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mothballs/firing disasters

updated mon 5 apr 99


Marcia Selsor on sun 4 apr 99

Dear Jim,
I was hired under similar circumstances. One of the kilns had the door fall
over at ^10. I was hired to rebuild the kilns (before classes started in
Sept.). I was hired because I knew how to build and maintain the kilns. I have
built or rebuilt kilns here a dozen times. Funny how things go.
Marcia in Montana

Jim Connell wrote:
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> A funny but sad story occurred just before I arrived here at my University.
> The sculpture teacher and her student heard about this method of mothball
> reduction and tried it out in the electric kiln. (The Alpine reduction kiln
> had been ruined because she fired it and forgot to turn it off, leaving for
> the weekend. It obviously over fired and set off the sprinkler system
> warping the metal and destroying everything.)
> They didn't read too much on how to do the mothball technique, went ahead
> and put his sculpture in the electric and proceeded to fill the rest of the
> kiln with mothballs. When fired, it produced enough carbon to electrically
> arc the kiln and all but ruin it. Needless to say they learned the process
> only took a few mothballs not a bushel basket.
> This was the same pair that carved a big dent in the lid of an electric kiln
> to make the kiln large enough to have an oversize piece fit inside. A year
> or two later the lid literally fell apart as its mortar joints were all shot
> to hell.
> I was hired soon after!
> Jim Connell
> Winthrop University
> Rock Hill, SC
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ceramic Arts Discussion List [mailto:CLAYART@LSV.UKY.EDU] On Behalf Of
> Ted & Terry Meier
> Sent: Friday, April 02, 1999 10:15 AM
> Subject: mothball reduction
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> I heard the other day it is possible to do a reduction firing in an electric
> kiln by throwing in some moth balls. Has anyone heard of or used this
> technique? Does it work and if so what is the procedure?
> Ted Meier

Marcia Selsor