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Questions about kiln shelf care

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Hello! I have some questions about kiln shelf care and storage. 
— After my first glaze fire, some dark grit was left on the shelf surrounding some of my pieces. I’ll try to attach a picture. What is this? Should I scrape/sand it off? 

— I kiln-washed the shelves and fired them before firing any ware, per Skutt’s instructions. Going forward, what’s the best way to use kiln wash? I know when it gets old and flaky, you can scrape it off and reapply. Do you just re-wash the shelves, put ware on top, and bisque/glaze fire as usual? Or do the washed shelves need to be fired again before putting ware on them?

— Is it ok to store kiln shelves on their sides? Or stacked on top of each other inside the kiln? Anything else I should know about shelf storage?

These are the kinds of questions that are so basic you can’t find them online! Lol. Thanks for helping out a newbie. 


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The dark grit is probably manganese or glaze or a combination of both if you used a "speckled" body.  Manganese tends to eject from the body pretty forcefully.

I don't fire my shelves alone when I rewash them.  I usually use them in a bisque firing.

Yes, you can store them on their side.

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You're supposed to store them sideways, since even a slightly warped one at the bottom of a stack can crack.

I kilnwash and go straight to glaze fire.

Some dots can be poked off with a needle tool, have eye protection!

Don't store them under glazes, glaze materials, glazed pots, water, or anywhere they may adsorb water.

Face to Face bottom to bottom.


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3 hours ago, Mark C. said:

Making your own wash is far better than using commercial wash -yours looks very thin. Do a search on the main page on kiln wash

If you store them on concrete floor use a piece of wood to get them off concrete 

Mark, why do I need to get them off the concrete?  I always figured that was safer?

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If your concrete is dry no problem-with my advancers they can pick up moisture from damp concrete so wood is the buffer.,Its also softer  than concrete. If you live where concrete can wick ground water  its damp and so can wick into shelves . The southwest is an area where this will not be the case.In our rainy area concrete has lots of mositure year around.

The mullite shelves do not matter near as much as advancers-but many folks do not know the differences  as there are many types of shelves.

so as a general statement I always suggest wood over concrete .

Edited by Mark C.
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