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  1. bad experience the firing before last. found the items on the top shelf had various bits of black fired inside the glaze. most awful was the long tray covered with bluegreen slip with the leaves done in clear. great big black spot right in the center of the pot! naturally, it was on one of the clear ginko leaves. several smaller black blobs on other things as well. last firing..............very carefully let the lid down after packing the kiln. noticed black spots raining down onto the work and shelf. removed each piece, blew the bits of black off and tried again. took three tries before i finally was satisfied that no black spots were going to surprise me on opening the fired kiln. after that firing, i looked carefully at my kiln lid. yes, there is a crack, no wider than one of these letters l running sort of in a semi-circle below the center of the lid. had just gotten an ad from L&L about their kilns and read that one of their special features is a "proprietary reflective brick coating that protects brick and minimizes dusting." So i called to ask about it. poor customer service person had no idea what i was talking about even after i read it from the catalog. he was so bored with life in general that i practically had to beat him to take my order. no, he did not know how much it was going to cost to send it. no, they only use one shipper. no, he had no info on how to use the stuff. i was very sorry that i called. the stuff came in a box about 4x4 inches, closed with 4 heavy copper staples. had a hard time getting into the box. inside was a plain white jar without a label. nothing in the box but my invoice showing the name Facing Cement. could not get the jar open, was it cemented closed??? called L&L. long time waiting for someone who knew what this stuff is and how to use it. told that i could not talk to anyone without my kiln model number. lots of agony for nothing at all. loaded the kiln today and just before closing the lid, i put a heavy plastic tablecloth on the top of the kiln and weighted it down so i could use the outdoor grass blower to clean and dust the lid bottom. blew that thing so clean i could not believe it. the black stuff was all over the plastic cloth when i finished and i carefully gathered it up and looked to see if i could identify it. the metal band holding the lid has been heated repeatedly over the years and it has dark fumed discoloration. is it corroded? eroded? failed? whatever the cause, the metal is flaking off and falling into the kiln as the lid flexes when i close it. anybody got a cure? i am not about to call the L&L number again. i HATE being treated like i am an idiot who just doesn't know anything. "obviously there is something falling through the crack" was the suggestion.
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