My name is Anna and a somewhat amateur at pottery. I took courses all throughout highschool and absolutely fell in love with it. I used to play in the mud as a kid and I'm sure it is no suprise that after taking the classes and everything I'd want a kiln. My mom bought me a kiln sitter model k s18a from an elderly woman and decided it'd be a perfect present for my birthday and it was. The only problem was that I had no instructions on how to use it except for the very vague manufacturers operating manuals. That was about 2 years ago and just on Monday we were able to get all the electrical stuff hooked up. I have already purchased all the necessary stuff that I would need but i have just a few questions on how to do my test firings and bisque firings and all that.
Here's a little info. I already know about the kiln:
automatic shutoff, fires to cone 8, electric, and that it gets hot pretty fast.
Question 1: Since my kiln is an older model and does not have a low-med-high temp guage/knob and all it has is a dial with numbers up to 9 and a section saying HOLD does that just mean hours? And if so would that mean I would increase my "hours" until the automatic shut off engaged?
Question 2: Would the same logic above be applied to glaze fires?
Question 3: If it does not have a temperature gauge then do i have to prop the lid open to relase some heat after firing is finished? I know it needs to cool down slowly but I have no idea when to prop it open.
Question 4: Do I also need to keep a peephole open during firing?
And lastly question 5: Before applying kiln wash do I need to slightly wash my kiln shelf or should I use a damp cloth? Its really dust haha.
Anywho I'm sorry my post is so long and I'd really appreciate any answers that could be given or any advice/references. I can also take photos and post them if need for a better description.