Vagabond Ceramics

A Trek Through Mud and Life

Skutt 1227.jpg

Most pottery equipment is built for a long service life, though it takes care and maintenance to keep it running smoothly.  My studio features a Brent Model A from 1972 and an L&L kiln from 1974.  Both run remarkably well and are in regular use because their previous owners took great care of them.  On the other hand, I purchased a Skutt 1227-3 that was less than a decade old for $80 because the previous owner abused it.  There was severe brick damage from glaze drips that were not dealt with and electrical problems were not addressed.  It was finally taken out of service when wires in the control box shorted out and melted the whole wiring harness.  An expensive piece of equipment was basically ruined from a lack of care.  I brought it home, replaced kiln brick, elements, the plug, and all the internal wiring.  I also converted it from 3-Phase 208v to 1-Phase 240v.  For a couple days of work and about $400 in parts, I brought a kiln that was all but given away back to functioning like a brand new $2600 kiln.  Repairs and maintenance really do make sense.

I travel within and around Philadelphia for electric kiln and pottery wheel maintenance and repair.  I have serviced dozens of kilns from makers such as Skutt, Paragon, L&L, Crusader, etc.  In addition to maintaining my own kilns (currently at 5!) I service the kilns for Yay Clay!, Say it With Clay, and Wrong World Ceramics.  I am equipt to diagnose any electric kiln problem you may be having, and can replace, elements, wires, relays, thermocouples, or any other source of trouble.  

Most pottery wheels are relatively simple machines that require little maintenance. When problems arise, some are fixed with relatively simple adjustments, but others will require parts be sent back to the manufacturer for repair.  The only wheel thats a little different is the Shimano VL Whisper.  It's a direct drive wheel with a laser position sensor located inside the motor that is terribly easy to fry if you plug the pedal in while the wheel is on.  Its a great wheel with one huge flaw.


Pricing is $50 per hour plus material costs and travel time if outside of Philadelphia.  I have a one hour minimum charge for all service calls. Email me with the make and model of the kiln, and a description of your problem or the work you need done.


Please note that I can NOT install electric outlets or change your building's wiring.  If you are installing a kiln in a new space, I can advise you on the power requirements for your kiln, but new outlets and power supply issues should be handled by a certified electrician.  I only work on the kiln or wheel itself.