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#1 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:19 PM

Hi- I am new to pottery. I got a kick wheel on mothers day 2012, and I am firing my kiln for the first time. It's a small paragon from the 60's. I have it packed closely but not stacked. I am using basic store purchased earthenware clay and attempted to do my first bisque firing using a cone 4 in the lever. (sorry, not experience enough to get technical) I had it warm up on low for an hr with the top proped open 2 inches. (mind you, it's 10 degrees here, the kiln is in my garage with the door open) I had it closed for an hr, and then turned it up to "med" for 1 hr. Then I put it on high. I started the entire process at 10:45am today and the cone shut off the kiln at 5:20pm. That seems awefully fast for what I was expecting. It's only nearly 7 hrs..

Does this mean I did something wrong? Do you think I will be able to open it up in the morning or is that too soon to check what happened? I don't want to shock the pots with the cold air too quickly. How will I know if I didn't do it long enough?

Thanks! <3
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#2 bciskepottery

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

Did you use an 04 cone in the sitter or a 4 cone? Bisque is normally in the 06, 05, and 04 range. If you used cone 4, you may have some difficulties glazing . . . as earthenware (red) often vitrifies around cone 4 or above. Check the firing range of your claybody. If the top range is 04 or so, and you fired to cone 4, you might have a mess on your shelves. Hopefully not, though.

You might try searching on-line to find a manual to go with your kiln (http://www.paragonwe...ion_Manuals.cfm) or go to the Paragon website and send an email to Arnold Howard . . . he is extremely helpful and a member of the CAD community (http://www.paragonwe...m/Kiln_Guru.cfm).

Seven hours is not unusual . . . others may be able to suggest alternate ramps, e.g., one hour low, two or three hours medium, high until finished, etc.

#3 Pres

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

Did you use an 04 cone in the sitter or a 4 cone? Bisque is normally in the 06, 05, and 04 range. If you used cone 4, you may have some difficulties glazing . . . as earthenware (red) often vitrifies around cone 4 or above. Check the firing range of your claybody. If the top range is 04 or so, and you fired to cone 4, you might have a mess on your shelves. Hopefully not, though.

You might try searching on-line to find a manual to go with your kiln (http://www.paragonwe...ion_Manuals.cfm) or go to the Paragon website and send an email to Arnold Howard . . . he is extremely helpful and a member of the CAD community (http://www.paragonwe...m/Kiln_Guru.cfm).

Seven hours is not unusual . . . others may be able to suggest alternate ramps, e.g., one hour low, two or three hours medium, high until finished, etc.


I would think ^4 would cause some bloating, if not actual slumping or melt down. Depending on the type of earthenware that you are using. Get back to us about the ^number and the results of this first firing.

Good Luck.

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#4 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

Did you use an 04 cone in the sitter or a 4 cone? Bisque is normally in the 06, 05, and 04 range. If you used cone 4, you may have some difficulties glazing . . . as earthenware (red) often vitrifies around cone 4 or above. Check the firing range of your claybody. If the top range is 04 or so, and you fired to cone 4, you might have a mess on your shelves. Hopefully not, though.

You might try searching on-line to find a manual to go with your kiln (http://www.paragonwe...ion_Manuals.cfm) or go to the Paragon website and send an email to Arnold Howard . . . he is extremely helpful and a member of the CAD community (http://www.paragonwe...m/Kiln_Guru.cfm).

Seven hours is not unusual . . . others may be able to suggest alternate ramps, e.g., one hour low, two or three hours medium, high until finished, etc.



I am pretty sure I used a 4. I had a pottery teacher come over and help me figure out what I needed. I could have written the wrong thing in my notebook. I want to peek so bad but it's so cold and I don't want to screw up the cooling process!! Posted Image It isn't red hot in the peep hole anymore.. do you think it's safe to peek?
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#5 Lucille Oka

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:21 PM

I am sure you meant cone 04 as a bisque firing judging by the amount of time it took to fire. If this is a small kiln it will fire very quickly. I recently purchased a very small test kiln and it fires to a mature cone 04 bisque (1971°F) in a slow firing mode; it takes about 6 or seven hours including a preheat segment.

But before you start seriously glazing this work do some testing. Make a few test tiles for testing your clay and glazes. I hope you have taken a class or two, have a few books, and some DVD's on pottery making to help you on this road. Have patience and let the kiln cool down completely before you open the lid. It will cool down quickly as well.

Keep dated logs of your firings, listing the cone to which you are firing, the ware that is included, type of glaze, amount of time on each setting and total firing time. You will be surprised how handy this can be in the future.

