Firing the Gas Kiln – February 2010


I was thrilled to be firing the gas kiln again.  We were supposed to fire over the weekend, but we needed to get some student work fired, so we filled  the kiln with my work, and that of Lorraine Oerth.  Lorraine and loaded Wednesday afternoon.  Thankfully I was assisting with the evening class next door because I decided to check in on the kiln about an hour after we lit the pilot.  One side had gone out.  Yicks.

The back of the kiln loaded; starting on the front

It turned out we were getting a strong down draft from the chimney that was affecting the one side only.  After closing the damper a bit, we were good.  Off for a good night sleep.

Ok, maybe not.  I awoke at 3 a.m. remembering that we hadn’t reopened the damper.  Yicks again.  I slept fitfully for the next 2 hours and then arrived at the studio at 6:30.  All was well so we turned up the gas and got things cooking.

Checking the cones. Cone 9 was falling.

Look at that flame.

We check temperature, air flow and cone packs every 30 minutes.  Once body reduction starts, things get really exciting because the flame (in searching for oxygen) shoots out the peephole.  That makes for some pretty exciting pics.

I exhibited amazing patience Saturday morning while I got some stuff done around the house before going to the studio to unload.  When I open the door, I was not disappointed.  I called Lorraine and said “We rock”.  The firing was just beautiful.    We got beautiful copper reduction and good carbon trapping on the shinos.  My only disappointment was a 5 pots I glazed in Malcolm’s shino with celdaon. They turned out beautiful, but there was a serious fit issue that resulted in crazing that left a rough edge.  This is a combination that is known to work with these two glazes.  I will be analyzing these pots to see if they can salvaged.

This was a spectacular firing. We couldn't have been happier.

This is a colorful kiln

But no time to fret, as the rest of the pots turned out beautifully.

Now to clean up the bottoms and get them ready for shows and sales.  To see the complete album of firing pics, check out my flickr account.

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About Claytastic

Health coach. Writer. Teacher. Artist. Living an amazing life with MS. Interested in bringing peace and beauty into people's lives.
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