I used a lot more shelves in loading my fourth kiln load. The width of my shelves is 22 inches, and the width of my ware bed is 32 inches. In the past I've used the extra space to place a tall piece or stack a large platter sideways. I didn't have a lot of tall pieces or platters, so I chose to work more shelves into the space, overlapping some shelves a bit. The picture at the right is one of the more complicated stacking arrangements.
I don't know how this will change the way the kiln fires, but I'll find out when we fire later next week. We're thinking of firing Friday and after the kiln cools, fire again so we'll have a kiln to unload for the Celebration of Spring Kiln Opening April 17 and 18. It's nice to have it loaded and ready to fire and know that I don't have to get up at 5 in the morning to start firing tomorrow. Actually, Mary's volunteered to take that shift (we're actually thinking 3 a.m. this time, hoping for a longer soaking period once we reach temperature.)
My son, Levi, and daughter, Chelsea, went to NCECA last week and Levi told me he attended a couple of wood-firing lectures. So, I think he'll be psyched to make some pots for the second load. Here's how I stacked this time: