Saturday, October 6, 2012
More patience. And the pay off.
After a few days for the glazes to set up, I started the loading process. Loading a kiln is like doing a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle. There needed to be enough space between the pieces, shelves and kiln sides for good heat circulation. A balance is needed between large and small, short and tall pieces. And I tried to load certain glazes closer together.
The kiln was loaded, fired and unloaded twice. It took about 6 to 8 hours to complete a firing in my kiln. I have an older manual kiln, so I have to be there to turn the dial from low to medium and, at last, to high. I pushed in the plunger, set my timer and turned up the heat every two hours. I held my breath and prayed to the kiln gods and goddesses.
And I waited some more.
Even after the kiln finished firing, I waited even more. If I opened the kiln before the interior and exterior temperature was the same, I’d crack my pieces.
Finally, it was time to unload the kiln.
This was the first firing.