A kiln can allow you to expand your jewelry skills in a number of ways including enameling, casting (used for burn-out), metal clay, and fused glass. I spent a lot of time and research before I decided which kiln was right for my needs. Hopefully, my research can also help you decide which kiln is right for your needs.
Buying any large piece of jewelry equipment is similar to buying a computer. You need to ask yourself two questions: What will I use this for today? What might I use this for tomorrow? I knew I wanted to buy a kiln so I could make fused glass jewelry. I also knew that some day I would want to use the same kiln for casting purposes. You cant predict the future, but since you will probably be spending around $300-500, you want to make sure your kiln can be used for a variety of purposes.
Once you determine what your present and future needs are, start shopping around. This will help you accomplish a few important steps. First, you can see whos got the best price, of course. However, this will also allow you to see all the different features of a kiln and figure out which you like and which you dont like. Read on as I discuss some features to think about.