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Hollyfaucheux

Fired Too Much? Or Not Enough? Help!

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Hi, I'm wondering is anyone can offer any advise!! I loaded my kiln about 9pm last night, and after I switched it from low to medium to high, I went to bed like normal. Today around noon I went in to going unload my stuff from the night before and to my surprise my kiln was still running!!! I turned it off right away. After letting it cool a few hours I was able to peak in the top and my trees looked like this!! They are glazed exactly the same as the other tree in the other picture though. I am wondering if maybe my kiln didn't reach temp. it should have which is why it didn't shut off and these did not fire all the way? Or if they fired to much and they are burnt?? Can anyone help me??

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You need to be careful with dry trees and fire -its a major fire cause of house fires this time of year.

on a more serious note I cannot see much with them inside kiln-the one with the lights is different looking for sure. 

Take one out and take a photo.Did you use a cone or something else to turn kiln off?

more info is needed

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I don't go to sleep until my kiln has turned off, so many things can happen, start your kiln at 6.00 am then it will be finished by bedtime.  You can check on it several times a day and when it shuts down.  I have had a greenware load ready to bisque for several days but waited until I was home all day, I may leave it for a couple of hours to run a errand in the early stages of the firing.     Denice

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I would take one tree out and look at it under good lighting. If it looks dry and dull it's most likely under fired since the glaze didn't have time to mature and become glossy. If it has a lot of glaze runs and drips maybe even some bubbles then it's most likely over fired. A close up of a tree in question and one of a correctly fired tree (no lights on it) would help to identify the issue better.

 

 

Speaking of when to fire:

I try and only fire at night since the electricity is cheaper. I have a camera on the kilns so when I wake up during the night I can check on them. I should state I wake up a lot at night due to back issues so this works for me. I can see the digital controller with the camera app on my iPad. If I see that it has completed I pop down and turn off the breaker just in case the controller thinks it's done but I have a relay stuck on or something. Never had a problem like that yet, but it can happen. Most of the time I can schedule it to finish at about the same time I am getting up in the morning. I never leave the house while I am firing, too paranoid for that.

 

I always use one cone on the center shelf, so I at least have an idea what the kiln did if there was an issue. I know my kiln well enough now to know that if the cone bent this way on this shelf it pretty much means it did this and that on the others. If I think I have a problem forming, like when my TC started drifting I will put 3 cones on every shelf. I know I should do 3 on every shelf each time I fire but it's a small 18x23 kiln so kind of feels like a waste to do that many every firing.

 

T

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Was there a power outage during the night ?

 

Since you said you switched low-med-high, but expected the kiln to shut off on its own, I'm guessing you have a kiln-sitter. 

 

Is there a timer on your sitter ?  What did you set it to at the start - and how much time was left when you shut it off ?  If the elapsed time on the timer doesn't match the actual elapsed time, then the power to the kiln was interrupted at some point - meaning it didn't fire as long as you think it did.  (If the timer started at 10, and 8 hours later it was at 6, you know the power was off for 4 hours.)

 

Also - I'm curious:

 

They are glazed exactly the same as the other tree in the other picture though.

 

Do you put the white on after it's fired ?  The 'other tree' has lots of white "snow" on it - but I don't see anything but green on the ones in the kiln.

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Guest

 

 

If I see that it has completed I pop down and turn off the breaker just in case

 

Its not a good idea to use the breaker as an on/off switch. it can cause a premature failure of the breaker. A better idea would be to install a safety switch  box with an on/off

 

You'll have to match the amps  between your kiln and the box

 

 

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Geez you guys never give a girl a break in phraseology!

 

I meant....

 

I throw the arm on the shut off switch like those shown to cut the power to the breakers.

I never touch the breakers themselves. Oh and I turn off the kiln first then the arm on the shut off box. I have 2 cut off switches installed one dedicated to each kiln with the appropriate wiring and amperage. I keep the power cut off to the kilns at all times unless the kiln is firing. Everything was wired through metal conduit on the exterior of the wall by a licensed electrician.

 

Better?

 

T

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Mugmkr - I have Foscam cameras and the FoscamPro app on my iPad and iPhone. I have been pleased with this set up I can even turn on the volume at times and hear the kiln switches kicking on an off, doing this tells me how things are going.

