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Hello,

I recently graduated, but while I was in school, (and learning how to fire a kiln) I came across two common issues. 

The first was that everyone said to use a kiln log. (Although no one had a log handy when asked) And that the act of making a log was cumbersome. (To the point that when a log was found, the most critical data at the end was usually incomplete)

So I taught myself how to code, and created an app to solve (my highly specific) problem!

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/blaze-kiln-log/id1510609232 (Or search “Blaze Kiln Log” in the App Store)

The app is completely free! Although it is currently only available for iPhone. (But with plans for iPad and Mac support sometime in the future)

If you’re kind enough to give it a try, I’d love to hear any feedback you have. Good or bad. You’re welcome to post it here, send me a PM, or email me through the link in the app. Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask, I’d love to answer them!

Edited by StonedStudio
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33 minutes ago, StonedStudio said:

f you’re kind enough to give it a try, I’d love to hear any feedback you have. Good or bad. You’re welcome to post it here, send me a PM, or email me through the link in the app. Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask, I’d love to answer them!

Good go! Have kiln log spreadsheets that we put together in IOS, excel, google sheets, open office  etc that we hand out for free. An app is Way cool! Hats off for the effort and sharing. Here is a quick screenshot of a spreadsheet  in the event it gives you ideas. You are welcome to any and all, PM me and I will forward.

1CA7585E-7F50-4FFB-A93B-FBC3435B0750.jpeg

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Thanks for sharing Stoned!

My kiln is manual - three switches (high, medium, low), one pyrometer (I'm still placing cones on each shelf but no longer watching them during firing) - hence, the only available input is temp. Notes on the results, and associating the results to firing, aaah, that's key! I can be (heh, really?) stubborn, however, detailed firing notes plus detailed notes on results (and photos) makes the case.

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1 hour ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

Dismayed that this is only for gas kilns. Electrics aren’t just toasters!

The spreadsheets are free and available to anyone requesting them. Gas firings tend to be tended every half hour so the user can manage the rate, reduction etc... I have never had anyone ask to use for their electric actually, but a good idea for those willing to put in the effort.

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15 hours ago, Bill Kielb said:

Good go! Have kiln log spreadsheets that we put together in IOS, excel, google sheets, open office  etc that we hand out for free. An app is Way cool! Hats off for the effort and sharing. Here is a quick screenshot of a spreadsheet  in the event it gives you ideas. You are welcome to any and all, PM me and I will forward.

1CA7585E-7F50-4FFB-A93B-FBC3435B0750.jpeg

Hey Bill, Thank you! That's a solid spreadsheet you have there! I like the calculated graphs for firing rate/hour.

5 hours ago, Hulk said:

Thanks for sharing Stoned!

My kiln is manual - three switches (high, medium, low), one pyrometer (I'm still placing cones on each shelf but no longer watching them during firing) - hence, the only available input is temp. Notes on the results, and associating the results to firing, aaah, that's key! I can be (heh, really?) stubborn, however, detailed firing notes plus detailed notes on results (and photos) makes the case.

Hey Hulk, Right on. Is it an electric kiln?  I designed the app specifically for gas firings, but there's been a number of people who are still using manual electrics.  (Personally I always did my best to avoid the one I had access too) So I think it will be something I try and support in the future! (Currently I'm working on a different app, but the goal is for both to intermingle).

That said, The log doesn't support photos. But it does support notes per log, as well as per firing at the end!

5 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

Dismayed that this is only for gas kilns. Electrics aren’t just toasters!

lol. You're correct. I think they are a bit more like toaster ovens. B)

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I have about 10 kiln logs in studio-most for the gas car kiln some for the salt kiln and some for the small updraft gas kiln-one on a clipboard on the wall near the electric as well. What I'm wondering is why I need to use this app. The books have worked well since 1972. Maybe so I can spend more screen time is all I come up with.I am far from married to a phone as its just a tool  like a screw driver and spends lots of time in the box with the other tools.

We have an older general electric toaster from the 50s and I have never considered keeping a log on it. Its the old cloth cord (heavens it may catch fire some day) I could log that when it happens as well as two toasts per day when home.

