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Member Since 15 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:47 PM

Topics I've Started

The Electric Kiln By Harry Fraser 2006 Edition

30 April 2016 - 03:49 PM

Is anyone familiar with this book?

Is it worth the nearly $50 including shipping it costs?


How Long Do Thermocouples Last?

29 April 2016 - 05:49 PM

I've been reading Clay and Glazes for the Potter by Daniel Rhodes as well as Mastering Cone 6 Glazes by Hesselberth. Reading these and watching my own firings got me to thinking...

How long do thermocouples last?
Mine has been fired 125 times. I think it's (I don't have my kiln log in front of me for exact numbers) 55 cone 04 slow bisque, 55 cone 6 slow glaze, 15 cone 05 fast glaze (transfers).


How do you know when your thermocouple is starting to have issues?

In my last couple of firings I have had a couple of pieces develop pinholes. I'm trying to remedy this issue since I have never had it before these 2 firings. I am using the same glazes as I have been. I know it might be my bisque firing as well. To fix pinholes at what temperature should I add a hold to burn out the issue? Just a hold at the end temperature?

It could also be that my thermocouple is drifting because it needs to be replaced. The cone 6 before this load did not look over fired but this cone looks a little towards the over fired range. It could just be where it was placed or something. If I run a test load through at cone 5 should I add a hold at the end temp? If so for how long?

In this last load I also had a couple Amaco Blue Rutile pieces in there and they seem more brown than blue than they usually are. This can also happen if I have the glaze too thin so am not sure if Blue rutile runs brown if over fired.

Thank you for helping me answer these questions.

What Does Slow Cooling A Kiln Get You?

25 April 2016 - 08:11 PM

I've been seeing references to slow cooling more and more lately. Why would you do this? What does it do for the pieces? I'm just curious and wondering if it's an improvement in color, diminishing of pin holes, a more even color, etc?

Thanks for helping educate me in this!


Thinking Of Getting A Test Kiln, Pros, Cons?

18 April 2016 - 09:22 PM

Hey everyone pesky Pugaboo here...

I've been thinking about getting a second kiln and am leaning towards a smaller test kiln rather than a larger kiln. I kind of have an idea as to what might work for me and was wondering if any of you have a test kiln and if you like it and actually use it.

The thinking behind a smaller kiln rather than a larger one:
Since I do custom pieces and special orders, I end up making a lot of "filler" just to get a load big enough to fill my kiln so I can fire just a few pieces for these orders. It never seems to fail that I get a private order in, make it and enough to fire the kiln and then just a day or two later get another one. They never seem to want the "blanks" I have waiting in the wings. This means quickly making a bunch more stuff to fill the kiln. If it's a transfer piece that complicates it even more by adding a third firing onto it.

I am looking at the Olympic 129E, reasons are:
It a 120v kiln.
I already have an Olympic and like it. I can get the same controller I have on my current kiln as well. I also have the option of double ganging my current vent since it can handle a second kiln.
I can drive to the factory and pick it up thereby saving $150+ in shipping.
The 129E interior is an 11 inch wide by 9 inch high hexagon so will fit most plates, mugs and boxes that I do.
The 129E needs a 20 Amp breaker, I have 5, 20 Amp breakers on the studio floor to choose from.
It fires to cone 6, but most of the time I would probably be doing cone 05 transfer firings in it.
It comes with a stand and I can get castors for it if I think I am going to need them.

My concerns with a test kiln are:
Do test kilns fire evenly and within reason the same as a regular kiln? It does me no good if I can't get the same results. Those of you that have test kilns, what has been your experience with this?
Is the interior really 11x9? How to know for sure it will fit a dinner plate?
It says it needs a special shaped 20 Amp plug, I have 20 Amp breakers but all the plugs look like normal plugs as far as I can tell. Is this a concern or do I simply switch out the regular plug for one that will work since they are supposedly both for a 20 Amp fuse?
I need to figure out which plugs are on the 20 amp circuits and see what else is on there and how far they are from the breaker panel.
Is a cone 6 kiln really capable of doing a reliable cone 6 over time?

Are there issues I should be taking into consideration that I haven't covered?

I am hoping some of you that have a test kiln as well as a regular kiln will chime in with your experience with a smaller kiln.

Thank you so much for helping me work my way through this decision.


Lost My 1 Wholesale Account... Sigh

04 April 2016 - 04:29 PM

Just found out my one wholesale account has decided to retire and close shop. I was pleased with this account. They had been in business in the same location for 35 years, so thought hey they know how to do this! Well next time need to keep in mind that 35 years is a long time and retirement comes for everyone.

Now I need to get back out there and find a replacement for them. Was approached last year by a new place just down the street but turned them down since I had promised this place not to sell anywhere else in town. I will have to see if they are still interested, heck I will have to see if they are still open! Lol business being what it is and all that.