Arts and Crafts, Arts and Crafts Tiles, Handmade Tile, Handmade Tile Ceramic Glaze, Handmade Tiles, Kilns - , Emily Margaret Ulm

A Vintage Mini-Kiln

On my wish list for a while now has been a test kiln that would hold just a small number of tiles.  As the name implies, it would be great for testing a new glaze, clay or firing technique.  In my situation, having one would also enable me to get certain orders in the mail more quickly while saving energy.   Sometimes I get a small order the day after I do one of my normal firings, and then my choices are either make the customer wait for my next scheduled firing, or to fire a large kiln that is only partially full.  So I was very happy when my friend Deb told me she had a small kiln in her studio that I could have.  The only catch?  It hasn't been fired in over 50 years!

This is the most bare-bones kiln I have every seen.  It has no metal jacket to keep the heat in, no kiln sitter to switch it off when it reaches temperature, and no hinges on the lid!  You just turn the lid at an angel to vent it, and lift is off completely to unload the finished work.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about it is that instead of having a 220 power cord, it has two 110 lines that you presumably plug in to two different outlets so you don't overload the circuit.  Check out the cool cloth wrapped cords with bake-lite plugs:

Vintage Ceramic Kiln 1

DRU declared the cords unsafe and promptly removed them with a pair of wire cutters.  He has a plan to get the kiln up to modern standards.  What a guy!  I love that he is not intimidated by a restoration project like this.   Not only is it historically interesting, it is also adorably tiny. 

my hand in a small kiln

It's less than a cubic foot!  I can't wait to see what kind of results I get from it. 

Vintage Ceramic Kiln 2