Yes, I have another kiln to write about.
It seems like just yesterday I was buying my first baby kiln an Evenheat Studio Pro. Then I got the papa kiln a Paragon Pearl 22. The first is sometimes too small, while the second is sometimes too big. So I now have the mama kiln a Skutt Firebox 14. This means I pretty much have one kiln from each of the major manufacturers. And I promise, hon, it’s my last kiln. Really, I do!
The Firebox 14 kiln gives me the ability to do tests and experiments on smaller pieces without heating up my bigger kiln. It’s really a great size. This kiln will hold a square foot of 4×4 tiles. The shelf kit that comes with the kiln is 12″ x 13″. I am not sure why they didn’t make it square. I have to remember to grab the shelf on the shorter 12 inch side so that I can get my fingers out after placing the shelf in the kiln.
The first thing I noticed about the Skutt was the awkward placement of the electrical cord. It comes out from the front of the kiln (the controller box). So if you place the kiln facing out into the room the cord goes from the front, under the kiln to the back. This means you basically have to place the kiln right in front of the outlet. My outlet is raised up on the wall. As you can see in the picture, I ended up placing the kiln sideways to give me a few more inches to position the kiln where I wanted it. I’m sure there is some engineering requirement that resulted in this configuration. Just wish they had made the cord a bit longer.
The other thing I had to get used to was the controller. Now I will readily admit that I have been spoiled with the 12 key controller on the Paragon Pearl. The Skutt has just 3 buttons that are used to access all functions and input firing schedules. Using the arrow up key to advance the temperature to 9999 is not the most convenient. I can see that a 3 button controller can be more confusing for some than a 12 button controller. All in all though, after using it a few times, it started to make sense. It does come programmed with several basic firing schedules, but these are just a place to start. One other thing I miss is an alarm. On the Paragon I can set an alarm to go off based on the temperature. This is nice to have when you want to check on things during the process time of the schedule.
The Firebox 14 runs on standard household current. This makes it a great kiln for anyone that doesn’t want to add a 240 electrical line. It is big enough to do some decent size plates and bowels. However, at 6.5″ deep it will be limited on the size of any drape molds. All in all I am very impressed with this kiln. But I am glad I have my other two kilns as well. Each one serves a purpose. I really do need three kilns!