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plate sitters, quantitative analysis

updated thu 28 jun 01


Craig Martell on wed 27 jun 01


Here's the economic lowdown from my kiln on shelves and sitters. I use 12
x 24 crystars and advancers for shelves. For dinner plates I use 12 inch
Acme Marls Hi-Al Sitters with removeable legs. These are the most
versatile sitters I've used because you can use all sorts of supports for
different heights of ware. I buy the sitters from the Clayart Center in
Tacoma Washington. You can go to their website and see what they've got at They are the West Coast distributor for Acme Marls,
I believe.

I can fire 4 dinner plates on two 12x24 shelves. The shelves have an area
of 576 square inches. The payload for these two shelves is $140.00 retail
for the plates. The cost of the two shelves for me, was about $210.00. If
I use one 12x24 inch shelf with three sitters, I can stack 4 dinner plates
plus 3 covered jars and this has a payload of $380.00. The total square
inch area of the refractories is 573 square inches which is, one shelf and
three sitters. The cost of the shelf and three sitters is $132.30.

When I've fired flatware on shelves only the tight stack configuration
doesn't allow for a good draft and good circulation of gasses and
heat. When I use plate sitters I get a better stack configuration and very
evenly reduced firings with a close temp spread throughout the kiln.

I fired a load last week with 16 dinner settings. These were 5 piece sets
with a dinner plate, salad plate, pasta plate, soup bowl, and mug. Do the
math, that's a lot of pieces. I couldn't have placed all that ware without
my arsenal of sitters. So my enconomic and ergonomic conclusion after 25
yrs of making dinnerware is: Take away the sitters and I quit!!

hope this is of some relevance, Craig Martell in Oregon.......let's eat!!