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mduffy85

Firing Electric Kiln On Its Side

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Hello all I am new to this forum and have a question that I have not been able to find an answer to.  

I have a sculptural piece that is quite fragile which I would like to fire laying down on a kiln shelf however my kiln is not large enough to accommodate this it is a 10 sided kiln with a 23 ½ inch opening top loading.  I am wondering if it would be totally insane to lay it down and fire it in a horizontal position.  I am imagining building a cradle cinder block and the being careful not to place furniture on top of the coils when positioning the piece. One of my magor consers would be the coild drooping out of there receses when fired in this position. I am attaching a picture of the work in question it is not complet in this picture but it gives a clear idea of were it is headed eventualy the entier torso will be carved. thanks and any other ideas about how to go about fireing this would be great

 

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Do not lay the kiln on its side as the elements will fall out when hot and you will ruin said kiln elements.The kiln is made to stand only in the position its in. Not sideways.

After dying the piece where its completely dry sit it vertical in your kiln. The kiln size should be a consideration when making any work. This piece would as you noted be best fired flat but you no longer have that option.

You may consider finding another place to fire it at as well.You could also put the shelve at an angle inside if it will fit that way.

 

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Firing the kiln on its side would be a disaster. Do not do it.

 

For your piece, put it in when you are done working on it. Let the piece dry to bone dry and then fire the kiln. Moving leather hard clay is easier to do without breaking the piece. And if you are willing to make a custom setup I think you can also let it sit in the kiln for a few extra days.

 

Having work lean up against the brick isn't terrible as long as large areas of the elements are not covered.

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The size of your kiln is your only limitation when it comes to creating with clay. As said above, Do Not fire your kiln on its size. The piece looks solid enough to fire vertically. Maybe try bracing it with a kiln shelf vertically standing with the help of posts and bricks. 

Always best to plan ahead, but hindsight is cheap.

Marcia

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Since you cannot fire the kiln on its side, find a way to support the sculpture while it is upright.  You could make a stand out of the same clay body.  A flat slab the same length and width as the sculpture, with support wedges on the back, so the sculpture sits at a slight angle.  That way it would fit, but not have the full weight of the sculpture pushing on itself.  

 

You could also use crumpled newspaper stuff in the back.  This would help transport the ware into the kiln, but obviously the supports would be gone, once the paper burned out.

 

You can lean things against the kiln walls, but it's not ideal.  Personally, I'd go with my first suggestion.  A custom support would work best.  I've done it for myself and my students on a number of occasions.  

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Thank you for all the responses it sound like firing the kiln laying down is out.  I think firing the piece leaning against either a clay slab or maybe so kiln shelves is the ticket so I will se how that turns out.  this is intended as a bit of a test piece for some larger pieces that will be part of my masters show.  with that in mind I am contemplating options for firing larger work.  I have not done a huge amount of ceramic work in the past but it seems to be the material which makes the most sense for what I have in mind for my MFA projects so I am trying to put together a set of ceramics equipment on the cheap.  I have been a wood and steel guy in the past but I am quickly falling in love with clay

 

I recently picked up a good sized natural gas kiln (45cf) which would be big enough for most of what I have in mind however I would need to retrofit for propane and I am not sure if this is worth doing.  Reading through the forums here I am imagining that it will be a couple hundred bucks every time I fire in terms of propane and I am unsure about either i will need to replace the burners entirely or just the brass orifice.  

 

I am not sure if this should be another thread but I have two questions about this kiln that I am going to throw out there.  First is this kiln worth messing with to begin with the professor at the community cologe were I bought it said it was fine (I have $50 in it so far)

Second is if anyone knows about these burners and weather they could be changed over to propane with smaller orifices or need to be replaced entirely. Burner brand is Gaco small hexagonal piece in center is brass and threads out. I can new brace orgices that are undriled and then drill them to any size but I am not sure if this would make it aprropriat for propane fireing

 

Thank you all so much for the help

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mdugfy85-

Contact Ward Burner to get the correctly sized replacement orifaces.

Ward Burner Systems

PO Box 1086 • Dandridge, TN • 37725

(865) 397-2914 phone • (865) 397-1253 fax

info@wardburner.com

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