Waiting for the toaster...

December 15, 2013  •  4 Comments

First Glaze Firing1,262 degrees Fahrenheit on it way upto and heating up to a 2,232 degrees for a Cone 6 glaze firing. My first glaze firing is happening right now.  The last stretch of the process was a rocky road.  In addition to doing the things that you normally have to do fire your pottery, which in my case was to drive to Portland to purchase a used electric kiln, install a 240 Volt, 60 Amp electrical service, and a 4-inch kiln vent, I also had to rewire the kiln from three-phase to single-phase, replace all the elements, install a new type of thermocouple, and replace the computer board.

It was a lot of work, but through the process I thoroughly learned my kiln inside and out.  I was rewarded with a perfect test fire to verify everything worked correctly and to put a protective oxide on the elements.  The bisque firing for the pieces being glaze fired now was as equally successful.

If you decide firing your own pottery , I would encourage you get some help.  In my case, I took a class entitled "Firing Your Electric Kiln" at Georgie's Ceramic and Clay Co. in Portland Oregon.  The instructor, Bob Logue, taught a good class, demystified the firing process, gave us each a starting point for what we wanted to do, and demystified the electric kiln, which Bob describes in the context of "it's basically a big toaster".  Bob also helped me in his capacity as a Georgie's to get the parts require rewire and repair the used kiln that I purchase.

For almost a year I have been attending informal pottery classes taught by Patrick Flemming.  It is great to show up, work with the clay or glaze pieces, and leave pieces on a shelf to be be fired.  While I intend to continue attending class at Patrick's, I intend to take some different creative directions in my home studio.  We'll see how it goes...

 



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