Monday, March 21, 2011

Where there's smoke...

...there's a fire!  Fortunately, electric firings generally come with minimal smoke.  Which is good news for people who fire them, people like me.

Krystal had some work to tackle this weekend (family visits are great fun, but they can set you behind if you take time off while they're here!) and so I thought I'd take care of some glazing and, by association, firing.  I was concerned that I might not have a full kiln, but that worry proved erroneous.  Not only did I fill the kiln, but I still have (probably) another full load to go.  I'm hoping that this load provides me with confirmation of some of my glaze hopes, namely that I receive positive affirmation of my choice of glaze for my mountain vases.  We'll just have to wait and see.  As of 5:10 PM (CDT) the kiln was still cooling and sitting at about 650 degrees.  At noon it was still a toasty 1400 and had dropped to about 1250 by the time I headed back to work at one.  At this cooling rate, I may get to open it tonight.  However, based on my previous firings (and basic laws of physics/thermodynamics), the nearer the kiln comes to room temperature the slower the progress of cooling.  If JohnX wants to write me a physics oriented explanation I'd be happy to post it here, but basically it cools faster when it's still really hot and gets slower the cooler it gets.  So, while I'd like to believe that I can open and unload tonight, that may not happen.  Also, I tried some new things in my firing, namely using delay (delayed start) and preheat (holds at 180 degrees) functions.  This was helpful for me because it allowed me to set the kiln to start firing later in the evening (off prime rates?) and also to insure that all the glazes were dried (there were a few pots where the glazy dryness was questionable).  So, rather than having to sit around waiting for glaze to dry before I loaded, and having to wait for the right time to turn the kiln on, I glazed, loaded, set it and forget it.  So there you go.

Enough words, it's time for some pictures, I guess.
My mess.  Took over the kitchen again.  Stripped down my palette for this firing - 4 primary glazes and maybe 5 accent glazes.
Bottom row of the kiln.  Set of bowls, some other things. Ta dum.
Top shelf of kiln.  There's another row of bowls in between the top and bottom.  Very excited to see how these all turn out!
Well, there it is.  Countdown to unloading?  I'll do my best to get pictures up as soon as possible!  I hope you all have had a lovely Monday, and good luck with the rest of your week!

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