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Kiln-firing with a drywall cutout


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Have any of you fired a sculpture with a piece of drywall underneath? I heard you could do it when the piece is large or delicate. In this way, I don't need to touch the actual piece, while loading it into the kiln. I'm thinking of doing it if you think it is safe. Appreciate your advice in advance. Tenyoh

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Seems like a bad idea, paper burns off, drywall contains about 3% water and 21% chemically bound water, ablates around 1000c, expands quite a bit, thermal conductivity and emissivity not great for kiln use......... For large and or delicate pieces we just put the sculpture  on a nice straight shelf grogged or alumina  for movement and place it nicely in the kiln.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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Drywall is a good surface for building on if you need the bottom to dry slowly, as it will soak up moisture from the clay. I would not put it in the kiln. In addition to the burning of the paper, I wouldn't expect it to retain its shape. Once the paper is gone it will probably crumble.

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A guy back in college built a sculpture on a wooden ware board, and he couldn’t get it into the kiln without ruining it, so he fired it, board and all. Figured it would be ok because the room was actually pretty well ventillated.

When the security guard came in the morning to open the kiln room doors, a wave of noxious green smoke rolled out and nearly knocked him out.

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To lift and load the piece I'ld put strips of old cotton bedsheets on top of the board then build on those so you can lift the piece with the strips of sheet to lower it into the kiln leaving the board behind. If the kiln is segmented and the piece is large I'ld take the sections apart for loading too.

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Thank you all for the advice. I'll not use a drywall cutout. I don't want to knock myself out with the fume. My kiln is not segmented, but I will try to lower my sculpture using strips of bedsheet. I'll make sure to put glog underneath, too. Thanks a bunch. 

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