Glaze firing

glaze-firing

Finally my pots are ready for their big day.  Time to go 2,200+ degrees in the kiln.  Veryle Lynn came over to help me program this firing, and of course, fill out my firing log.  We programmed this batch for Cone 5.   Which is an old-fashioned way of describing the temperature.  Before programmable kilns, potters would measure the heat in the kiln by placing “cones” into the kiln which were constructed to melt and fall over at certain temperatures.  So Cone 5 is a common temperature, but certainly not the hottest.  That would be Cone 10!

We loaded the kiln, this time with my new “furniture” and set the time for 3 minutes at maximum temperature.  I’ve decided this is the hardest phase of clay. Waiting to see what is going to come out is maddeningly suspenseful.  It takes hours for this thing to cool down.  Just inside that kiln-hopefully-is a beautiful transformation.  So what did I do to manage the suspense?  I left the house.

The thrill of finally opening up the kiln can’t be expressed in words!  With heat and chemicals, mud had suddenly become something useful and maybe even beautiful.  Ok, maybe not suddenly.  Remember the excruciating wait?

The above picture is the “after” to the previous post’s “before”.  Nothing looked like I expected.  Which is a good thing and a bad thing.  One thing I knew as soon as I finished this load.  I have to do it again.

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