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About jeffkuratnick

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  • Birthday 03/11/1987

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  • Location
    Great Falls, MT
  • Interests
    Connecting with other Ceramic Artists!
  1. when can I open my kiln?

    I usually stick with the 600d/F rule to stick a brick underneath the lid and vent the kiln for a while. Although you get some crackling, it is not very severe. Additionally, you can do a newspaper test should you not have a pyrometer: Take a sheet and roll it on the long end - stick it inside a spy hole - if it ignites, the kiln is too hot to open - if it smolders you are in range to crack the lid and begin cooling the kiln down at a faster pace. At about 300d/F I will typically open the lid fully without issue. On a side note: If you're firing thicker work in a bisque kiln with manual or digital settings - be sure to spend extra time letting the kiln soak at 'Medium'. This (again, 600 d/F is crucial) is where carbon and chemical water begin to burn out of the clay body - if you move through the medium sequences too quickly - carbon and chemical water will trap itself inside the clay body resulting in an explosion - destroying someone's work. Hope this helps!
  2. Thanks Marcia! Billings and Missoula are 2 major destinations I haven't been yet in the state...looking forward to getting there soon.

  3. Hi Jeff. I lived in Billings for 31 years and taught at MSUB until 2000. Paris Gibson is a great place. Welcome to the forum.


  4. Saggar Firing

    I've done quite a few saggars with Ferric Chloride - gas masks or 'running away' when the kiln is firing are helpful as the chloride produces mustard gas when burning. A simple safety solution is to go with a gas- mask for those in proximity to the kiln. The firings I've done with ferric chlorides were with the addition of wax, table salt sugar, and string. All produce interesting effects. Additionally, stains and slips can be added underneath the chloride - none that I've tried produced very desirable effects. In terms of aluminum foil coating the kiln walls, I have not seen anything like this, however - as stated - it can melt. Hope this helps! Jeff
  5. Kiln misfire

    Greeting from Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls! I had a similar problem with a Cress Kiln - (the only difference is we have a digital pyrometer on ours) that wasn't firing to cone 6 as desired. After running some tests we figured out it most definitely was a fried element (our replacement ran about $50). If you know an electrician they would be able to determine kiln element functionality with a simple test. Recommended steps to take: 1. Get in touch with an electrician and have them run a test on the element 2. Call the kiln manufacturer and order the appropriate element. 3. Call me at the museum if you have any further ?'s: 406.727.8255 X 305 Good Luck! Jeff Kuratnick