I managed to buy a kiln just before Christmas, through the extremely helpful Kevin Sparrow. It’s a lot more complicated buying these than you might think: there’s at least five components that have to be present and ‘match’; and installation costs are often more than the cost of the kiln – a bit like an Aga, I suppose.
So I was very relieved when the first firing went well, although I still need to calibrate the kiln temperature with the ‘heat work’ – measured by Orton cones. These are more accurate because they are made of clay – like the work – and bend over as they soak it up. The first firing was hotter than expected at the bottom, hence the crumpled cones on the right – but the work looked great, one of those unexpected accidents!