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  1. Hi all! I’m new here I’ve thrown lots of ceramics over the years, as a student in a classroom setting (so, lots of ceramics classes where someone else loaded & fired the kiln, haha), but am brand new to firing my own kiln. I recently set up a studio off the side of our garage, and acquired a used Duncan EA 1020-2 manual kiln. I bisque fired about 25 pieces to cone 06 with no obvious issues; firing took about 10.5 hours with top peep hole open (I don’t have a vent, so needed oxygen to enter the kiln in some way - figured leaving a peep hole open was the best option?). I bought several pints of Amaco Potters Choice glazes (blue rutile, oatmeal, chun plum, lustrous jade, and 3 or 4 others), and did lots of reading/searching on these forums and other sites, and gleaned that in order to get bright colors with these glazes, you must brush on many layers, quite thick; so, that’s what I did. Glaze fired to cone 6, with a small cone in the kiln sitter. I did not have witness cones (I very, very much regretted this almost instantly, but as I’m brand new to firing, I wasn’t aware I needed them when I was ordering all my initial supplies, so I had none), but around hour 12 I began to worry that something...wasn’t right, because of the time elapsed. The cone 6 glaze fire took 16 hours before the kiln sitter triggered and only reached temp when I finally plugged the top peep hole. I let it cool overnight and opened this morning, to...major disappointment. Very dark glazes, browns and dark greys, some purples but those were all very dark and almost matte looking. Tons and tons of pinholes, as well, which are new to me - I’ve read that many things can cause them? Without guidance cones I know there isn’t much to go by, but I suspect the kiln overfired, due to the very dark, less than stellar glaze results and the time it took to finish - could overfiring lead to these results? Or does anyone have any insights, helpful recommendations, encouragement? I know it happens, especially in the beginning, but I’m still kind of bummed. Thank you all for your help! -Kati
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