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Saturday, May 23, 2009

memorial to cone 6 failures

I fired a bisque load in my kiln yesterday for the first time. I've been firing community studio electric kilns with computers for so long, just punch in the program, hit start and off you go. My kiln is completely manual and gas, so I spent all day babysitting the kiln, keeping a log and checking the temp and flame every hour. I loved it. I do believe I am addicted to fire. Love Raku, love wood firing, and I am loving bisque firing with gas. We have these ugly concrete well things in our yard, so while I was babysitting kiln, I got out the bucket of pottery shards I have been collecting since we lived in Charlotte and a bag of cement and I stuck these shards on one of them. It was fun to go through the shards and revisit old glazes that I haven't thought of in years. There must have been a time when I was hooked on Randy's Red, there were lots of those shards. And oh man, how thick can a pot be anyway!
See these boards above my kiln? Ok, don't laugh at the construction, this shed was quick and dirty and cheap and built by people who don't build (me and Gerry). But, the wood was getting pretty hot and I am wondering if that is a problem and if so what can I do about it? I fired to 1800 and if I go to cone 10 it's going to be even hotter, am I going to start a fire up there?
RAKU tomorrow!!!!

5 comments:

Linda Starr said...

Hi Tracey, I have my kiln in my screen room. I am kind of worried about the plywood ceiling especially in summer when it is already hot, got the sitter cones I needed yesterday. Tomorrow I shall see how hot the ceiling gets with a bisque. I thought about getting some fire retardant type ceiling panels, but dollars kept me back, we shall see. Good luck with your raku.

mike said...

Tracey,
You can take tile backer (hardi backer) and attache it to the wood that's getting hot. It's best if you allow some space between the hardi backer and the wood. The air space will help keep the heat from transfering into the wood. To create the space just get some emt conduit and cut it into 1 inch (or whatever) lengths. Then run the screw through the hardi backer, through the spacer, and into the wood.
In my kiln shed I didn't use spacers and it's fine, but I make sure I have a fan running to keep the air moving through the shed. It would have been better had I used the spacers.

cookingwithgas said...

playing catch up in your bolg- I know teachers who teach left handed students to thrown right handed because it is easier for the teacher- I don't get it. I had a student who was trimming right handed when she was left handed. I took one look and told her to switch the wheel and go left handed- like you said it changed her life in clay!
Follow Mike's advice- seems like good advice and keep your trim tools in your left hand!

Hollis Engley said...

My suggestion is the same as Mike's. Whatever that stuff is called -it has a couple of trade names - it's a sort of concrete board that they use in showers to stick tile to. I've got it protecting my ceiling below my Olympic kiln. In all likelihood, you'd be OK anyway, but it's pretty simple to attach some wood 2x2 or 1x1 stringer to the ceiling beams and then screw on a some of that "hardi backer" to cover the area above the kiln.

Hollis Engley said...

That would be ABOVE my kiln.