When it comes to choosing the perfect metal clay kiln for your jewelry studio, you probably have a lot of questions. Kilns come in a huge range of sizes, temperature ratings, power configurations and more. Finding the right one for your designs will depend on what you are creating and what you really need out of your equipment.
The first things you need to consider when purchasing a metal clay kiln is the size of the overall kiln and the size of the firing chamber inside. Due to the size of the heating elements and insulated exterior, along with the need for good air circulation through the unit, it is common for tabletop kilns to be two to three times as big as the actual firing chamber you will be getting.
For small jewelry pieces, a kiln like the RapidFire Pro-L is perfect with its 6-inch-by-5-inch-by-6-inch firing chamber, as it allows the entire chamber to heat evenly and lets the air circulate between your pieces.
Each of the materials you use requires a specific temperature to properly cure. It is important to remember you need your kiln to reach a higher temperature than your raw material requires so that it can stabilize.
This also leaves room for the eventual loss of power in your heating elements, and ensures that even as they age, you will still get plenty of heat from your jewelry-making kiln.
Another important bit of information that kiln manufacturers usually advertise is the amount of time it takes for the kiln to reach its ideal operating temperature. This will tell you a lot about the efficiency of the kiln.
The bigger you go, the more likely your kiln for metal clay will require a specialized power outlet to operate safely. If you don't want to spend the extra money on an electrician to add a high-voltage outlet in your studio, you should make sure you choose a kiln like the RapidFire Pro LP that uses a standard outlet.
Once you know how to choose a kiln, you have the ability to shop around for a kiln that meets your specific needs. Do your research ahead of time to make sure that you will be getting a large-enough kiln for your work, and that you will have enough power and heat available to get the results you seek.