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Hello all,

Looking for firing schedules. I have a small manual electric kiln with a kiln sitter and wondering if anyone has a simple, clear firing schedule they follow and could share?

I am a beginner trying to learn how to fire for Cone 04 Bisque and then another schedule for Cone 6 Glaze Fire. I am using buff stoneware. 

Any firing tips appreciated! 

Thanks so much,

Natalie

Edited by natalie.celeste

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Sorry there isn't really a simple schedule for manual kilns.  Basically you turn it on low for a few hours, on medium for about twice as long and then high until the cone bends.

 

This is something you're going to have to do and take notes and hone as you get more experience.

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Maybe a generalization would help - common 04 bisque schedules run 10 to 12 hours and glaze fire  say 5 to 8 hours. Armed with that knowledge you can begin turning knobs and trying to hit near the hour total then refine your technique based on results and firing time till you get the look you like. As you decrease the total glaze firing time for instance you may get a result you are not pleased with so now you know, too fast for your desired result.

bisque firing needs temperature and time to burn out all the organics. Various clays may require more or less time but a common safe bisque timeframe ends up 10-12 hours.

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Hi Natalie!

Does your kiln have a pyrometer? ...very handy for monitoring temperature.

Regular contributor Glazenerd (former :() has posted guidelines for firing schedules here, e.g.

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/17903-critical-firing-temperatures/ 

Your buff clay may not require as lengthy holds as very red/brown/dark clays; see also

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/17882-blistering-bloating-coring/

I run my bisque load up to about 300F the night before; the next day, it's still warm (plenty dry), then I go full on with significant pauses at the three critical temperatures. I'd be lost without the pyrometer though... 

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@natalie.celeste, put a junior cone or bar in the sitter for the cone you want to reach, if the kiln has a timer set it for 12 hours.

If your ware is over about 1/4" thick or doesn't feel bone dry then you will need to preheat (candle) the ware. Just turn the bottom switch (element) on low and leave it there for approx 6 hours or overnight. Leave the plugs out of the spy holes. The length of time spent on low is something you will have to experiment with over time. To tell if a pot is dry enough to skip the candling put it against your cheek, if it feels cool then it's still damp. Compare how it feels to a pot that you have had sitting around drying for ages.

Like others have said bisque firing is done at a slower rate than a glaze firing. For bisque, reset the timer to 12 hours if you have one, then all switches on low for 3-4 hours, then med for 3-4 hours then high until the cone bends. Keep an eye on the timer and increase the time is you are getting close to 12 hours and the kiln hasn't finished firing. Place cone packs in front of spy hole(s) and wear eye protection while viewing cones so you don't damage your eyes. Some people fire with the top plug out the entire bisque schedule, some place all plugs back in spy holes after the kiln is a between a dull and cherry red colour inside. (link to kiln firing colour chart below) For glaze firing a couple hours on low and medium then as long as it takes to bring cone 6 down should be a fairly safe schedule. You don't need to preheat (candle) a glaze firing. Just start the kiln when the glazes are dry. Can decrease the time on low and medium after you see how your pots do with this schedule. A lot depends on how large / thick the pots are.

https://sites.google.com/site/meeneecat/kiln-firing-chart

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