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QotW: Does your stacking determine the items in the load, or does your load determine the stacking?


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Once again there is no new question in the QotW pool so I will pose one. 

I have been thinking of statements over the last year by potters who figure the size of their pots to the shelf heights they load. This is much different from me as I guess I throw together all sorts of mixed loads. I may have 20 mugs, 4 plates, some pitchers, or some small bowls and some large bowls in one load. However, some people run 50 mugs and a great number of bowls, or other things, not having the variety of forms or sizes and heights that I run. 

My question for the Question of the Week is:  Does your stacking determine the items in the load, or does your load determine the stacking?

 

best,

Pres

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Stacking determines the load. I cut out a posterboard template of kiln shelf that I put the pots on for each shelf. Planning starts at the design level when possible. For example if I know I'm going to have a bunch of wide bowls to fire I make sure I have pots that will fit in the shadows to maximize shelf usage as much as possible. I try and have a lot of bisque on hand so I can plan the load to have as little dead space as possible.

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@Min You are right there, but I thought it was a good question for discussion as we have some out there that make for the load like @Mark C., and others that just load what they make. I believe there are more in the second category than the first, because most do not make for large scale production, but more towards an inventory for shows that they make replacements for when coming back from a show that just renews their inventory.

 

best,

Pres

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I guess I always determine the load so I always try and choose the stacking as appropriate. Seems like I am solely responsible. I never infill a kiln with things that don’t need firing, It does serve a purpose for many though.  I will maximize the space available as practical. I just see it as using more electric so I see little value in that unless attempting to simulate a condition.

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interesting question.   most of my work is flat so it fits with one and a half inch posts on many shelves.   however, i made 2 vases years ago, maybe 2016 and they are very tall.  one is eleven inches and the other is twelve and a half.   i do not normally bisque but had a load for a friend so i added these square vases.   fired on their sides with the larger one hanging over the shelf in the test kiln.   

i might contact washington street studios for a cost of glaze firing them.    or make a dozen more and fire them here.   can i sell that many?

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Its both for me  to some degree but load is usually the main idea but  what goes in is more driven always by what I need for orders/sales than any other factor. I fill the kilns full-stuffed no matter what and extra bisque gets stored away and piles up at times. I like to make lots of extras and smalls so the spaces get filled. I'm all about maxium use of space these days. I just finished a piece on tumble stacking for CM just on that subject of maxium fill in for a bisque. Look for it in the future -its more about electric bisquing than my gas kilns. Pots do not go bad and having more in all states is always a good thing-whether green ,bisque or fired-its all good.It all sells in the end so really its a no brainer for me.

Right now I have boxes of what I call show pots that are just for shows-not for my outlets as I do not offer them-like cannister sets ,teapots,large vases and huge bowls, larger pots and platters. These pots are waiting for an art show this summer and have been boxed up for many months now since my xmas sale in 2020.

Edited by Mark C.
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I use pieces to direct flame path along with the height between shelves and how tightly packed is very specific to each and every shelf especially at the front of the kiln. How I set the work on shelves determines whether the bottom back will be more even in temp to the top front ...so... what would that be? A bit of both?

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