I need a new kiln. I've been firing in an undersized, antique gas kiln for the past 4.5 yrs, and it's time to upgrade this critical piece of equipment so that I can continue to grow as a ceramic artist and small business owner. Every once in a while I step back and marvel at how much I have accomplished while juggling the demands of parenting and potting. (I have 2 young children now 5 and 3 yrs old). It hasn't always been easy, but there is an indescribable lure to clay that got me hooked 20 yrs ago and my commitment hasn't wavered. I now sell my pots to stores and galleries throughout the region, travel to sell pots at art fairs, host annual sales at my Danby, NY studio and am one of the founding members of the Finger Lakes Pottery Tour. Remarkably, I've maintained a sustainable business with sub par equipment for many years and I'm ready to take this business from sustainable to thriving. The missing link to continued creative and financial growth is a larger kiln!
The new kiln will be built on site and has been professionally designed to meet my particular firing requirements. I have already built the structure to accommodate the kiln and am asking for your help to pay for the materials and labor for the kiln itself. This will be a 30 cubic foot downdraft gas kiln fueled by 2 propane fired venturi burners. High-quality insulating brick will be utilized in construction to maximize efficiency and durability while minimizing my carbon footprint. While kilns themselves are simple in concept, the design, proportions and materials used are crucial elements to obtain optimum performance.
This kiln will enable me to continue to meet demands of existing customers and expand my business to offer wedding registry options (I can't fire enough plates in the kiln I have now!). Most importantly, having a larger kiln will allow more time between firings giving me opportunity to focus on particular forms and new ideas.
I am committed to helping to keep this craft alive through workshops, lessons, community events and apprenticeship opportunities. I also give back to my local community as much as I can and have been a yearly supporter of Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County, and Healthy Food For All. YOUR donation will help me continue to do the work I love, support my family and contribute to charitable organizations that are necessary resources in our community, all while expanding my professional career as a ceramic artist.
Building is scheduled to start early March as long as I have sufficient funding!
Breakdown of expenses is as follows:
Now that I've raised the funds for the kiln, my first stretch goal is to raise $1,200 so I'm able to purchase 14x28" kiln shelves for the new kiln! Any and all additional funds will go towards a stainless steel de-airing pug mill/mixer (approximately $5,000) that will make clay processing much faster and my hands and wrists will be sooooo much happier!
Risks and challenges
The kiln design and budget has been well planned and gone over with a fine tooth comb. The only potential risk I can think of is the possibility that the first few firings in the new kiln might not turn out pots I love. There's an inevitable learning curve when developing a relationship with a new kiln and it can sometimes take several firings before obtaining desired results. If this happens I would need to decide whether to notify backers that their rewards might take longer, or fire the rewards in the old kiln while continuing to test in the new one. Either way, rest assured you will only receive top-quality pots that I love as much as you will, it could possibly just take a little more time!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)