Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wow, that was fast....

Hmm... time to start loading the kiln tomorrow already. I've never had back to back firing like this. I hardly got any time in to make new pots with all the work it takes to get ready for a new firing. Today consisted of kiln work.
We had trouble last firing with sand making it's way into the first chamber. The problem lies in the fact the fire brick expands during the firing and pushes out the cob insulation, leaving a small gap between the firebrick and cob insulation. We think mice made their way into that gap between the firebrick and cob. Either way last firing sand kept pouring into the spy hole every time we opened it last firing. Some what aggravating to say the least. I'm not sure this is a permanent solution but this is what I did today:

I cut out the cob above the spy hole and cemented a brick up against the arch. I'm not sure the arch won't push out the brick and leave a gap again, time will tell. This should hold for a little while at least. I still need to fill the rest of the space back in with cob, but I think I can find time during the first day of firing to take care of that.

Next we rebuilt the bag wall.

This is the first kiln I've ever been in charge of that had a bag wall. It seems to be taking me a while to get it figured out. We have been getting the chambers fairly even top to bottom, but not without some emergency damper adjustments (relaxed damper adjustments consist of 1/2" to 1" adjustments, panic adjustments are some where in the 2-3" range). Hopefully this version of the bag wall will be close. We been leaning toward a cold floor so I put in some ceramic I beams on the bottom to really open things up on the floor.

We have been finding time to make pots though. Christy took a couple days off of work and with Sheridan's help has really been cranking out the platters. I think she has made more platters this week than she lost in the kiln shelf disaster of last firing. So maybe the kiln shelves falling wasn't all a bad thing?

I have to say I feel as though I've been slightly less productive. Not that I haven't been working long days mind you. I did make some teapots which was fun.
It's been a long time since I made teapots with a handle over the top. It was fun to try something new. From the looks of things with all the pots we have we might be firing the first two chambers.
Several very long days of potting and then a slew of refires from behind the bag wall of kiln shelves we ended up with last firing.

We're hoping we can get it all loaded tomorrow. Whew, what a week.


Michael Kline said...

we're pulling for you all!

ang said...

aww wow, looking good, that's some turn around for this week.. well done!!

Michael Mahan said...

Sounds like you guys are in the groove. So long as you keep it on the tracks, everything will be good, I'm sure. It's at times like this when I sometimes forget to listen to that still small voice in the back of my head. Keep your ears open and good luck.