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Hi all, Newbie here! Although I've been working with clay for several years, I'm new to doing my own firing. I recently acquired a new kiln & it's been a huge learning curve. I would like to try single firing my pieces to cone 6. I will not be glazing for the most part - just oxide wash or terra sig. Most of my pieces are slab constructed, some horizontal and some vertical, fairly large. Could someone recommend a firing schedule for this? For an electric kiln? (I'm still learning how to program my own ramp/hold program). Thank you!
Hi John - I do hope you had a brilliant trip without too much jet lag. I'm keen to learn once firing in an electric kiln and luckily I'm very interested in creating my own glazes. I'm located in South Africa so raw materials are a challenge (Strontium Carbonate for example is not to be found and other common N. American materials are incredibly expensive). I have researched Steven Hill and Dennis Parks as much as possible via internet. I have a few questions to start with: 1. My first test includes the Turner's White recipe - however we don't have access to EPK Kaolin and the local supplier suggested China Kaolin. My gut is this was might not have been a good suggestion as it all settled out of the mix. The Turner's white and my red have already flaked off or shivered off the pots even before firing. I think this means I need to increase the bentonite to 5%. Your thoughts? 2, due to being new to pottery I have recycled stoneware clays which seem to grow black stuff underneath. The local supplier suggested this was great and many potters like this. My research seems to indicate this could lead to problems of increasing the amount of burn off required - your thoughts? (also because I'm new I'm throwing small test bowls instead of tiles for the practice.) 3. I have a red glaze I'm trying and I understand that reds like to fire fast - while I'm using S. Hills firing schedule (for electric kilns) I'm thinking putting the reds at the bottom of my kiln where it seems to warm the fastest may assist this issue of slow firing (but I'm expecting my clay to fire out a lot so either pin holes or gray glaze could result). Is the top better as hot air rises and that's where the chimney is. 4. Are there any good books with information and recipes or perhaps internet mentors? I have found Digital fire to be of immense help in understanding the glaze ingredients. These first tests I decided to use straight forward recipes like Turner's white because of the large firing range and also due to a belief that it sometimes will work. I have bisqued pots in with the raw as "control" subjects all sprayed in the same way. There is a local pottery who fires earthenware in a propane fiber kiln. He somehow uses alcosperse to hyper-flocculate his glazes and then he uses epsom salts to deflocculate? I'm not sure I understood and I'm not sure he wanted me too - but somehow this makes the water requirement less and also assists the glaze sticking to the dry greenware. Your thoughts? Thank you for any help, advice etc.