 

T

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A doovie flikka for sure

I can now envisage a rush on the cameras and potters partners vacating the bedroom to turn of the kilns esp if the soft clicking of kiln firing lulls the potter to sleep😊

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Pug which camera model do you have and is the picture clear?

I have 7 of the Foscam 18910 cameras with one dedicated to just my kilns. I only have to do a slight angle adjustment on the camera to get it to focus on the kiln I am firing.

 

I am attaching a screenshot from a video I captured using the camera while the kiln was firing one night. I have to turn off the infrared to get it to read the digital display because the heat of the kiln messes with the image which you can see in the second photo. Both images were taken in pitch black only difference is the one you can read has infrared turned off and the 2nd one has infrared turned on.

 

They are not SUPER fabulous but for the price and capability to see them when away from home they totally worth it. I can see what my husband is doing upstairs while I am working in the studio without having to run up and down all day to check on him. I can check on my Pugs when I am away from home as well as see every door in the building. I have my phone set to send me a warning anytime one of the motion sensors goes off as well. I LOVE love love being able to simply roll over grab my phone or my iPad in the middle of the night to check on the kiln rather than running up and down downstairs repeatedly in my pjs. Sometimes I turn on the speaker and lay there and listen to it clicking away. When I get the flashing CPLT I scoot down, record the readouts, turn it off, throw the shut off switch and scamper back up the stairs to bed.

 

T

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The discussion of shut-off switches and cameras was interesting... but I'm wondering...  Is Holly still out there ?   Did she find a solution, and has been to busy to let us know - or did she give up when the thread went so far off topic ?

 

Holly - if you're there...  Did you figure out what happened ?  Did you try re-firing ?  If you did - what was the result ? 

 

How about the lack of white on the the trees in the kiln - were they really just almost "exactly the same as the other tree in the other picture" (with no white applied) - or was there more going on with the new batch than just the lack of glossiness in the green ?

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the last time holly logged in was to write this thread. 

 

she either discovered the answer herself or has been too busy with the holidays.

 

she has not read even one reply on this thread. 

 

i wonder where holly is from. because i visited a friend of a friend's and came face to face with one of holly's xmas trees and thought of this thread. what a small world. 

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Many folks just ask a question and never return-its very common on this site

what ever happened to Holly is a solid question with no answers

 

Now that xmas is gone we may never know-many of the xmas tree lots are all cleaned up and the trees are recycled.

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The trees pictured seem to be a fairly common and popular item in "paint your pottery" shops; I believe the form can be either slip cast at the shop or bought premade/bisque-fired.

 

The white is a glitter-type add-on after the glaze firing and the twinkle lights are installed.

 

http://www.clay-king.com/bisquepages/holiday.htm

 

And, just because there is not a recent log on doesn't mean the member has not come back to view threads as a guest.

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I am here! Sorry guys! I did end up refiring them and they came out fine! they were defaintly underfired... Although... speaking of,, TODAY iit looks like it happened to me AGAIN! I set my shut off at 8 hours.. Yestreday I did a glaze fire and it came out perfect with the 8 hour shut off... today.. not so much!!! I am thinking maybe something is going on with the kiln now! It is a really old kiln that my finances grandmother used when she did ceramics 20+ years ago and it has been sitting for that long.. I started messing around with it about 3 years ago because she was teaching me how to do ceramics. We did not use it a aol.. mainly a few times during Christmas and that was all. This year however, I thought i would put it out there and see if I could sell the ceramic christmas trees and apparenly A LOT of people still love them like i do and I got a response from them that I never would have imagined and defaintly NOT prepared for! So since about September the kiln has been running at least 3 times a week!! I am currently still finishing up with the last few trees and NOW THIS! Lets just say i am learning A LOT THE HARD WAY! haha, but I am ok with it as long as i learn, and know how to correct it! You guys have been a TON of help through this, because his grandmother doesnt remember a lot, and she is so scared to tell me the wrong thing to do, I try to find the answeres myself first!!

 

(sorry for my speeling mishaps, i hate writting all this from my phone!)

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preeta, you have no idea how happy that makes me to see that my trees are getting around! What did you think about the quality?? Again, I am VERY new at this, so I would love to hear your comments coming from someone that probably know a whole lot more then I do!

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