Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

KILN - My kiln

ca: FORN - El meu forn

es: HORNO - Mi horno

Electrical kilns can be used with very little industrial installation. Make sure your power supply is strong enough, that it has good individual electrical wiring with its own fuse box and that the room has sufficient ventilation. There must be enough space around the kiln for packing and maintenance. If it opens at the top you must have access at every side and if at the front you must be able to open the door completely to 180º and have access to the back for repairing. There are two main classes of kilns, one which can reach 1100º C and another up to 1350º C. When your kiln is new follow the maker’s instructions, test it once or twice before firing products.

I use the modern, electric kilns as my workshop is not classified as industrial and as the voltage is high, I use only one kiln at a time. Kilns made for ceramics are now made with a metal coat on the outside and walls, floors and roof made of refractory brick on the inside. They are octagonal inside and round on the outside. I chose them because they consume very little electricity for their size and because they open at the top. The advantages of this are that you can look in from above and check that everything is placed correctly and not touching or wasting space and that they can be easily moved. This is not the case when using a kiln that opens from the front. When it is automatic, you can set your kiln to the temperature and length of time required in relation to the heat needed for what is being fired. You can program this data into the memory of the kiln with a number, so that this setting can be put in motion by turning to the number needed for that firing. Once started, the process of heating is automatic and when it reaches the temperature it turns off, so once set, you can forget it.