Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday morning electric kiln conundrum

Yeah, I know many of the fuelled kiln afficianados think us electric kiln firers have it easy ... just push a button and wait for the same ol' results. Well, in my experience, limited as it is, I find I am constantly having to monitor and tweak my firings (and btw, I love, love, love my Cone-art kiln and it's Bartlett controller, which allow me the flexibility to make those tweaks). Thank goodness, for this round of glazing, I had the common sense to say "hmm, haven't glaze fired red clay for awhile, maybe I should run some tests first" (see .... old dogs can learn from their past mistakes;)). Last night, after unloading a small load of pots done with no fuss glazes, plus tests for the glazes for the remainder of the pots, I found my normally satin semi mattes were a tad on the glossy side. And one of them, for which I had to make a new batch this go round, isn't even in the same ballpark as far as colour goes. Cones are over as should be. Program ran as usual, minus the now frequent cool down hiccup, for which I have a programmed work around (note to self ... gotta talk to the Bartlett guys). So this morning is going to be spent scratching my head ... was it the load size?, the red clay?, was it the texture accents I added?, should I try an older version of my cool down ramp? .... finally, does it really matter? .. can I work with these results? (there isn't really anything wrong with them, it's just they didn't produce the expected results). The good news ... testing for texture accents were bang on! as were some of the tests for new glazes, an older glaze using an alternative firing schedule, and a new clay trial with all of the above. All yielded some possibilities for the future. I pinch myself sometimes, that I can go to work every day and have this much fun!
... PS ... I'll update this post with pics when I'm done pondering ;)
... PPS .... see Glaze Pics post below ....

1 comment:

  1. Oh don't you love it! Sitting sorting through the last firing while another load is going up.... Electric is not a no brainier as I have heard so many say. It's the heat work you can do in an electric kiln that is fascinating! And for those of us needing immediate gratification..... ELECTRIC :) good luck!