Griselda’s First Firing

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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. 

Griselda

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.

Kiln Update

It fired off okay. (And there was, as suspected, a second blown element.) The cephalopots all came out beautifully. The bug stuff wasn’t as blue as usual, probably because it’s a new batch of glaze and sometimes crap happens[1], but everyone else seems to think it’s pretty so I’ll stop being picky and accept it.

Everything was very hastily packed up and delivered to INTRD on my lunch break, still slightly warm. I have no more deadlines to worry about for a few days.

It’s a nice feeling.

[1] The blue drips were a complete and utter surprise when they first happened. I didn’t get any on my early test tiles, or on the first firing, and then one day my glaze turned very drippy and blue and busy. I was heartbroken, because it wasn’t what I wanted at *all*, but I’ve gotten so used to it that seeing it disappear was actually a bit of a disappointment. Clearly, I need to decide what I want. (And go over my glaze notes. There’s got to be *something* different this time…)

Um. Oh my.

That glaze firing? It’s still going. That thing’s been on high since midnight.

Yeesh.

I’m wondering if there’s more than one element blown or something. (And if so, how it will affect my very Mustbedonebydeadlinewhichistomorrowy pots…)

EDIT: It just went off now, at 11:30 pm. I’ll get to see how it all went tomorrow on my lunch break.