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Rebekah Krieger

Firing Work For Somebody At Higher Cone

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I have recently been asked if I could fire a piece of work for a fellow potter who has helped me out in the past.  I fire cone 5-6. The piece I am being asked to fire is cone 10.  I have a skutt 1027 and it shows cone 10 at the max temp.  Would you attempt to fire something at max temp? I was offered a shelf to fire it on just in case ... 

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Our electric kiln is rated for 10 but without some optional heavy duty elements they would wear at about twice the rate of cone 6 firings, certainly not a big issue for a couple of cone 10 firings here and there. I think it was also recommended to go with thicker bricks as well if intending to fire at cone 10 regularly.

 

Since cone 10 work is not usually oxidation I would do a test firing of a piece with the intended glaze to make sure it suit his/her purposes though. 

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Maybe she does not realize you don't normally fire this high ... otherwise you would be firing a single piece to Cone 10?

It won't hurt your kiln to do this and if the kiln is rated to Cone 10 it will go there.

Also, Cone 10 can be any method. Oxidation, gas, reduction, salt or soda ... just a temp. :D

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You might be right, maybe he doesn't realize that I fire mid range.  I am sure there are other potters in the area that fire cone 10 that will not be firing an empty kiln. I can't do a test fire because this is a random piece of work found in the studio after cleaning it. 

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You might be right, maybe he doesn't realize that I fire mid range.  I am sure there are other potters in the area that fire cone 10 that will not be firing an empty kiln. I can't do a test fire because this is a random piece of work found in the studio after cleaning it. 

I would not fire a random piece that has been sitting around a while ... she might even be remembering wrong and the clay is really Cone 6 or something else. Old bisqued pieces sometimes do not do well at all when fired. I have seen some crack as early in the firing as the pre-heat.

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Also, Cone 10 can be any method. Oxidation, gas, reduction, salt or soda ... just a temp. :D

UR right Chris I did just assume that the 1027 was being fired oxidation and that the other potter needing cone10 would be used to a reduction atmosphere for their cone 10 work, hence the suggested test for glaze. I was under the impression that electric kilns really didn't handle anything but Oxidation very well and its rare for anyone to try???  

 

I had no idea though that old bisque pieces would have issues related to sitting around for too long. Not meaning to hijack the thread, how long is too long? 

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>I had no idea though that old bisque pieces would have issues related to sitting around for too long. Not meaning to hijack the thread, how long is too long?

 

I don't know ... I have seen it happen and have heard many explanations ... e.g. ...They pick up moisture from the atmosphere ... but I honestly don't know how long is too long.

Anyone else have a clue?

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fire it on a biscuit or old shelf piece, Chris is right, memories tell lies or play tricks, could be anything.

Once fired a piece for someone , the whole thing crumpled, melted at C 5   turns out it was vitreous china or something. It was commercial ram pressed  ware

Person remembered after giving it to me as she had moved on to mid fire and.. had this one piece sitting around, one shelf later I know why. Did replace a shelf without asking, innocent mistake and it didn't run into an element or ruin any of my pots but....

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I have enogh of these stories behind me to say -do not fire this piece unless its in a large bowl. After a few disasters you will learn to say no.

I learned to say no the about 5 years into ceramics. Melted pots ruined kiln floors-lots pof chiseling. The story is always the same the clay is good for whatever temp I was doing.

One thing about this that appeals to me is you learn from your mistakes more than other things.

Mark

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If you aren't invested in this person on some level, just say no.  If for some reason you feel compelled to help this person I would charge them a flat rate of $100 for the firing.  I would then write up a contract stating that he/she is responsible for any damage done to your kiln in the process of firing their piece up to, and including, the cost of replacing the kiln. Have them sign it and fire only their piece in the kiln.  

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