiln. They are commonly used by hobbyists and professional potters to ensure that the kiln reaches and maintains the precise temperature needed for specifying firing schedules. They come in different sizes, ranging from small to large, and you can also find self-supporting cones that can be set at any flat surface. 

Kiln Fibre Insulation

Kiln fibre insulation refers to the materials used to insulate the kiln chamber, often made from ceramic fibre. These types of pottery kilns are excellent thermal insulators that reduce heat loss and enhance the efficiency of the kiln itself. As such, kiln fibre insulation is used to improve energy efficiency and maintain consistent internal temperatures. 

Kiln Wire 

Kiln wire is used to support elements inside the kiln and for construction armatures to hold pieces during firing. It helps to maintain the structural integrity of the kiln and ensure that elements are secured in place. For this reason, these wires are made from high-temperature resistant materials to withstand the intense heat of ceramic kilns. 

Kiln Props

Kiln props are used to stack and hold pottery pieces during firing. They allow for efficient use of kiln space by enabling multiple levels of pottery to be fired simultaneously. Made from high-temperature-resistant materials, they come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate different types of pottery. 

Kiln Cement

Kiln cement is a special high-temperature adhesive used for repairing and maintaining kilns. It’s mostly used to fix cracks and join broken pieces of kiln furniture and insulation. Kiln cement can also withstand the high temperatures inside the kiln and ensure a long-lasting repair. 

Electric Kilns

Electric kilns use electrical resistance to generate heat. They are the most commonly used type of kiln in contemporary ceramics. They’re ideal for bisque and glaze firings, as well as high-temperature stoneware and porcelain firings. Their user-friendly design has features for precise temperature control, making them suitable for beginners and experienced potters. 

Gas Kilns

Gas kilns use natural gas or propane as a fuel source to generate heat. They are mostly used by professional potters because gas requires careful work. They’re suitable for achieving high temperatures required for glazes and clay bodies, and for reduction firing processes. 

They allow greater control in the oxidation and reduction process inside the kiln and, as such, can significantly affect the appearance of glazes, so if you want to count on seamless results, you can’t do without them. The main takeaway is that you should understand the various types of kilns and their related components because that is crucial for any ceramic artist.

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