Kiln Log #8

Top Shelf

Top Shelf

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.

Before

Before

After

After

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.

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~ by williambakerpottery on August 13, 2008.

3 Responses to “Kiln Log #8”

  1. Hey Will, I’m sorry I couldn’t stay longer at your firing. We’ll get it next time.

    The kiln is the teacher, or I guess the kiln is the carrot or something like that. If I get one keeper out of the kiln I guess I’m satisfied, just hard to pay the bills with the rest of ’em.

    Mitchell County potters prayer: Lord let me live to see another day and another kiln load.
    Peace out.

  2. hey b

    look at your little blog – its very cute. i think you should wad something on its side and cram some more in the bottom? your in charge though. what would it cost you to come out here and help me build a cat-arch like the one at the bray…big. think about it… the snow is on the mountains already and the pad is coming soon. it’ll be fun…

    d

    ps – I stole your chop except mine has a “d” – I had little use for the “w”

  3. Hang in there, the work is lookin good. If you don’t have problems with the kilns then you are not doing enough to find out what it will do. Keep the blog a rollin, its great to hear what is going on up in the holler.

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