Kiln Log #8
You may have noticed an obscure reference to the recent firing here on Roan Mountain. It was firing number 8 and sadly not as successful as the last two. After making some adjustments to the bagwall and firing approach I had two very good firings in a row. Almost all of the really cold areas had disappeared and it felt like I was pulling nice pots out of the kiln left and right.
This time I had some casualties, a few cracks resulting from raw-glazing first attempts and a few cracks from just plain ol’ too thick. Aside from these, the bottom shelf or two on the two outside stacks showed signs of that ol’ terrible cold spot returning. To make matters worse, the whole firing ended up about one cone cooler than I have come to hope for. I’ve learned that the main conepacks tend to sit a very weird little pocket in this kiln, and that cone 9 flat is fine there as long as cone 11 is flat in the very front fireface. Although this firing seemed headed for greatness and high temperatures for a while there, in the end only cone 10 was flat on the fireface with cone 11 hanging tough. In the main packs I had only one cone 9 down and a lot of 8’s just falling. Oh well I thought, at four in the morning it was decided to call it off and see if that would be hot enough.
Not quite hot enough. By no means was it a total disaster. Joy shared the kiln load and although she did not fare too well overall, she had a few nice ones come out. I did have a lot of nice ones come out too, some of the flashed surfaces from the last firings were still there but some of the surfaces were just shy of my expectations built up from the hotter pots of the last time round.
For the next firing I think I’ll reverse the small changes I had made in some of the settings and try to get headed back in the right direction.
For now, off to help Shane Mickey with another of his kiln building projects. He’s already got a start on it and it’s not to far away, so in a few days we’ll have it finished and fired and be headin’ home. Then I can get back in the studio and try it all again.