Leaving the top peep hole open is exactly what I did yesterday. I wanted to candle for two hours but with this new computerized kiln, the "slow bisque" setting moves really slowly. My large platters were bone dry so I thought, what the heck!!!
Given that candling is my usual practice, I will be trying to achieve this in a ready to go digital formula.
Good reminder though about the corrosion on the wires. I forgot about that.
Lucky you to have a brand new Cone Art kiln. I had to sell mine when I moved out of my previous studio. I did not want to lug it down the stairs. Hey, that reminds me, I am still owed $150.00 bucks for it. I am not that familiar with computerized kilns, although I used one when I taught a course called Ceramics for Art Educators at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. [hard to spell] I know that you can reprogram those babies to fire faster though. That staining on your nice metal kiln wall comes from moisture leaking out of the kiln lid. Better to direct it out of the spy holes.Enjoy your summer. I am still slogging it out at high school until June 30.