As hobbies such as ceramics, jewelry making, and glasswork – hobbies that require a kiln – become more accessible, the quality of ovens for personal and professional use must rise to the occasion. The accessibility of these art forms depends in some ways on the availability of ovens, which requires thought to not only the cost and type of crucible necessary, but also where the object would be stored and the costs for using it.
In many ways, this makes a portable electric kiln ideal. In this piece, we will be speaking with a bias for ovens that use digital controls rather than a Kiln Sitter or other heat and time monitors, so the convenience of said technology should be assumed. When talking about electric kilns, the cost of electricity must be factored into the equation as well.
Smaller ovens are, of course, useful in their portability, but they are also excellent for firing smaller items, like jewelry or doll heads. Likewise, smaller jobs are feasible and economically viable in a smaller oven, such as test jobs, touch-ups, or otherwise providing an option for a small batch, something not possible in a larger kiln. If there is a malfunction, the risk is smaller due to the decreased size of the load. Smaller ovens also offer faster firing and cooling times.
Another aspect to consider is the possibility of owning more than one small oven, which allows for diversity or specificity of orders: two small batches of different creations, with different glazes or materials, may be run simultaneously rather than one at a time, and allows for easier scheduling. Furthermore, owning a handful of smaller kilns rather than one large oven means that when one is down and needs maintenance, production does not stop.
Their manageable size allows for ease of storing and use in the home or in areas such as a classroom. If an arts teacher wishes or needs to cover a wide spectrum of mediums, he or she need not keep the oven in the classroom where it risks being broken or stolen – they may keep it at home or elsewhere and bring it only to class when needed.
For a small studio, the ease of placing multiple smaller devices is far greater than multiple larger ones. And,of course, a portable kiln allows access wherever the artist may wish to practice their craft. This is especially useful in the case of demonstrations, wherever they may be, or sharing a passion with a friend.
The Tabletop Furnace Company
The most important part of a portable electric kiln is choosing one of good quality. Kilns by The Tabletop Furnace Company are specially constructed to be versatile and efficient. We create top-quality kilns and offer them at affordable prices. Please see our website for more information.