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Housefull of pots

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  1. Housefull of pots

    How did you learn to fire your own kiln?

    .. On this note @High Bridge Pottery - Excuse my ignorance - How are you supposed to see when the cones have gone? I opened up the spyhole but the heat is so blinding - do you use some special dark goggles or something>??
  2. Housefull of pots

    How did you learn to fire your own kiln?

    Ouch. There are literally so many elemts to the making, glazing and firing process that can go up. Good luck for the next batch!
  3. Housefull of pots

    How did you learn to fire your own kiln?

    THanks Patrick =-) Good to see pics and hear of home made kilns pros and cons.. love the glass of red you had to put down to take the pic lol. The hood worked fine, maybe could have been a bit wider actally as it was getting pretty hot and the finish kind of shmooshed like you said but otherwise pretty happy. I found a manual online which described how to make a hood with dimensions and it pretty much matched up what we came up with so that was cool. Gonna do another firing this week hopefully and test out top temps with some ash glazes. S
  4. Housefull of pots

    How did you learn to fire your own kiln?

    Think the splintering noise was fine whatever it was as the pots came out pretty well. I have some black clay that I am trying to find the correct firing temp for with a few glazes I have made up. The small plates I have made on the lowest shelves have all melted but the cups were all fine.. I think it must be something about how I have made the plates. I think soaking will improve the next firing to even out the heat as there is a big discrepancy between the top and bottom of the kiln. Thanks for the encouragement, I feel like i am picking things up all the time =-)
  5. Housefull of pots

    How did you learn to fire your own kiln?

    Hi Babs, Thank you for your reply.. no I am in Cornwall, UK =) My little port-o-kiln must be over 40 years young I reckon and it's a mystery as to how she got here, it's in good nick and has probably passed through may hands. Thankyou for the tip re John Eagles, very interesting man and work. I can't find the specific article you recommend but will have another look another day just in case I can unearth it. S
  6. Housefull of pots

    How did you learn to fire your own kiln?

    Yayyy!! Well - it may be a disaster! Will have to see. I did want to soak or stall it at 1260 but I lose my nerve a bit when it is roaring and so hot... I tried to keep one burner lit for cool down so it went down slowly but flame kept licking back down through the other burner hole and I just switched off and closed it up. I did hear like splintering noises which made me cringe - do you know what that might be?? Good to hear about your own methods - what do ou mean when you say it prevents the reduction from penetrating? Are you firing above 1300? I think I will struggle to get mine up that far, but maybe it is about switching between oxidation and reduction and give and take on the gas as you described earlier>?
  7. Housefull of pots

    How did you learn to fire your own kiln?

    Hi Neil, Thanks so much for this. I found your analogies and openness really useful. I chose a gas kiln because I am an analogue girl, and I kind of think of gas firing a bit like photography, the kiln and the camera being very alike in their unique and magical ways - and much of what you wrote atested to that. I like the use of breathing and the circular movement. Anyway waffle waffle.. I decided to go for it and lit her up at 9 this morning. She is a bit of a galloper being quite small, so had to just keep it as steady as I could. I put it into reduction at 1050 as recommended in my favourite Coopers book of Glazes and kept it in reduction right up to 1250 when it couldn't climb anymore. I opened up the damper and turned the gas down (after tryng to unsuccessfully force it up) and she went up to where I needed it. It was a good lesson for me. Especially in being independent and taking the reins. So helpful to have the support of other potters when learning. THANK YOU!
  8. Housefull of pots

    How did you learn to fire your own kiln?

    Hey Liam, Thanks for your words of wisdom.. I felt pretty good about going for it, I just needed to ask around for some reassurance that I was on the right track. I fired today, lit it up at 9 and finished at 5. Felt prettty relaxed about it, and seemed to go smoothly, guess I'll find out more tomorrow when I get a peek inside!
  9. Hi folks, I am new to this forum and apologise if my questions have been and gone before, I’m sure they have! I have bought an old gas fired port-o-kiln and have had in installed into the granite lean to which has a tin roof, at the end of the stables (no horses in there anymore) it seems like a good space. Its small but there is air flow. The kiln is small, it has two burners in v good condition and I have a19kg bottle of propane for it. The kiln didn’t come with a flu or hood so I have got someone to fashion a basic hood and chimney to take the heat and fumes out. There is about an 8” gap between the bottom of the hood and the kiln to use a damper. I have done a couple of firings with a local potter who has a pretty unconventional approach to firing, and I have learnt alot but I woukd like to give it a gallop and see if I can put into practise what I’ve learnt. I have found it quite hard finding solid info on gas firing. I will be firing a range of stoneware and porcelain from 1260 -1300 in reduction. The potter who helped me before used gloves and a hire fire brick as a damper, but I am a little worried about forcing the heat in for some reason - I havnt seen many kikns in my time is this ok practise to control the atmosphere? Where and how did you learn to fire with gas/wood etc? Can you give me any tips or benchmarks? Any good books you can recommend please? So interested to learn more about firing and different kilns. Many thanks for reading!
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