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kiln report

updated thu 20 jan 00


ginny bivaletz on tue 18 jan 00

first, many thanks to all who share so readily on this
list. what a valuable resource i have found it to be.
it is like having a ceramics library at your disposal
and i spend many hours searching new information in
the archives.
the spacebar went out on our keyboard and i have not
been able to post before this to let you all know
whats happened with the gas kiln we got recently.

it's been a long journey, and we finally did our first
firing last nite. only bisque, but it was a start.
before loading we tried playing around with the
burners and found that we couldn't keep the temp. rise
to be slow enough for the early bisque temp and put in
a smaller orifice in all the burners. we also had to
put in a larger orifice in the pilots because they did
not have a big enough flame to stay lit. all
seemed well, we loaded and candled overnite with the
pilots and woke to a nice 102 f. lit the burners, one
side at a time, fiddled lots and brought the kiln up
nice and slowly with the pressure reading always under

then the wind started kicking up and progressed to
50--60 mph and we started to wish we had checked the
weather. FIRST LESSON learned. after hitting a
certain temp. the kiln really started slowing down and
we just kept turning up the gas till we were at 10 1/2
and only rising about 1 degree per minute at best with
a long way to go. we wondered whether to turn it off
or hang in there. so we kept it going till 3:00a.m.
and shut it off at ^10 when it just was creeping up
sooo slowly. i was closing the draft a tad, thinking
that it was pulling all the heat out of the kiln being
so windy, but i was afraid to reduce it.
what a sight we were, with all the copies of posts
from the archives concerning bisque firing spread out
over the studio along with books, calculators, stop
watches, charts, etc. i am sure we will laugh at this
someday when we are old pros( well, we are old, but
not pros,unfortunately) - the longest bisque firing in
history! all the pots look, o.k. i'll mist them down
with water so they don't absorb too much glaze and
hope for the best. i think we will try out an orifice
somewhere in between the two and try another bisque
firing before glazing. i've got quite a bit
stockpiled in anticipation for the long awaited for
event. pretty exciting stuff and feeling blessed to
be excited. thanks to you all for the input.

a tired ginnyB from orcas island, where our 500 gal.
propane tank is a bit lighter than yesterday.
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Cindy Strnad on wed 19 jan 00


I'm glad you got your kiln working. I'm wondering if I heard you right,
though? You bisque fired your pottery to ^10? As in 2300 degrees F.?

I don't think you'll need to mist it with water to keep the glaze from
absorbing too much if this is the case. More likely, you'll have some
challenges in getting the glaze to stick at all. Warm up your pots, or
spritz them with corn syrup solution before glazing.

Generally, most folks choose a bisque temperature of ^08-^04. I go to ^06
myself, which is around 1940 degrees F. This may make bisque firing less of
a trial for you.

Cindy Strnad
Earthen Vessels Pottery
Custer, SD