No, that’s not a kiln in the picture. But, it would be nice to have one!
To turn metal clay into metal, you need high, even heat to burn off the binder and sinter the metal. Currently I use a butane torch (above), but you can also use a kiln or even a gas stove (or so I’ve read). While I don’t think I’ll ever have to try firing a bead on a gas stove, I wouldn’t be opposed to having a kiln one day.
To be honest, most days I don’t mind torching my beads. It’s fast, which a kiln is not, and cheap, which a kiln is also not! But, there are certain things that I can’t do with a torch that I could do with a kiln. For example, because a kiln is larger, I could fire multiple beads at once. Most of the time I only have one bead ready, so that alone wouldn’t be enough to push me to buy a kiln. What is enticing about having a kiln is that it gives you a more precise temperature. It would allow me to work with different metals (like sterling silver) and even try enameling on my beads in a kiln. And that is exciting!
Too bad about that pesky price tag. I periodically check for kilns on sale, but so far have come up empty. And, without a sale, a kiln would run me several hundred dollars. So, with other things getting in the way, it doesn’t look like I’ll get a kiln anytime in the near future.
What about you? Is there something that would allow you to take an interest to the next level but something that stops you or gets in your way?