I also make a 'quick look chart' so if I want to repeat a particular firing I can take a quick look at the results and go to the log and get the details. I don't want to overwhelm you but for me this is fun.
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#6 bciskepottery

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:30 PM


Did you use an 04 cone in the sitter or a 4 cone? Bisque is normally in the 06, 05, and 04 range. If you used cone 4, you may have some difficulties glazing . . . as earthenware (red) often vitrifies around cone 4 or above. Check the firing range of your claybody. If the top range is 04 or so, and you fired to cone 4, you might have a mess on your shelves. Hopefully not, though.

You might try searching on-line to find a manual to go with your kiln (http://www.paragonwe...ion_Manuals.cfm) or go to the Paragon website and send an email to Arnold Howard . . . he is extremely helpful and a member of the CAD community (http://www.paragonwe...m/Kiln_Guru.cfm).

Seven hours is not unusual . . . others may be able to suggest alternate ramps, e.g., one hour low, two or three hours medium, high until finished, etc.



I am pretty sure I used a 4. I had a pottery teacher come over and help me figure out what I needed. I could have written the wrong thing in my notebook. I want to peek so bad but it's so cold and I don't want to screw up the cooling process!! Posted Image It isn't red hot in the peep hole anymore.. do you think it's safe to peek?


Have a nice cup of tea, a good night sleep . . . and check it in the morning. Opening too soon can affect the integrity of the items (or, yes, people can screw up the cooling process).

#7 Lucille Oka

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

You say you are sure it was cone 4? Well, don't open the lid until the kiln is cool. Don't peek. If you do it won't change anything but it can cause cracked pots. Earthenware at cone 4 can be a disaster. I hope for the best.
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#8 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:43 PM

hearing all of this- I am hoping i used enough kiln wash!! LOL
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#9 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:52 PM

I keep obsessing and need to take the advice, have a cup of tea and try to get some sleep after all of this!! I don't know if I will be able to sleep. At the very least- It will motivate me to make some new pots so I can figure out how to do it correctly!

If its all bloated does that mean it is no good? Is it bad to glaze pots that are fired wrong? I will reply with the results in the morning. Thank you all for the words of wisdom!



I was planning to test out my glazes in stripes on one of the bowls that I made as a "sampler bowl"
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#10 bciskepottery

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:04 PM

I keep obsessing and need to take the advice, have a cup of tea and try to get some sleep after all of this!! I don't know if I will be able to sleep. At the very least- It will motivate me to make some new pots so I can figure out how to do it correctly!

If its all bloated does that mean it is no good? Is it bad to glaze pots that are fired wrong? I will reply with the results in the morning. Thank you all for the words of wisdom!



I was planning to test out my glazes in stripes on one of the bowls that I made as a "sampler bowl"


First, make that cup of tea. Then, check your claybody . . . some earthenwares have a range of 06 to 04, others 06 to cone 2, and some 06 to cone 4 and above. Hopefully, yours will be in the latter category.

Bloating is the result of firing too high, resulting in air pockets. Bloated ware is not usable . . . the air pockets could break and cause cuts from the sharp edges.

If the earthenware has a firing range up to cone 4, then the works can be glazed . . . they just won't be as absorbent when glaze is applied. But there are ways of dealing with that, if necessary. And we can cross that bridge when we get to it.

I have glazed fired Standard 104 earthenware (cone 06 to cone 4) up to cone 6 without any issues. It's a bit darker in color, but still functional. Don't do that as a regular practice, though.

#11 Iforgot

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:15 PM

you may want to hold off on the firings for a while, the first year i had my kiln i ruined like three kiln loads, mabye read a book or two, watch some you tube videos abour kilns, ease into it.



Good luck!

Darrel
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#12 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:42 AM

you may want to hold off on the firings for a while, the first year i had my kiln i ruined like three kiln loads, mabye read a book or two, watch some you tube videos abour kilns, ease into it.



Good luck!

Darrel



Ha ha!! The best education is failure.
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#13 weeble

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:56 AM

Yeah, but sometimes failure in pottery can be very expensive.... :) Anyway, the guide line I use is if I can't touch the kiln lid comfortably, its too early to unload.

Have fun with it!
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#14 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:15 AM

Ok- Now I am even more confused than I was before. I looked at the clay box (amaco moist sculpting clay) and it says fires at cones 5-10 (nothing about 04 o5 etc) Does this mean I was using stoneware without knowing?

This morning I opened up the kiln and the items seemed to be cooked fine (this is my first time cooking pottery on my own) How do I know if I under fired? I make extremely thin items. Would it be extremely brittle if it was under cooked? Nothing blistered or cracked. I have 1 item that has a hair crack in it before it went into the kiln, I was hoping to have it seal with glaze.

