Single Status Update
Hi! I ended up here because of your heading "single firing an electric kiln to ^6! I used to visit your area (Antietam and Shepherdstown) frequently when I lived in Maryland. Now I live on an island 10 miles off the coast of Maine where electricity costs 70 cents a KWH!!!! Unfortunately I am addicted to making ceramics.
Luckily I can sell my pots through a co-op here in the summer. Between costs for boat freight for clay and electricity, I don't know if I could afford to sell at wholesale.
As you can surmise, it would be fantastic to be able to save a firing for each piece. Did it take you a long time to figure out how to successfully once-fire?
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OldLady is the reason I single fire now. She made it sound so easy. I bought Steven Hill's video on spraying glazes. Bought a Critter sprayer, a compressor from HarborFreight. I will say the critter stayed in its box for a couple of months - fear of the unknown. When I started to spray not enough glaze was being put on the piece. Took about 5 test firings before I got the hang of it. Been spraying now for about 2 years - will never go back to dunking donuts - haplessly dipping pots.
OldLady said the glaze should look like chunky velvet as an indicator to how much glaze to spray on the piece. I have posted that pic several times in spray glaze threads.
I have dipped single fire test tiles. But, the glaze was way too thick or either the clay sucked it up. I don't dip greenware test tiles anymore.
Yes it takes more time to spray than dip. But the freedom you get from spraying is just outrageous. The firing schedule must change but only in the very beginning. Up to 500*F, then fire the schedule you have always used.
I do pour into closed pieces just like I did for bisque ware. Wait overnite then start spraying the next day. Bowls are sprayed on the outside first, sitting upside down on a banding wheel. Then turn them right side up and spray the inside.
You don't need a fancy spray booth. I used a converted trash can for a booth for the first year. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.417445012878.195322.344268547878&type=3
Figured it was time to step up to a better booth and made one out of a shower base and plastic cardboard for the walls and ceiling with a bathroom fan for exhaust.
You can PM me if you want any pics or more info. Glad to help.
You are going to love single fire. I guarantee.
You also make a spray booth out of a dishwashers plastic liner. Denice
Very interesting! Currently working on remedying a blistering problem I'm having (Posted in the glaze thread). This will be my next endeavor after resolving that issue.
Thanks for your initial input-It's very encouraging!