Friday, September 10, 2010

You don't know til' you try (firing an old kiln for the first time that is)

I can't say it was my most successful day.
I certainly began with the energy of an 18 year old and 
ended the day feeling much my age and a little older (almost 42).

The kiln progressed well until it did not.
It seemed to stall and would not move forward.
Granted I did take things very slowly... by 18 hours of firing I was spent.
I felt stressed most of the day any way and I was just not sure what to do.

I began firing gas kilns when I was 18 at UNC-G and moved to electric for 
a while during my stint of working with Ron Propst in Winston-Salem.
That was 20 years ago.
In between I have been a wood/gas/salt girl.
I know how to manipulate a gas kiln to get it to change.
I felt helpless with this electric kiln.

I had to take the leap, firing this old, but new to me kiln, and I am glad. Now I need to troubleshoot.
I have done a little online research. One thing I did notice last night
was that there is a significant gap between the floor and the first kiln section.
Maybe this was pulling too much hot air down and out?
Cone 5 went down on the bottom but nothing moved on the top.

I feel tired and discouraged today but not defeated. I am determined to conquer this thing and begin making pots again.

I have been considering a switch to earthenware... maybe this was my call from the kiln.

Here are a few images of my yesterday.
It was quite fun despite the frustrating ending.

I forgot to make a kiln god, a symbol of good luck and to watch over the firing,
so I found this on Rohan's clay work table and wah lah kiln god. 
Not sure what to name him, any ideas?

my only window in the basement but lovely.

mugs to be and serving bowls

Now I just need to find that excited energy, unload an under-fired kiln and fix it
to start all over again. Oh yeah, I can do this.... I think I can I think I can.

1 comment:

Your words inspire me to do and be more. So do your thoughts but I just can't read them yet! ;)