Electric Kilns and Firing

Electric Kilns and Firing


A series of 8 weekly sessions covering all you need to know about using and maintaining your electric kiln, and what happens to clays and glazes when they are fired.

This is particularly useful if you are just starting your own kiln, or want to get more out of your firings, or want to know what happens if you use a studio where work is fired for you..

Each session starts at 7pm and lasts an hour and a half.

The topics covered are:

- Identifying and understanding the components found in an electric kiln and its controller

- Knowing what to look for when buying a kiln, whether new or 2nd hand

- Understanding the mechanisms by which a kiln heats up, and how different materials used in kiln construction and in kiln furniture (shelves etc.) behave

- Understanding temperature and heatwork, and how they are measured

- Understanding how clays and glazes, and their constituent materials, are transformed through the firing process, and what fumes may be given off during the firing

- Loading and unloading your kiln, including the best spacing of shelves and positioning of pots

- Understanding and using your kiln controller, and monitoring your firing

- Determining the best firing strategies and schedules for your work

- Identifying firing faults, their cause and cure

- Understanding safety issues – heat, electricity, and fumes

- Learning about kiln maintenance, and how to diagnose faults

- Knowing about how to install the kiln

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

Each week there is an illustrated talk, together with questions, answers and discussions, lasting about an hour and a half. These are recorded, so you can see them on the course web page if you can't make a session.

There are 4 discussion times where we can discuss topics covered, questions or problems from students, and anything else. These are built in to the end of some of the sessions, but additional times will be scheduled if people can't make these times.

There is also additional (optional) material to read online.

There is a dedicated forum for discussion of the course topics.

You also get a set of course notes.

What you will need

Given the course topic, access to a kiln will be useful but is not necessary.


Tim Thornton at Tim Thornton Ceramics

This course is taught online

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Intermediate level
  • Limited mobility
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Wheelchair users


12 hours (7:00pm to 8:30pm)

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