I took a few pics of the items (remember, I am a newbie, lots of uneven things, and only like 2 that I endorse)

(now I am having difficulty showing my pic)


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#15 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:46 AM

checking ot see if the pic upload worked Posted Image
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#16 OffCenter

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

Ok- Now I am even more confused than I was before. I looked at the clay box (amaco moist sculpting clay) and it says fires at cones 5-10 (nothing about 04 o5 etc) Does this mean I was using stoneware without knowing?

This morning I opened up the kiln and the items seemed to be cooked fine (this is my first time cooking pottery on my own) How do I know if I under fired? I make extremely thin items. Would it be extremely brittle if it was under cooked? Nothing blistered or cracked. I have 1 item that has a hair crack in it before it went into the kiln, I was hoping to have it seal with glaze.

I took a few pics of the items (remember, I am a newbie, lots of uneven things, and only like 2 that I endorse)

(now I am having difficulty showing my pic)



Hold up, Rebbylicious! You gotta know at least a little something before you jump into this or you're gonna kill somebody! Take a class or read a book. Maybe "Pottery for Dummies". Ask the potter friend you mentioned above for help. First of all don't trust any clay that has that wide of range for firing. If the box or bag says cone 5-10, they're lying to you. It is either underfired at 5 or overfired at 10 so first of all you need to get a different clay. If you want to do earthenware, then get earthenware clay not cone 5-10 (sic) sculpture clay. Then fire to the recommended bisque for that clay. It will not be the number on the box and will be at least several cones below the cones on the box and will be cone with a zero before the number. Then if you glaze the pots use glazes that mature at the same cone as the clay (the box or bag may read cone 3-4 or something like that) and fire them to that cone.

Jim
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#17 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:50 AM


Ok- Now I am even more confused than I was before. I looked at the clay box (amaco moist sculpting clay) and it says fires at cones 5-10 (nothing about 04 o5 etc) Does this mean I was using stoneware without knowing?

This morning I opened up the kiln and the items seemed to be cooked fine (this is my first time cooking pottery on my own) How do I know if I under fired? I make extremely thin items. Would it be extremely brittle if it was under cooked? Nothing blistered or cracked. I have 1 item that has a hair crack in it before it went into the kiln, I was hoping to have it seal with glaze.

I took a few pics of the items (remember, I am a newbie, lots of uneven things, and only like 2 that I endorse)

(now I am having difficulty showing my pic)



Hold up, Rebbylicious! You gotta know at least a little something before you jump into this or you're going to kill somebody! Take a class or read a book. Maybe "Pottery for Dummies". Ask the potter friend you mentioned above for help. First of all don't trust any clay that has that wide of range for firing. If the box or bag says cone 5-10, they're lying to you. It is either underfired at 5 or overfired at 10 so first of all you need to get a different clay. If you want to do earthenware, then get earthenware clay not cone 5-10 (sic) sculpture clay. Then fire to the recommended bisque for that clay (the cone number will have a "0" in front of it like cone 06), then if you glaze the pots use glazes that mature at the same temp as the clay (the box or bag may read cone 3-4 or something like that) and fire them to that cone (the cone number may or may not have a "0" in front of it like cone 4).

Jim


I am pretty sure I made it clear that I am a newbie. I have taken some pottery classes at the art museum (not college level I know), I have read some books on pottery, and to be honest a lot of it seems over my head. I had my pottery teacher come here and check out my kiln and he gave me some pointers on it. I fired the only clay I was able to get my hands on without paying a billion dollars in shipping costs. (this was the only clay available between shopping at 4 art stores) My kiln has been professionaly installed. I don't know what else and or how long someone is supposed to wait to start making pottery? I had my kiln since the early summer and I have been reading and nervous about using it for the first time, that is why I had the art teacher come to my house to help me out.
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#18 neilestrick

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

Definitely looks like cone 4 to me. Unfortunately, they are probably too vitrified to take glaze. You should always bisque around cone 04, then glaze fire to the cone at which your clay matures.
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#19 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Definitely looks like cone 4 to me. Unfortunately, they are probably too vitrified to take glaze. You should always bisque around cone 04, then glaze fire to the cone at which your clay matures.



Thank you neil! :)
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#20 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:56 AM


Definitely looks like cone 4 to me. Unfortunately, they are probably too vitrified to take glaze. You should always bisque around cone 04, then glaze fire to the cone at which your clay matures.



Thank you neil! Posted Image


ok- so I just got off the phone with my pottery teacher at the museum. He said it sounds like the sculpting clay is stoneware and I thought it was earthenware the whole time. Obviously It is still over fired, so I am going to see if the glaze sticks to it before i attempt to fire it. Luckily for me, the museum is going to cancel art classes and might be willing to sell me some proper clay! That would be a major break! At least i made a good mistake, if it had been earthenware my kiln would likely be a huge mess.
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)




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