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firing first time

updated mon 27 jan 03


Lily Krakowski on sun 26 jan 03

Make sure the kiln is hooked on properly. Check that you have the wiring
the manufacturer suggests, that your kiln is "safe" as far as distance from
walls, elevation from floor and so on. Check that ventilation is as it
should be.

Kiln wash your shelves and do it well. Smooth, even. Let them dry

Buy a small mirror or two so you can look INSIDE as you stack and make sure
nothing is touching anything it should not. Stack your pots about an inch
from each other at this stage of your game. Practice kiln stacking!!!
Learn to measure your pots so that you can stack economically. Practice
with your kitchen dishes, using a cardboard box. Top loaders take a bit of
practice to learn to stack--hence mirror.

Make "biscuits" These are pancakes of grogged clay that you put your test
pieces on. Good idea to make tests before you slather boughten OR homemade
glazes on your pots. ALWAYS check any new batch of glaze on tests because
yes mistakes are made (read CLAYART) and disasters occur! Even with
commercial glazes.

Before you buy tons of boughten glaze try small amounts ofseveral
manufacturer's products.

Remember this, both about clay and glaze: if it says c.4-8 it means: the
clay will be a lot maturer at C.8 than at c.4. It means the glaze will be
more fluid (run more) at c.8 than at c.4. If you put a c.4-8 glaze on a
body that also is c.4 to c.8 the whole thing will mature more at c.8 than at
4. Look different; possibly run more. GIVE YOUR FIRST TRIES LOTS OF
RUNNING SPACE. i.e. do not glaze as far down as you are used to. On a
coffee mug I would allow 3/4 inch at bottom to start.

Learn to accept disappointment.....

Lili Krakowski
P.O. Box #1
Constableville, N.Y.
(315) 942-5916/ 397-2389

Be of good courage....

Vicki Hardin on sun 26 jan 03

Kiln wash, Kiln wash, Kiln wash!!!!! Some people don't use it, but it makes
grinding glaze off your shelf MUCH easier. This is even more important when
you don't know the glazes that you will be working with. Also, I use wad of
clay at the top of kiln posts to stabalize the kiln furniture. If this is
done with a glaze fire, one would want to roll them in alumina hydrate first.
This is not needed for a bisque fire.

Good Luck! Isn't this exciting!

Vicki Hardin