It was a lifelong dream to build my own electric kiln. Pretty much everyone I told I was going to build an electric kiln laughed at me except for Gabriel Kline, who told me to do it.
I designed the biggest kiln that I could fit through the door in my studio. I had local engineer Justin Turcott build the frame. Next, we ordered a pallet of bricks, which we had to route channels out to fit the elements in. We lined the kiln with mineral board and stacked the bricks in the kiln.
The next step was to figure out the power for the kiln. In this phase I learned a lot about electricity, more than I thought I would ever have to know.
You obviously want to have as much power as you can to fire a kiln, so I contacted a master kiln builder to help with the whole controller setup. With more than 25,000 watts and 12 heating element wires, the kiln gets HOT.
I had to consider how far to pull the copper wire from the main power input and ventilation. Also the work-flow of how the pots could go from a holding shelf, out of the kiln, and through the packing area.
There were so many problems along the way. Fortunately I was surrounded by so many smart people to help. In the end, I am proud to see that kiln and know that we built it ourselves. Building our own kiln saved us a lot of money, and now if something goes wrong we know how to fix it.