The GREEN kiln was fired on Monday and unloaded on Wednesday. It was another good firing with some really nice work; but also some carnage which was so disappointing.
There was a lot more work on the shelves for firing than we could fit into the kiln. Some of this work is left over from last year. My intention is to load all the outstanding work in the next couple of weeks so the shelves are empty, and then to top up the kiln with new work as it arrives. I will set the next firing day as soon as the kiln is full and expect to fire in about 3-4 weeks.
Special thanks to my ‘Cooking with Gas’ team who helped with the loading, firing and, along with some other club members, the unloading and cleaning up. I specifically mention the cleaning up as there are a few issues to bring to members attention.
Glaze selection: some of the club glazes are proving unsatisfactory in the gas kiln. Rob will be revising the list of OK glazes in the glaze room. Particular glazes being removed from the list are Van Guilder’s Ash and Matt White. Please be careful to select only glazes from the downdraft green kiln list. These 2 glazes in particular are melting excessively leaving work stuck to the shelves. The work then has to be removed with a hammer and cold chisel, breaking the base from the pot and leaving a lot of grinding to be done to remove the shards from the shelf.
Glaze thickness: the thicker the application the more likely the glaze is to run. Be careful when double dipping or pouring. Excessive thickness of glaze is causing some of the melting on to the shelves.
Footrings: I prefer to see a footring of 6mm minimum that is fully waxed. If you trim to a definite footring it gives a clean line to wax up to and makes sure there is no residue on the base that in the cone 10 environment can melt just enough to stick a little to the shelf. Sponging the foot of the work clean runs the risk of some residue remaining in the base to bond with the shelf and usually results in a very narrow margin, often not wide enough to accommodate even a small glaze run.
Setters: it is pleasing to see some work being supplied on setters. If you have a new glaze, a test or have concerns about the glaze melt this is a great way to protect your work. In event of a run the setter and excess glaze can easily be ground off the bottom of the pot and the shelf is unaffected.
Identifying your work: We need to know to whom each work belongs as it needs to be weighed and charged to your account after firing. Your potters mark is ok though relying on this potentially requires us to recognise the mark of every club member. That is a lot of marks. SO if you chose to use your member number that is very convenient for the kiln room team. A little dab of wax on your mark or number will save it being filled with glaze and becoming illegible.
It is really disappointing for those involved with the kilns to see work irreparably broken when unloading so the notes above are just a few observations to keep in mind so we can make a great job of each firing.