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  1. thanks for the help! I've got it up and running. New cone and bar, and crossing my fingers for great success. I set it for a "fast firing", and I'm keeping notes on how the dial is moving. It did about 1 hour on low, and 1 hour on medium, just now getting to high... hope it's not too fast!
  2. 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!!
  3. This is a really useful thread, as I'm sitting here waiting to peek in the kiln. I have a pretty basic setup, so I don't have a way to measure the temperature inside the kiln. Does anyone have tricks for gauging the temperature inside? When the kiln was pitch black inside I took out the second peep. I've heard of people doing the paper test, but I'm not too sure what temperature is represented by which results. I just took some paper and left it in for 10 seconds, and got a tiiiiiny bit of color change, barely tan, not brown. I have a small electric cress 23. Any idea what temp it might be if the top of the lid is warm? cool? thanks!
  4. I just unloaded the kiln, and it was absolutely spectacular. The cone was exactly the right shape and nothing cracked!! after all these years of being terrified, this is seeming very manageable! newbie success!!
  5. thanks Chris and Marcia! yes, I counted on a witness cone, it just took forever to bend! I hadn't expected to need 4 hours on high! No, my kiln doesn't have a computer, it has a special dial that can control the speed of the firing. in fact, I hadn't noticed it and all of a sudden the temperature had changed by itself! I eventually found it on the side of the panel (kind of hard to see the way the kiln is set up). thanks for the help!
  6. 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.
  7. thank you guys, that is really helpful. I didn't understand that air flow was important. I'll set it up on cinderblocks, making sure that there is space between them for air to move through.
  8. 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? thanks Jimena
  9. these are great ideas, thanks for taking the time to share them!
  10. take a look at this in case it inspires any ideas: http://lapellaart.blogspot.com/2010/10/dropped-platters.html
  11. thanks! that is a great idea! I'll try to make sure that I put the posts in the same spots to help distribute the load evenly. yes, it's a Cress kiln, and I think it's about 17" diameter, if I remember correctly
  12. Pres, if you give it a try, I'd love to hear about it. I'm still thinking that I'd love to have a foot, rather than dryfoot, so it you experiment with that, maybe you could share some of your process. I won't have access to my studio until February, and I'm itching to try stuff out!
  13. if it's just a few pieces that you're more worried about, you could treat them separately. I have put a piece on my pottery wheel to turn while I get a hair drier on it, or if your oven does low temperatures consistently, you can put it in there here's a story that I just have to share, as part of the pottery bloopers. I made my partner 4 matching beer steins for Christmas. They were incredibly elaborate, my first real attempt at sgraffito, and I spent a ridiculous number of hours on them. Once I finished carving, I decided to speed them up just a little bit, and I put them in the oven on low. I checked on them every once in a while and they were doing great. I had to leave the house on a quick errand, and I decided to be responsible and turn the oven all the way off while I was gone. her comes the fun part. that oven knob was completely misleading, and I ended up turning it to full blast broil instead of off!! I ended up coming back to the house with my partner, and I shooed him away so I could take them out of the oven and keep the surprise going... they had EXPLODED. as only pottery can. every one of them had burst into shards and crumbs. I cried and cried and cried and showed him the pieces, and told him that under no circumstances was I remaking them and that he was getting NO Christmas present. There were very bitter tears that night. and then, the next morning, I got up again and started remaking them. he was VERY surprised that christmas so, if you use the oven, make sure it says LOW, not BROIL
  14. thanks for the great answer!! I too have been worrying about whether this was catastrophic. it sounds like I can definitely work with it. thanks!
  15. yay Sylvia!! I'll be rooting for you! let us know how it goes!
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