Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Introducing Big Brother and Little Sister

I'm not sure how long it's going to take me to adapt to this way of thinking.  I have always waited on a kiln to be available.  For the past few years, I've had to pack up the work, transport it to the kiln, unpack it and then load it into the kiln. Rinse and repeat in between firings.

Last night I decided on a whim to re-fire some of my UG plates that had bubbled to see if the glaze would melt properly.  All I had to do was walk the plates from my garage to the kiln.  It was so simple!  The more exciting part was that I fit 18 plates into the large kiln!  I was anticipating only being able to fire 8 plates at a time, but once again the ingenuity of a potter prevails. ;) I started it last night at 10pm, so I will see how long it will take for the kiln to reach cone 6.

I am testing to see if the glaze on the plates will melt again.  The decals are what I am expecting to be problematic.  My hope is that the iron oxide doesn't move too much during the firing, so that I can just realign the new decals with the old ones and re-fire to cone 04.  ::crosses fingers::

I've got to say, at first I was pretty disappointed with the small size of the larger kiln (let's call him Big Brother).  I was already thinking of how I was going to pay and install an L&L Easy Fire e28t-3 (my dream kiln) after I had just gotten the electrician to install these two!  Now, I am rethinking that all together.  It's pretty amazing how much you can fit into a kiln when you really take time to organize.  Also, the smaller kiln runs on less amperage, therefore, less electricity, therefore, less money.  Another thing that I simply adore is that the kiln has a sitter.  With digital kilns, you hear the clicking of the relays "on and off", "on and off." I was sitting outside last week when I was firing my test kiln (let's call her Little Sister) and I felt the subtle warmth of the kiln and saw the orange glow.  It was really comforting, kind of like sitting near a wood kiln on a cool night.  The feeling reminds me that the whole process of ceramics has its treasurable moments and that's why I love being a ceramic artist.  So in other words, I really enjoy my kilns and I look forward to becoming familiar with their firing schedule.

1 comment:

  1. The bowl piece looks great, and it is great to be able to fire stuff where it's made instead of packing it around. I am so much enjoying working at the clay spot, though, where I just put it on ashelf, and voila, it gets fired! I'm also having fun with the silk screen class-- made some today that are quite generic designs, like stripes, dots, --just so many things to try and learn about,
    Also, i' def up for a cup exchange or something-- or I could just give you this cup-- it holds a lot of coffee! M