Thursday, May 19, 2005

Home,James,and Don't Spare the Horses

Back in my studio,just after two in the morning.Goldie,my apprentice,seems to have sold some pots today,which is useful.We finished the firing at 12:30-12 hours,10 kilos of salt,producing about as much pollution (in the form of dilute hydrochloric acid) as a family car driven for two hours -and considerably less than,for instance,a rubber tyre burned on a road in a political protest.We needed a bit more salt than we thought,and ran out of test rings in the end.Future firings should only need half the quantity.It was a good,strong firing,reaching 1340 degrees by the (again resuscitated) pyrometer,although the brief soak at the end was at 1280,followed by the de rigeur crash cool to 1000.I think this is to help formation of mullite structures instead of slow-cooling crystobolite,but please don't quote me.Before clamming (or clemming,as they say in Stoke) up the kiln,we peered in and saw evidence of the hoped-for orange-peel effect on some pots-for the rest,we shall have to wait for kiln-opening Friday morning.


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