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Member Since 02 Oct 2012
Offline Last Active Jan 11 2014 08:52 AM

Topics I've Started

a couple of questions on my first re-fire

20 April 2013 - 05:40 PM

Hi all
last night was my first ever glaze firing, and I came in a little under temp.
Tonight I'm going to give it another shot and I have a couple of questions.

How fast can I ramp up the temperature? do I just start it on high, or go through medium and low first?
I'm going to switch out the witness cone for a new one, should I also change out the kiln-sitter cone?

Since this was my first glaze firing, I had a LOT of glaze tests in there. do you think that re-firing is going to give me a good idea of what the glazes will look like in the future, or should I assume that the tests won't be a good representation?

some technical details: I'm using commercial clay and glazes, using an electric Cress 23 kiln (small studio size). I bisqued to 04, and I was trying to fire to cone 6. my witness cone began to bend, but is still mostly straight, so I estimate that it got to cone 5.

last night's firing was 2 hours on low, 2.5 on medium, and it took 5 hours on HIGH to get to cone 5 (total firing was 10 hours). That seems long to me, I would have expected it to reach temperature a bit faster. does that sound normal to you?
thanks for all your help, this is pretty exciting!!

My very first firing in 18 years of clay

25 March 2013 - 06:59 AM

Hi all

I just did my very first firing, after 18 years of clay.Exciting and scary!

I could use your input, I wonder if I’m worrying fornothing, or if something is off.

I have a cress fx 23 kiln, I bought it from someone who hadbought it new and never fired it, and had the breaking-in firing done by atechnician who said it was in great shape.

For the firing I used the manual setting, controlling thechanges myself. This was a bisque firingto 04 with a witness cone for the top peephole. I made a rookie mistake andthough I put a cone in to the sitter, I failed to lift the lever when I put thebar in! I tried to fix it, but I ended up breaking the kiln sitter cone.Instead of unloading the kiln to put in a new cone, I chose to go ahead anddepend on the witness cone.

I had it on low for 3 hours, moving the dial up by 0.5 or 1at every hour. Then I had it on medium power for 2 hours, moving from 2 to 4.5.Then I moved it to 7, and waited 1.5 hours and moved to 8.5. Another hour withno change and I moved it up to 10. after 1.5 hours at 10, I finally saw thecone bend, so I turned the kiln off.

So the total firing was 3h on Low (1-4) 3h on Med (4-7) and4h on High (7-10)

Does that seem too slow to you? I had expected the Highphase to be a bit faster.

Are there any things that you notice me doing horriblywrong?

After setting everything up I finally read that I wassupposed to put kiln wash on the kiln sitter supports! Since I broke the sittercone, the point was moot, but now I’m wondering if it was bad to have left thebroken pieces in the kiln… are they at the bottom of the kiln in a gooey mess?!We’ll have to see.

I’m planning on waiting 12 hours to open the kiln, does thatseem about right to you?

I’m also thinking of trusting the Firemate speed control next time, instead ofmaking the temperature changes manually…

so, it’s been an exciting night over here, a real trial by fire ( J)
A new stage in life, where I fire for myself!

Thanks for all the kindness and support, you’ve all beeninvaluable.

setting a kiln directly on the floor

27 February 2013 - 06:05 PM

Hi all
I'm getting my kiln set up for the first time, and I could use some expert advice :)
My kiln has no stand, and I cannot easily buy one.

I'm thinking of setting the kiln directly on a cement floor, in a well-ventilated shed.
do you think there might be a problem with that?
I'm not worried about staining or damaging the floor, could it cause damage to my kiln?