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Recommended Bisque Speed

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I have just bought a new Skutt kiln and wondered what setting I should use for bisque. I'd like to use the cone firing mode but should I use the slow setting with no pre-heat, or the medium with a 1hour preheat (which is 60ºF per hour up to 180 then hold fir 1 hour).


My greenware is dry.


Thanks for any advise you can offer.

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A lot depends on the thickness of your pieces. You will ger a million opinions on how to bisque but you will have to determine what works for you. I fire 200 deg F /hr up to 220F and hold from 30 min to  1 hour. My pieces ar less than 3/8 inch max. I then take it up ir 1200 F at 500 drg/hr  hold it there to smoke for 30min to 1 hr (depends on kiln loading and venting)  and then take it to cone 07 at 500 deg/hr. then off. Some people fire just past red heat but I have been chicken to try. with my ramp, I Haven't had a blow in years.


Im sure others willo have much different ideas. Just use what works for you.

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We have pieces with various thickness and clay body (more/less grog but all stoneware clay) so I use relatively conservative schedule:
* 100 C per h up to 600 C
* soak 10 min
* continue at 150 C per hour up to 750C <- edited

* 100 C per h to 987 C (cone 07?)
* soak 10 min.
* end

I used to go up to 1013C (cone 06) but I like it more at 07 so why waste energy :)
If kiln is really tightly stuffed (lots of pieces inside each other etc), I'll just extend the soak to 15 min.

If there are some pieces that are not completely try, I'll add:
* ambient to 82C in 30 min
* soak at 82 for 1-2 h (depends, how thick and large those pieces are)
* continue with bisque schedule

Few days ago I was firing my large vase (dry, 45 cm high and 35 wide). Just to be on a safe side, I was running my drying schedule for 4 hours (at 82C). It cost me about 1 kWh so it's nothing really.

PS! Damn, why did I buy so small kiln...


Edit: If you spray your glazes, I think you can skip bisque firing, unless clay body you use really needs two firings to get rid of all the organics and other junk.

Edited by Mart

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The Cone Fire mode is there to make firing simple, and it works well. 95% of what people make can be fired without problem on Medium, for both bisque and glaze. You only need slow if your pieces are thicker than normal. Preheat only if you think they may still be damp.

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