Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fifth Firing Complete, feeling Good and Tired

I love this mug despite the fact that
it cracked in the fourth firing. It was up front
near the firebox, placed on three shells.

We loaded the wood kiln Tuesday directly after unloading it from the Friday firing, hoping to take advantage of the heat retained in the kiln. We bricked it up, and got a good night's sleep, and when I checked the temperature the next morning, it was 126 F. We fired all day until 11 p.m. and we reached 630 F., then we let it burn off some of the fuel and sealed it up at about 600 F. We got up Wednesday and began firing at 7 a.m. The temperature had fallen to 471 F., so we got a nice head start.

Yesterday's firing went extremely well. I felt Levi and I were paying more attention to the flame and coals, and we began to get a better feel for the kiln. We reached 1,600 F. at around 6:45 p.m. and after some of Mary's wonderful vegetable curry, we spent a couple of hours with the passive dampers pulled out. At 8:15 p.m., with cone 9 beginning to bend, I decided to push the active dampers in a few inches, replacing the passive dampers. This allowed us to soak the kiln for four more hours, finally getting cone 9 to tip a bit toward the back, and cones 12 and 13 both tipping in the front (I don't know why this has happened to me twice). We stoked one more regular stoke and sealed up the kiln.

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