First Glaze Firing

Griselda’s first glaze firing was yesterday! I unloaded her this morning. She can only hold about half the stuff even the wee Rocket kiln at the clay studio can, so that’s going to bring my firings a lot closer together, but she cools down MUCH faster. Time from cracking the lid to taking out the bottom pieces was all of three minutes, and I sure as heck didn’t break a sweat.




Also, all the cups for Hot Mud came out. Above, that’s “Crewelwork Embroidery”, “Perdido Street Station”, and “Crafted”. I’m delighted with some of the batch, satisfied with others, and frankly disappointed with Backyard Gardening. Oh well. Most of them worked.





First bisque firing: succesful! Woohoo!


Griselda has no dials. Just five on/off switches. Makes for very uneven temperature distribution in the first hours of firing, and very sudden temperature jumps next to whichever element gets turned on. I was concerned about explosions because of that, but suspect that as long as all the greenware I put in is super-duper dry, it’ll be fine.


I’ll be glazing and firing again Sunday or Monday. Looking forward to it so very much.

Griselda’s First Firing






She’s on and heating up! 


The first firing is to see how long it takes her to heat up, and also to create a layer of oxidation on the elements to protect them from clay and glaze fumes. (There is some debate as to whether or not that’s necessary with low-fluorine and lead-free glazes, but I’m just gonna go ahead and take the evening to test fire anyways.)



Assuming all goes well, I’ll be bisquing those Hot Mud pieces tomorrow. 


Remember Griselda? The old kiln I was given? I had some lovely electricians come in this morning and replace her power cord. We plugged her into the wall and switched her on long enough to see if she works. And she does! Or at least, all the elements got warm. I didn’t have time for a full test firing, and there are still a few odds and ends to pick up before I set her up for one anyways[1], but I am almost certain I’ll be able to fire in my own kiln, in my own studio, before the end of the month.


[1] A few feet of 4″ ducting for the ventilation system, a piece of sheet metal with a hole in it, and that should do it.[2]

[2] While I’m at the hardware store, though, I would like to pick up two paint mixing attachments, for plaster and slip[3].

[3] I have been recycling my throwing scraps into clay, which has then been used for my tiles. But the wedging is tough on the wrists and machines to wedge it for me are more expensive than new kilns. So I decided to try making some plaster molds for my tiles and recycling the scraps into casting slip–no wedging involved! We shall see how it goes.