A Guide to Ceramic Kilns: Choosing the Right Kiln Firing Method and Design For Your Art

Find helpful tips for choosing the right kiln firing method in this FREE PDF!

Without kilns there would be no ceramics. Since the very beginning when primitive man discovered the soil around a fire changed to rock, learning how to contain the heat and control it has been an ongoing endeavor. Many types of kilns have been constructed over the millennia and today we’re fortunate to have such a wide selection to choose from. You can choose the type of kiln atmosphere you want (oxidation or reduction), the type of fuel you want to use (oil, gas, electric, or wood) and maybe even the special surfaces you want (salt, soda, raku, or pit). This Ceramic Arts Daily guide to types of ceramic kilns will help you make all these decisions.

Check out this excerpt:

Kilns and Kiln Design

by Richard Zakin

A kiln is a chamber made from refractory (nonmelting) materials. The ceramist places ware in the chamber. Heat created in this chamber (or in a firebox close by) is contained there and so builds up to high temperatures. The ceramic ware undergoes the firing and cooling process. While clay can be fired in an open fire and does not require a kiln, kilns must be used to attain high temperatures. Furthermore, they allow the ceramist excellent control of heat rise and fall and protect the ware during the rigors of the fire. Therefore, almost all contemporary potters use them.

The kiln designer’s job is to make a kiln that keeps its structural integrity over a period of many firings while being efficient and keeping heat loss to a minimum. The kiln must allow the ceramist to efficiently control temperature rise and fall inside the kiln. It must be carefully designed for safe and efficient use of the fuel and must protect the ware during the firing. It must allow the ceramist access for loading and unloading and must have a “spy hole” to provide a view of what is going on inside the kiln during the firing.

Kiln Atmosphere

Ceramic firing can be done with two types of kiln atmosphere, oxidation or reduction. The one you choose for your own work determines the type of kiln you need.

Fuel-Burning Kilns

Certain kinds of visual effects can only be produced with fuel-burning kilns. Find out why you might consider a wood kiln or using oil and gas as fuels, or maybe you to learn more about salt and soda firing.

Electric Kilns

Potters use electric kilns more than any other type of kiln. They’re easy to operate and you can choose between many commercially made models, including small test kilns and front loading varieties.

Striving for Perfection: Energy Efficiency and Perfect Combustion

by Hal Frenzel

Regardless of your firing atmosphere, efficient combustion can save money and reduce your carbon impact

Download the free guide right now, and become a better ceramic artist tomorrow. That’s our promise to you from Ceramic Arts Network!

Best regards,

Jennifer Poellot Harnetty
Editor, Ceramic Arts Daily

PS: Remember, the artists featured on Ceramic Arts Network are among the top ceramic artists in the world today, who excel in everything from functional pottery to abstract ceramic sculpture. When you download one of our free guides, you get the best possible advice available and you become a part of our community – enjoying our artists’ stories, gaining inspiration from their work and finding confidence to try new techniques every day!

PPS: Even if you’re not brand new to clay, this guide is bound to have some tips in it that you’ve never heard before – and remember, it’s absolutely FREE, so why wouldn’t you read it today?

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