10 Easy Ways to Find a Pottery Firing Service Near Me


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How to find a pottery firing service near me

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When you start out making pottery, chances are you won’t have your kiln.  But you probably still want to get your pottery fired.  Here are some tips on how to find a pottery firing service near you.

How to Find A Pottery Firing Service Nearby

The chances are that there is someone on your doorstep who can fire your pottery.  You just need to find them.  Try the following…

1) Search Online for a Pottery Firing Service

The easiest thing to do is to check online.  Search using phrases like ‘kiln firing services near me’, ‘kilns near me’, or even ‘rent a kiln’.  If there is a potter near you that can fire your pots for you, they may well be advertising online.

Reach out to them and see if they can help you out.  When you make your initial contact with the kiln owner, it’s a good idea to ask them a few questions about their kiln services.  You can check out my list of questions to ask a pottery firing service’ here.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find a kiln online straight away in your area.  You may just need to dig about a bit to find the right firing service for you.  Here are some other places to ask.

2) Local Pottery Schools or Classes

All the local pottery schools that I know have kilns that they hire out to students and local people to fire their pottery.  Pottery firing services are one of the ways that ceramic schools and centers make money.

Find out who is running pottery classes in your area and reach out to them.  They will probably be able to fire your pottery for you.  Plus, it’s never a bad idea to sign up for a pottery class too! 

pottery class

3) Paint-Your-Own Pottery Cafés

A pottery café or a paint-your-own pottery shop is also a good place to try.  These cafés always have kilns out the back that they use to fire customer’s pottery.  You may find that they will be able to fire your pottery too, even if you didn’t paint it in their café. 

4) A Local Pottery Supply Store

It saddens me that there are fewer physical pottery shops that you can visit and browse around than there used to be.  Most pottery supplies are provided online now. 

However, if you are lucky enough to have a pottery shop near you, you could check to see if they fire pottery too.  When I started, I used to drive across town to a pottery store, and they would fire my pots for me.  You can check out some tips on how to transport greenware safely here.

how to find a pottery kiln near me

5) Local Community Centers

Sometimes local community centers own and rent out pottery kilns.  Check to see if your local community hub runs arts or pottery classes.  They may have a public kiln that they will rent out to you.

6) Technical Colleges and Art Schools

If there is a technical college or an art school nearby, try to find out who the head of the art department is.  Reach out to them and ask if they have a kiln firing service.  Even if they don’t, they may know someone locally who rents their kiln.  

Local schools and colleges are sometimes keen to find additional income streams from renting out their kiln.  Or they may be happy to help you out for nothing.

7) Artist’s Studios

Potters often rent spaces in local art studios where they also run their kilns.  Perhaps there is an art studio near you where artists work?  If so, make contact with the person who manages the studio, and see if there are any potters there.  They may be able to fire your pots for you.

8) Local Potters

Keep an eye out for any local potters.  Check out craft fairs in your area and see if you can make contact with potters in your area that way. 

Perhaps a local potter is having an open house or a pottery sale.  Pop along and strike up a conversation with them about how they fire their pottery. 

Potters are generally keen to help one another out.   You may be surprised how many kilns there are in local garages and basements once you start looking.

A potters shed sign

9) Search on Social Media for Pottery Groups

There are lots of very active pottery groups on social media.  Some of these groups are massive and have members from around the world.  One example is the Facebook group Pottery Heads, but there are others. You could put a message out in one of these groups asking if anyone can recommend a firing service in your area.

Alternatively, you could join a Facebook group that is specifically about what’s going on in your neighborhood.  You can post in a local social media group to say that you are looking for a local kiln.  Someone who sees your post may well know of a kiln more or less on your doorstep.  

10) Join a Pottery Meetup Group

Meetup is a good place to make friends and contacts with other people who have the same interests as you.  Check out the Meetup groups in your area and see if any pottery meetups are going on. 

You will meet other potters and some of them will have kilns.  And, if they don’t own a kiln, they will probably be using a ceramic firing service that you can make use of too.  Plus, you get to talk about pottery and hang out with potters too.

Still Can’t Find a Pottery Firing Service?

If you don’t have any luck with the above suggestions, here are another couple of options that might work for you.

Build Your Own Kiln

If you have a knack for DIY, or you are game to try things out, you could try building your kiln.  There are several ways you can make simple but effective kilns at a fraction of the cost that you would pay if you bought one.  Have a look at my guide on how to build a kiln.

These different ways of building a kiln can range from making a primitive sawdust kiln from bricks to building a raku kiln to make raku pottery.  

a DIY raku kiln
A DIY Raku Kiln

Buy a Kiln as a Group

Perhaps you have the space for a kiln, but you don’t want to fork out the money upfront to buy one.  You could consider clubbing together with a group of potters and splitting the cost of buying and maintaining it.

Buying a joint kiln is a bit like starting a mini pottery cooperative.  What’s more, if you own it, you could rent out the kiln space to local potters too.  

3 Questions to Ask a Pottery Firing Service

When you find a kiln service near you, it’s important to ask them a few questions to see if they are the firing service for you.

1) What Temperature Do They Fire At?

Some kilns fire at earthenware temperatures and others fire stoneware pottery.  Ask the person renting the kiln what temperature they fire at.  They may be flexible and may be able to fire at whatever temperature you need. 

However, some potters stick to firing either earthenware or stoneware pottery.  You need to make sure that the clay you are using is suitable to be fired in their kiln. 

2) What is Their Pricing Structure?

Some pottery firing services charge per item, while others charge according to the size of the pottery.  Other kiln rental setups will rent out a shelf in their kiln for a set fee.  Check with them how they set their prices and if this is going to match your needs.

3) What is Their Turn Around Time?

Firing kilns takes time and a busy studio may take a few days, or even a few weeks to schedule firing your pottery.

Some potters, studios, or pottery shops are very busy.  If you need your pots to be fired quickly, it’s best to check out what their timetable looks like and see if they can slot you in sooner rather than later.

pottery firing service pin
Why not save this article for later too?

Final Thoughts

Finding a pottery firing service might take some research.  However, making pottery is very popular, and there is bound to be a kiln out there that you can use.  You just need to find it.

My experience is that potters are a supportive bunch.  If you put out feelers and get to know your local pottery community, you will link up with the right kiln. 

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