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Last two years kiln totals

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Well its the start of my firing season again . I loaded up two glaze kilns yesterday and am firing them today-I have been saying I'm slowing it down and this year it should really be way less than last years firings. Here are the totals for past two years

2022 - 35cubic car kiln downdraft-21 glaze fires 21 bisques

2021- 35 cubic car kiln-26 glaze fires 26 bisques

2022 -12 cubic foot updraft 26 glaze fires -zero bisques

2021 -12 cubic foot updraft 33 glaze fires -zero bisques

2022 -10 cubic foot Skutt electric bisques-2 

2021 -10 cubic foot Skutt electric bisques-11 

I'm working on my usual large spring wholesale order now and stock for local outlets-next art show is in September and thats my only Art show for 2023

My local  two organic markets usually order about every 3 weeks this time of year.

Galleries and gift shops are in the slow season now

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  • 10 months later...

SO I just fired my Geil 18 cubic foot kiln  and the 12 cubic uodraft yesterday with this year's 1st fires (2024) and looked up my slow down years total for 2023

I'm loving the new to me Geil-I replaced the honeywell conroller with a longer (gas 90 second pilot hold feature ) hold down feature which makes it easier to light

With the 20 new Bailey 14x28 monster  huge advancer like kiln shelves this kiln really holds more like 20 cubic feet now-I did sink about 15 k into the kiln and shelves and concrete slab job  and  and the 20 foot LVL beams that made the whole space open up,but I'm so happy with the new work flow space for two kilns and two Peter puggers. Its a joy to have them all centrally locted in kiln area.

This post is  really is for Mea as she keeps track of so many details and I tend to log them and let them go and now I compare the totals every year.

Here  are the 2023 totals compared to 2022

I also should mention I bisque fire in the car kiln and the Geil not in my electric much

My total cubic feet fired wares for 2021 was 1,305 cubic feet of pots

My total cubic feet fired wares for 2022 was 1,147 cubic feet of pots

My total cubic feet fired wares for 2023 was 941 cubic feet of pots

2023- 35 cubic Car kiln downdraft -19

2022 -35 cubic Car kiln-21

2023-12 cubic feet updraft-14

2022-12 cubic feet updraft-26

2023-NEW to me  this year Geil 18 cubic foot downdraft -6

2023 -10 cubic foot Skutt electric bisques-1

2022 -10 cubic foot Skutt electric bisques-2 

So it really is slowing down and this year is more of that same track as I have cut down my forms list for 2024

It may be not be as much  slowing as one might think in semi retirement mode but I still like clay making its who I am.

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I am also glad I bought my new kilns with the Genisis controllers.   I have fired the Paragon test kiln twice as much as the L&L  I am so happy to have controllers that manage the firing.   I don't have to worry about brain fog and forgetting to turn knobs and change the temp.   When I first decided to get new kilns  I wondered if someone my age should spend that kind of money on  kilns.   After I started using them I decided that is exactly what someone my age should do.   I have automated my house as much as I can,  why not the studio.   Denice

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Nice that you keep such records.  I do find that when I bother to keep notes (I should keep better notes than I do) that the older I get, the less reliable my memory is - especially after the damage having Lyme Disease did to  me.  So I /really/ need to make myself get better with my record keeping again.  Thankfully my kiln controllers keep records for me to some degree - how many firings, what cones I fired to, etc.   I lost all of my old hand written records and tests that I so painstakingly kept when I started with my own kilns back in 2003 during my long illness, alas.  So I have had to start all over with my records when I got my kilns out of long term storage just about three years ago now.

I do love my kiln controllers.  Program in what I want, then walk away!  Especially for those long, slow, ramped cool downs that my work sometimes requires.  I completely agree with Denice - it makes it so  much less worrisome and you don't have to fret about forgetting something crucial that could ruin your whole load!  Especially in my case where any single piece I'm working on is worth thousands of dollars!   We are also active with our local volunteer fire department and do a LOT of Search & Rescue up here in this wilderness.  So I often have to leave the studio for unknown number of hours without warning at the drop of a hat.

An electronic kiln controller is also nice where I live because the power goes out ALL OF THE BLOODY TIME.  If the temp doesn't drop more than 250 degrees F by the time my electricity comes back on, the kiln controller will simply resume the firing schedule without missing a beat.  Whew!  Long gone are the days I have to restart my firing schedule from scratch every time that happens!  I'm working on installing a turbine along our creek so we'll have backup power off grid.  A battery backup or generator just isn't good enough with as often as our power goes out in these mountains.  I guess that's not a problem for you if you are using gas kilns!  It's not an issue for our gas stove at least.  It's a rain forest up here and we get huge amounts of rain, lots of storms.

Man, I so wish I could teleport around and visit your studio!  I would especially love to see ceramics studios in the UK.  So nice to get a 'sneak peek' into what you are doing and how much you fire in a year, Mark.  Thanks for sharing it with us.   Where as if I get more than a couple of pieces done a month I'm on a roll!  But I also do a million other things too.  Sculpting, mold making, resin editions, oil painting,  etc and not just ceramics.

Edited by Hyn Patty
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We lose our power about once a month  fifteen minutes to a hour.   The controller takes over and finishes the firing when the electricity comes back on.   We lost our power for two days when a tornado was close to us.   We were having some ceiling work done recently and the sheet rocker told us he could see daylight from the roof.   We had a roofer out and he said that our tile roof had been lifted and dropped by the tornado,  we probably need a new roof.  Finding a roofer is another problem,  there was 1000 buildings damaged or destroyed in that tornado.   The roofer never came back to fix the holes,   we  had a handyman do it.    Denice

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Mark, you may be slowing down but the production, even in “retirement mode,” blows my mind. I don’t know many potters, because in some corner of my mind it’s a title. You are a Potter. Rare breed, I think.

Along with others, I’m grateful you share your experience and expertise. 

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