This section provides general studio information – safety, tools, materials, set up, etc. Other chapters go into detail about these itesm.


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Elements for the Kiln

Alan Kravitz has two good tips about solving problems when dealing with elements:

1) Should part of your element pop out, don’t try to push it back in place while it is cold as the elements are brittle and can break. Alan suggests you slightly heat the kiln, turn it on for 30 seconds then off, unplug the kiln, and then push the element back in place, using a wooden stick. Use element clips/staples to keep it in place.

2) When replacing an element, if your replacement is supplied tightly wound, that is un-stretched, you have to pull it to length evenly (author's note: evenly is the key - you don't want the coils to be uneven otherwise you will get uneven heating). Alan suggests this while the kiln is cold. Remove the old element. Knot the end of a string and then lay it all the way around the element channel. Tie another knot when you get to the other end of the channel. Next put one knot at the end of the string and the element end, where the coil starts, in a vise. When both string and element are secure, pull the element stretching end of the coil to the other knot. Your element is now the correct length to be uniformly inserted. The ends of the element will have to be attached to the electrical system of the kiln, surprisingly you will find this an easy task replacing the old two connections with the new.

Author’s note: if you have a Vcella Kiln, the owner, Phil, will ship you a replacement element for your particular size kiln with the bends already in it so all you need to do is lay the element out and attach appropriately.


Although the book does talk about the need for eyewear and recommends which to use, metal clay enamelist Linda Kaye-Moses did a study of this subject and presents her findings here. Feel free to download this and share with others.