How to use a top loading kiln for pottery?

How to use a top loading kiln for pottery?

Top loading kilns for pottery are a crucial part of pottery making. In these kilns, pottery artifacts or objects are loaded from the top in order to bake it and hence these are called top loading kilns.  After making the pottery, it is time to put them in the kiln to enhance its strength and give it the final touch. The kiln temperature reaches 1000 degrees Celsius in a short time to do this because most modern pottery kilns are working on electricity.  Thus, you should be very careful while handling the kiln equipment. 

Nidec-Shimpo Top Loading Kilns

Loading the kiln and managing it throughout the process is the challenging task of pottery making. You need proper guidance to ensure the end product comes out as expected without breaking or tearing. Moreover, the professional pottery maker also considers the efficiency of the production process. 

Once you begin heating the top loading kiln for pottery, you cannot open it until it cools down naturally. It may take an entire day to complete a single session of the pottery-burning process. Therefore, pottery makers ensure that they load maximum pottery products in the single go to save time and increase the production.

Follow these tips while using a top loading kiln for pottery production:

Cover the bottom layer of the top loading kiln

Use the ceramic plate and put it inside the kiln at the bottom. Make a layer of rack structure inside the kiln. Use the stilts to place the shelves in position and create space between the layers. The shelf structure allows the heat to pass from bottom to top and equally distribute the temperature inside the kiln.

Put the pottery on the shelves

Try to place pottery 1-inch distance from each other. If you put them close, they may stick to each other. Distribute them evenly to balance the weight. Put the dry one at the center, and wet at the edges. Ensure there is a 1-inch distance between the side of the kiln and your pottery.

Moisture release

Once all the potteries are placed inside the shelf structure, the next step is to heat the kiln. To avoid moisture trapping inside the kiln:

  1. Open the valves located at the front.
  2. Let the moisture move out.
  3. Keep it open until the kiln reaches 1000 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Cool down the Kiln

After a set period of heating is completed, let the kiln cool down through a natural process. Do not open the lid until the temperature reaches room temperature. 

Remove the pottery from the kiln

Slowly remove the pottery from the top-loading kiln and put them aside safely on the table. In most cases, 95% success rate can be achieved in the kiln process. Some pottery may break or tear from the edges. But don’t worry, that’s part of the process. 

Remove shelves and pottery carefully one by one and inspect how the final products came out. Repeat the process next time to make more pottery products.

The top-loading kiln for pottery is easy to manage. They give access to the entire cabinet. Also, stacking the shelves is comfortable from the top view. 

Potclays Top-loading kilns

About BotPots

BotPots Company offers a wide range of top-loading pottery kilns. Check the product description and choose your desired size and features for the kiln. You can buy electrical as well as a gas kiln for your home and start your pottery business. Some of the top-loading pottery kilns offered by Botpots are as given below:

  • Nidec-Shimpo DUB-10 Kiln – 184 liters 6.5cf
  • Nidec-Shimpo DUB-07 Kiln – 88.7 liters 3.31cf
  • Nidec-Shimpo DUB-05 Kiln – 52.9 liters 1.85cf
  • Potclays S65 Top-loading kiln – 184 liters 6.5cf
  • Potclays S43 Top-loading kiln – 122 liters 4.3cf
  • Potclays S39 Top-loading kiln – 110 liters 3.9cf
  • Potclays S26 Top-loading kiln – 74 liters 2.6cf


Top-loading pottery kilns are best suited for amateurish pottery professionals who take pottery as a skill on a hobby basis to begin with.