Firing a gas kiln in reduction successfully requires learning your kiln’s moods, character, quirks, and happy spots.
I thought I knew Thelma, my older fiber gas kiln, pretty well. But then I did the unthinkable! I MOVED a shelf!
So the bottom shelf was cracked and when Malcolm Greenwood saw where it was positioned recently, he suggested that I raise it up a bit…so I did. When it was raised up, it left a gap that I thought might allow the flames to escape through – and right up the flue. So I added a small piece of kiln shelf to cover this gap.
The firing seemed to be going fine until about 1100 degrees celsius…then things went wonky. The firing took 16 hours and I never got cone 10 to fall – I finally just gave up after trying everything!
I dreaded opening the kiln and actually waited two days before opening it… an all time record for me!
But….to my amazement, the firing was great – one of my recent bests! I guess the heat and time did the work!
I also saw what the problem was! The little bag wall/gap filler had fallen over the burner ports covering them by half! So, no wonder I couldn’t get to temp!
I did learn some good lessons:
- Even though the kiln was in oxidation at the end of the firing, all of my copper reds looked great!
- Cone 9 might be a happier place for some of my glazes!
The moral to this little story is: You NEVER quit learning! And Just when you think you know your kiln, you don’t!
Good firing to you all!