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CarolynB

Newbie Question: Mildew On Kiln Shelves

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I just bought a kiln that has never been fired and stored in a garage.  The kiln shelves have a bit of mildew or mold on them.  How would you recommend cleaning the shelves before i apply the kiln wash?

 

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Thanks, I was wondering if that would be ok.  Sorry if it was a silly question; I'm slowly moving from making work in a community studio to my home studio.  Thanks to the wonderful CM community I can find the answers to most of my questions.

 

I will be test-firing the kiln later today and hope to run my first bisque load later this week.

 

I'm still working on getting my image gallery set up; if interested you can view some of my work here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carolyn-Bulkley/1541903372763167?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

-Carolyn

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The fire will kill it. :) No work required.

 

My friend spent hours digging mildew bits out of a block of clay before she realized it would burn off. It's not silly, just inexperience, and every one of us has been there. :)

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Hi Carolyn and welcome to the forums!

 

Are your shelves damp? My thought was if there is mildew growing on them then they could be a bit wet, if they are then take it slow heating them up for the first time.

 

Your sgraffito is lovely!

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Thank you for the compliment Min.  I'm glad to hear that the fire will kill it...I guess I should have known :)

 

I brought the shelves inside, if they are damp would it be safe to assume that after a couple hours of being inside they would still be cool to the touch?  

Should I do the test fire at 04 slow instead of the suggested 04 medium?

-Carolyn

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I am not familiar with what medium and slow means, but I would go very slow to start with for at least 2-3 hours. If the shelves are damp enough to have mold growing on them, they might be pretty damp, and damp shelves heated too fast are going to crack and break. You want to dry them out first, then heat them to burn the mold off. Water starts turning to steam at 212F. 

 

So you should try to dry them below 200F(ideally 180F) for at least 2-3 hours just to be sure. After that burn the mold off. 

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I'm guessing your shelves are cordierite or high alumina shelves, off white colour not the black shelves? If so they are quite porous and can have up to 15 - 20% porosity, I've no idea how damp your shelves might be but if they were mine I would err on the side of caution and heat them in the kiln at about 185 overnight. After that increase the heat to around 200 and hold a piece of glass or mirror up to the peep hole and if you see moisture on it then shelves are not dry.

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Thank you; your answers are really helping me get thru this.  Based on my anxiety level for this simple test fire I'm going to be a basket case when I do my first glaze firing!

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I just set up a home studio recently and must share that I've figured out that ramping up my anxiety over firing/glazing--whatever--is just not just worth the energy it takes.  I learned real quick to just do my best, use this community and other resources for input, suggestions, discussions, and cautions, and then let myself enjoy the process.

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Thanks, I was wondering if that would be ok.  Sorry if it was a silly question; I'm slowly moving from making work in a community studio to my home studio.  Thanks to the wonderful CM community I can find the answers to most of my questions.

 

I will be test-firing the kiln later today and hope to run my first bisque load later this week.

 

I'm still working on getting my image gallery set up; if interested you can view some of my work here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carolyn-Bulkley/1541903372763167?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

-Carolyn

Carolyn;

I did not think that this was a silly question. I also knew the answer, so jumped in. Welcome to the forum. Please ask as many questions as you wish. Someone here will know the answer.

TJR.

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Dangit that link won't open for me. I wannnnaaa seeee!! I'm so excited to see another lowfirer on here FINALLY!! ^_^ Welcome to the forums! ♥

-Guinea

 

OOPS, check that--looks like stoneware. WAAAH I'm all alone again... LOL my tiny rodent brain always associates sgrafitto with lowfire because that was what we did in college with terracotta. ^_^ I love the sheep you did!

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The test fire is done! Hopefully the shelves survived; yesterday I dried out the shelves in my oven and I (very slowly) ran the test fire today.  Thank you so much for the advice. I have learned so much valuable information on these boards this year.  Guinea, your work is a huge inspiration, your critters are so lively!  

 

-Carolyn

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