For a big factory mass-producing crafts dozens at a time, a big kiln makes sense. For small projects or single-fired items, or for personal use, a smaller oven is what comes to mind. With a small, portable kiln, artists, classes, and small business use becomes far more feasible, particularly if the crucible chosen is of good quality in both power and efficiency.
The portability of the device is ideal for hobbyists as they can easily bring the kiln with them to share their hobby with others or if they are going away from home for a while but would like to practice their craft while they are away. They are ideal for schools where rooms may switch or need to be rearranged, firing needs to be taken home, or demonstrations are to be shown outside of the classroom. Small, growing businesses or studios will likewise find convenience in moving the oven at their discretion for similar purposes.
A powerful, portable kiln has the ability to handle a wide variety of projects, even those involving precious metals and metal clay. With a device that is able to handle projects with efficient energy use, the convenience of a portable electric kiln is ideal for situations where the device will be moved often without sacrificing functionality. They are especially useful for smaller projects, like jewelry or doll heads. Ovens used for ceramics may even be used for glass, which requires uniform heat, and glass kilns heat them in that manner from the top.
Specifically in the case of firing glass, start by referencing a guide on how to arrange the settings of a different kind of crucible that will allow for that same kind of heating. All that remains to be seen is that the coefficients of expansion of the glass used are the same - they are typically either 90 or 96. Mixing coefficients will result in the glass shattering eventually. However, coefficients may be mixed in projects where they aren't pressed against each other, such as in a mosaic. The shelves of the oven must also be prepared for glass with either glass firing paper or glass wash.
A portable kiln will generally only hold one shelf. Loading and heating the receptacle is next, and then firing it up, and finally allowing the oven to cool to prevent the contents from cracking from sudden temperature change.
Electric kilns are cost effective to operate, although to best take advantage of cost efficiency, consideration of the weather is required. Firing up a hot oven, even a small one, on a fiery summer day is going to pull in extra costs from air conditioning. During the summer, it's wiser to fire in the mornings or evenings rather than peak energy times in the middle of the day.
The convenience of a portable electric kiln makes it an ideal selection for any artist, particularly if the oven chosen is from The Tabletop Furnace Company. Please contact us for more information about our excellent products.