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Advice About The Best Glass Kiln To Purchase For A Beginner

kiln advice top loading side loading

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#1 jopearce16



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Posted 06 July 2018 - 08:24 AM

Hi everyone, 


I am looking to purchase a kiln to fire glass painting. It's not something I have much experience in beyond a short course where I learnt about glass paints and stains, various painting techniques. But the course leader did all the firing and I didn't actually get to see the type of kiln they use.


I am only looking to do small amounts of firing as a hobby right now, but the question I have is whether I am better to get a top loading kiln or a side loading kiln with shelves.


These are the two options I am considering:


top loading: http://www.creativeg...g-kiln-kilncare

side loading: http://www.creativeg...inting-kiln-sg2


The top loading kiln has good reviews but the side loading one doesn't have any for me to read.


From the bits of research I have done I think the top loading kiln will give a more even heat distribution, and it can have one shelf, but it won't have the same capacity as the side loading one which is only slightly more expensive. I'm also not sure how easy it is to drop the glass pieces in being top loading?!


The side loading one has four shelves and looks like it would be easier to load, but I read I would have to rotate the shelves during firing to ensure even heating. I'm guessing you probably shouldn't just leave a kiln to do it's thing, but having to rotate shelves sounds like a bind?! 


Does anyone have any advice as to which one might be a more practical buy for a novice?


Many thanks,






#2 Boris_USA



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Posted 11 July 2018 - 10:25 PM

Top Loader with the elements in the lid for even heat.  Do these Kilns have a Programmer or Controller you can set a firing schedule on?  Looks like your Kilns in the UK are ridiculously high priced.; My Kiln is a Large Glass Kiln with a Programmer, and was a lot cheaper. My Kiln is about 116 centimeters long, 66 centimeters wide, and 33 centimeters deep. It came with a top quality Programmer , pre-programed firing schedules, and was cheaper the the top loader Kiln you had showed in your post.

#3 jopearce16



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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:49 AM

Hi Boris_USA,

Thanks for the reply, taking your advice into account and having done a bit more research it sounds like top loading is the way to go.

Shame to hear we are having to spend so much more here in the UK, for a kiln the size of yours I’d be looking at paying three times the price of the one I linked to! One day perhaps....

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