Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another classic in the annals of how kilns give you the slip.Tuesday's salt firing went suspiciously well- 12 hours from starting-to-load to close-down after crash-cooling.Pots in the front looked well-fired and salted by the end of the firing,although cone 10 was only just bending ,having spent 20mins or so after the salt to oxidise and raise the temp,while last (good) firing flattened 10.Rings were hard to extract,being well stuck down- initially we thought because of vaporised salt,then because of nearby melted cone 07- but looked good anyway;turns out that a small salt-filled pot had cracked,spilling salt over the shelf,sticking the rings- and,incidentally,making them look so good!On this (false) basis we stopped salting at 8kg (instead of 10),congratulating ourselves that the kiln was finally getting a proper coat of salt and requiring less to be thrown in,like the books say.So the top of the kiln was a bit cool (as I had thought during the firing),and the salt a bit thin.2 more kilos of salt and firing 20 degrees higher would have made all the difference.This dish came out niceley (despite some salt-drip on one corner- it sat in the flue under the bottom shelf.We used an improved wadding mix to support pots- last batch tended to take lumps out of bases when removed.This batch- I think 70 alumina 30 china clay-more or less what I use for batt-wash- seemed to work fine. Posted by Picasa


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