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Can glazed bisque pieces freeze?


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Newbie question: My kiln is located in an insulated (but unheated) shed. I'm in Alberta so can get to -40 at times, lately we've just been at 0 to -10 degree Celsius - thankfully. I've been glazing my pieces and then keeping them indoors until I have enough to fire.  My thought is that freezing may cause the dried glaze coat to crack? Or am I OK to load the kiln with  dried glazed pieces bit by bit over the week in the unheated room? Thanks!

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@CajonatHey neighbour!

Yeah, like Liam said, as long as they’re bone dry they should be good. That said, make sure they’re not in a position to absorb any further water during Chinook freeze/thaw cycles. Keep them dry, or the glaze will slake off. If the weather’s hanging around 0 overnight, you’ll have no worries.

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45 minutes ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

@CajonatHey neighbour!

Yeah, like Liam said, as long as they’re bone dry they should be good. That said, make sure they’re not in a position to absorb any further water during Chinook freeze/thaw cycles. Keep them dry, or the glaze will slake off. If the weather’s hanging around 0 overnight, you’ll have no worries.

Hey there! I'm just outside Edmonton :).  Yep, no chance of getting wet., it's watertight.  My newest issue is trying to keep the squirrel out of the  kiln shed. Pesky varmit lol.

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Thanks for asking the question, Cajonat. I live in SW Ontario and thought that I couldn't load a kiln gradually in the winter. Warm year this year so far; just hovering below freezing right now.  We don't get Alberta cold, but cold enough.

Had to laugh about your description of your table. My dining room table is full of bone dry pieces waiting for a load so I can bisque fire. So, if my work is totally dry, can I do the same thing with the pieces and fill the kiln gradually? Or is it a bit more dangerous, because they might not be totally dry? I have heard of people taking work outside that wasn't dry and having it freeze and break, but  am wondering about bone dry.

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I have an unheated shop in PA, and over the years have not noticed many problems with glazed pottery freezing, but am careful of dust getting on the pots. I did notice a few years back that a few pieces that did not get into a load had some strange crystal  break up of the unfired glaze surface. I assumed it had been some frost that had gotten onto the glaze surface disrupting my sprayed on decoration. Certainly glad I am not living as far north as some of you!

 

best,

Pres

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1 hour ago, Selchie said:

Thanks for asking the question, Cajonat. I live in SW Ontario and thought that I couldn't load a kiln gradually in the winter. Warm year this year so far; just hovering below freezing right now.  We don't get Alberta cold, but cold enough.

Had to laugh about your description of your table. My dining room table is full of bone dry pieces waiting for a load so I can bisque fire. So, if my work is totally dry, can I do the same thing with the pieces and fill the kiln gradually? Or is it a bit more dangerous, because they might not be totally dry? I have heard of people taking work outside that wasn't dry and having it freeze and break, but  am wondering about bone dry.

Hey fellow Canadian! I've heard that dry unbisqued pieces could freeze - with that exact reason, they would still have water content in them. As a human being I am bone dry with household humidity levels at 20% yikes.  But I don't want to take any chances with my un bisqued pieces and will keep that stuff indoors until I get a bisque fire load.   But I will defer to the experts here to chime in!!

Fortunately I found an absolutely brand new circa 1990's 6 cubic foot kiln dirt cheap. It's too big for me, hence why my house gets littered with pieces ha ha.

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Hi,

Hadn't thought about the fact that, of course, even bone dry, it could still freeze because of water content. After writing this morning, I looked at my dining room table and decided it was a kiln load, so out to the garage everything went and it is firing away. About -4C right now, so not bad. I have recorded firing times and the extra time to bring the kiln up to summer ambient temperatures is minimal.

Household humidity of 20%! Your greenware would dry out quickly!

Pres, Thanks for weighing in on this. I guess the idea is maybe to keep the work away from the snow on the way out to the kiln.......Or safely store until ready to go. 

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