Kiln Firing


Over a year has passed before I finally fired a second-hand kiln I purchased. It was a relief when the biscuit firing to 960 degrees hit temperature followed by a glaze firing reaching a temperature of 1300 degrees. I fired some hand built pieces that had been decorated with slip and covered in a transparent stoneware glaze. Although it was a huge relief that the kiln had reached temperature there was disappointment and some surprises. It became apparent that my trusty old transparent glaze was not being fired as high as I had previously thought in my old kiln, this resulted in the latest body of work having a bright glassy finish to the glaze, with crackles and some of my old slip colours burning out.

So, with my new-found knowledge I have been busy working in the studio to fill my kiln up again. I have created some dinner plates, side plates and some sample test mini dishes. I have one hand built vessel that I will be firing at a lower temperature. Previously I only threw in porcelain but these pieces are a mixture of stoneware clays.

Tonight, the bases were trimmed and all stamped to keep a record of each piece’s journey. I am a diligent recorder of everything I ever make. A paper log records what clay is used, the quantity and all decoration, glazing and the date made.

In a weeks’ time the kiln will be fired again. I am planning on spending time exploring what glazes I plan to use as it’s a different clay body the results will be unfamiliar. I may play it safe and complete some tests before committing to actual pieces.


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