Saturday, June 16, 2012

Quick Firing with longer Soak

I have fired my wood-fired "Manabigama" kiln 24 times, and not until this last firing have I succeeded at getting the temperature in the back of the kiln to cone 10 (2,340 F.) or above. I fired this last time holding back just a bit to keep the kiln from shooting up in temperature "too fast." All pots were bisque fired, and I had nothing in the kiln that was large enough to worry about firing too quickly.

I reached cone 8 (2,277 F.) in the front of the kiln in 5 1/2 hours, three to five hours earlier than usual. This quick firing allowed me some extra time to soak the kiln at or near peak temperature (in the front of the kiln). I normally have fired this kiln to cone 10 (2,340 F.) and then continued to fire heavy stokes for another four hours, until the back reaches cone 8 or 9, the front reaching temperatures beyond cone 13 or 14.

Yesterday, I fired to cone 11 in the front (seven hours) and continued to stoke for another seven hours, stoking moderately to heavy, keeping the front of the kiln from rising in temperature too much.

As far as I can tell, I reached cone 13 or 14 in the front and cone 11 in the back.

One additional change I made in this firing is stacking the back shelves away from the back wall farther than usual. I moved the back shelves four or five inches farther away from the wall this time.

A few quick peeks through the passive dampers in the chimney today revealed more color than usual on pots in the back glazed in a shino glaze.

We'll see what the rest looks like tomorrow (or maybe tonight if I decide to peek in through the firebox).

Cone 10 is nearly flat in back.

Some blushes of white on shino

Chelsea's bird (Little Loafer's Glory cone 6 clay)

Chelsea stoking

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