The thing is you can compare all the fire easy-I get that but I also see that with the pen and papwer version as well. Oh wait I can spend next few months entering all my old data from 47 years of firing to compare them. I get it-naw I'll just make some pots instead .Toasters great name for electrics just about as good as trash can kilns as they look a bit like that a young kid once said.

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3 hours ago, Mark C. said:

The thing is you can compare all the fire easy-I get that but I also see that with the pen and papwer version as well

I think the thing is logs help memorialize and simplify rate math for folks actually. For gas kilns ya gotta be there so why not. For group or school use a shared learning tool. For electric kilns, likely a troubleshooting tool for unknown previously assumed rates. Amazing how many folks think their marginally powered marginally insulated  electric kiln can go 250 degrees per hour at top end cone six. If it’s a learning tool I am all for it, manual or digital. What one learns from a log though varies greatly with most viewing it as a roadmap of sorts. Some go on to gain a deeper understanding. Technicians  find them extremely useful in processes every single day.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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16 hours ago, Mark C. said:

I have about 10 kiln logs in studio-most for the gas car kiln some for the salt kiln and some for the small updraft gas kiln-one on a clipboard on the wall near the electric as well. What I'm wondering is why I need to use this app. The books have worked well since 1972. Maybe so I can spend more screen time is all I come up with.I am far from married to a phone as its just a tool  like a screw driver and spends lots of time in the box with the other tools.

We have an older general electric toaster from the 50s and I have never considered keeping a log on it. Its the old cloth cord (heavens it may catch fire some day) I could log that when it happens as well as two toasts per day when home.

The thing is you can compare all the fire easy-I get that but I also see that with the pen and papwer version as well. Oh wait I can spend next few months entering all my old data from 47 years of firing to compare them. I get it-naw I'll just make some pots instead .Toasters great name for electrics just about as good as trash can kilns as they look a bit like that a young kid once said.

It sounds like you have a lot of experience firing kilns. And you have your own references when needed. You're set! You don't need the app! Nothing wrong with that. However that isn't always the case. - When I was learning, I couldn't find a log. And when I did, the log was incomplete for the most important parts of the firing.

So I made an app. Strictly because I've always wanted to learn how to make an app. But also because making a kiln log app solved a problem I had, while allowing me to still "do ceramics" without having studio access.

But as with all tools, you should use the one that works best for you. Pen and paper is great, but some people do prefer digital. They both have their pros and cons.

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2 hours ago, StonedStudio said:

But as with all tools, you should use the one that works best for you. Pen and paper is great, but some people do prefer digital. They both have their pros and cons.

Excellent point! We designed, built or helped build  several  digital monitors for various studios. The agreement has always been they have my permission (the author) to use of the software as long as they use it to further the teaching of firing and ceramic arts.  As a result we teach them how to do it and provide occasional help on updates or customization, no charge.

Had I not built this digital monster it would have been very difficult to teach some aspects of firing especially real time stuff. It’s a great teaching tool, and therefore learning tool which when done  only on paper is boring for most folks. Digital can be good too. BTW it provides this same screen on a phone, iPad, Android on the local intranenet so folks can monitor their firing while throwing pots and tending their firing every half hour or so.

Interesting in that from the get go we decided to create a monitor and not an automatic set it and forget it firing tool. Electronic set it and forget it  firing tools are great but really often don’t help folks learn the art and nuances of firing. My guess, writing the software made you think about which aspects of firing are important and then how to capture them. Offering it for free for folks to use is laudable, as I said hats off, as Simon says, keep learning.

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12814B7B-6B46-45F5-B1EA-005122B0032E.jpeg

Edited by Bill Kielb
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Bill,

I am very interested in your gas kiln digital monitor.  I understand you provide instructions, or I would be very glad to pay you to make one for me.  I just used your reduction firing schedule with good results, but would love to have a monitor to help see the rate of rise etc.  I am still learning how to fire my gas kiln.

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3 hours ago, KAR said:

am still learning how to fire my gas kiln.

Pm me, we never charge so no worries. A few questions and we can see if this is something you can likely do for yourself with a little help. All programming  and software Is already done so some parts and setup. We only ask that you promise to advance the arts and learning unselfishly when able.

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