I have received so many e-mail questions about how I do my ceramic handprint and footprint keepsake pieces, that I decided I would open a blog to answer questions and help other people with their business. You can visit my site at www.MontereyCeramics.com.
I started my ceramic handprint and footprint business after I had children and realized I didn't want to go work 80 hours a week in the corporate world. I have spoken with so many mothers that are in that same situation. We want to find that balance and be available for our children.
I stumbled through so many hurdles while creating my business. This is a great business for mothers and I wanted to offer the information so they could start their own business or make it better.
One of the most expensive pieces of equipment is the kiln. I suggest you purchase one that is new, so you know it has never had anything toxic fired in it. I do not use anything with lead. Lead glazes can provide a better looking piece, but I personally don't think the risk of having lead in your work area or on a piece given to a child is worth the minor difference. There are many lead free glazes that work beautifully.
The size of the kiln should be based on how many pieces and how big of a piece you would want to fire. It costs money to fire a kiln. So the less you have to fire it, the better.
Safety is an issue. You need to read the manufacture's safety information and be sure you plan appropriately. Where you place the kiln and the ventilation for that area are important. A hood is a great asset for ventilation. www.ventafume.com is a great place to purchase a hood for ventilation.
Please let me know your questions and I will be happy to help as much as I can in answering them.