Pottery Firing Fee Calculator
If your pottery studio charges firing fees by weight, use this calculator to determine how much it will cost to kiln your piece. Calculator can factor in fixed costs, such as for handles.
If your studio calculates kiln charges by dimensions, use our Firing Fee Calculator by Size (Cubic Inch)
This firing fee calculator is helpful if you do pottery in a studio where you pay to fire each piece by its weight, and/or if you're a studio assistant responsible for calculating the firing fees for students' pottery.
Note: if your studio charges firing fees by the dimensions of the piece, use our Firing Fee Calculator by size.
Entering Pottery Weight
Enter the piece's weight in pounds and ounces. If the piece is less than a pound, just use ounces.
Fee Per Pound - Enter how much your pottery facility charges per pound to fire pottery. For example, if your studio charges 3.25 per pound, enter this into the field.
Tips to keep costs down
While clearly there's merit in a heavier pot in many situations, if you are paying firing fees by weight, it can be motivating to lighten up your pieces.
Wheel Thrown Pieces
This exercise calls for cutting pieces in half, vertically, to inspect the walls - so you won't be keeping them! You can likely save a bundle by throwing thinner. As an exercise, take two pounds of clay and throw a cylinder as tall as you possibly can. Then, take your wire tool and undercut half way through the bottom of the piece, then vertically to the top. Inspect the thickness of the walls. Is the thickness consistent top to bottom? No? Something to work on. Are the walls more than 1/4 inch? You likely can throw to that, or less, without collapse. Next, take 1.75 pounds of clay, with the goal of throwing the exact same cylinder in height and diameter. Did it? Awesome! Not done? Take another 1.75 pounds, and do it again, and again until you've reached that goal. Now take 1.5 pounds of clay, and repeat the process. Obviously this likely isn't going to happen in one wheel session. But it's a great way to improve your throwing skills, pushing yourself and the clay to its limits, while saving money on the firing fee!
Another tip for wheel throwers: trim more. If you take a piece off the wheel and it still has a lot of weight on the bottom, put it back on and continue trimming. This is a great exercise to not only refine trimming your pots, but also to become proficient at re-centering a piece for trimming! Do you run the risk of trimming right through the bottom? Absolutely, so this helps master that issue as well, since there are a variety of ways to determine if you'll trim through the bottom.
Hand-building with Slabs
For slabs, make a series of boxes or stacking bowls on drape molds and on each new one, roll the clay thinner. You may be surprised how thin and delicate your pieces can be. Keep in mind that thinner slabs typically set up faster than thicker ones (ie. they're ready to work with sooner), and the window for working with the clay is often shorter. However, once the clay is in a good working state, you can keep parts of it under plastic as you build your piece.