Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Results from Latest Firing

(Scroll to the bottom for a summary of the firing)


Ash accumulation on the left shoulder
is a dark matt green.




This was one of my favorites out of the load.
It's about a six-pound bottle made of my
local clay with a couple cups of sand wedged in.
I dried it a bit with a heat gun before stretching
it out toward its bulbous shape. It was fired in
the very back of the kiln.




Lots of dark clay and dark ash. I think
we succeeded with a heavy reduction,
especially at the end, when we chucked
it full of hardwood and sealed it up. It
was the first real reduction firing I've
ever fired, since I've fired in electric
kilns for the past 20-some years.



Front (lesson learned)



Front of Middle



Rear of Middle



Back

We had a goal of reaching cone 9 in the front of the kiln and soaking for four hours to even out the kiln. Cone 9 never tipped toward the back of the kiln, though. At 7:30 p.m. - 16 hours into firing - we had switched from stoking with hardwood 2 x 3s to split pine and oak logs and shot from 1700˚ F. to 2,052 in the next hour. At 8:15, cone 9 was down, and we took out one brick from each of the lower four dampers and slowed the kiln down. We had hoped the back would increase in temperature, but I was concerned that the smaller stokes wouldn't send the flames back to the the back of the kiln, so I stoked a bit more wood. At 11:30 p.m., it looked like cone 13 was down in the front. For some reason (I noticed a slight crack in cone 13 after unloading) cone 12 and 13 started tipping at the same time and cone 13 leaned onto cone 12. Cone 9 hadn't moved toward the back of the kiln. Levi suggested one big stoke of our 2 x 3 hardwood (cherry?), followed by a huge stoke of the same wood, then sealing everything up. So, that's what we did, and then watched the kiln closely as flames popped out of every available crack, finally calming down an hour later.


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