31 January 2010

Firing number 9 20 January 2010

I know it isn’t in chronological order but this is the most recent firing and the first of 2010.

Got up in the dark just before 6am and pulled several layers on top of my pyjamas. Cold and windy, gusting from the south east on the most exposed side of the kiln. But dry. I warmed the kiln through for 4 hours yesterday evening to dry everything out.

6am lit the gas burner, less than 0.1 psi, once the flame had stabilised back to bed.
7.30 Up again; dress properly and down to the kiln with cup of tea.
8.0 75°C 2hrs Gas up
8.30 140°C Small pieces of wood in.
9.00 180°C 3hrs larger pieces of wood catching, breakfast arrives, very good porridge.

10.00 398°C 4hrs Dry, S.E. 5to 6
11.00 597°C 5hrs
12.00 805°C 6hrs Coffee arrives
12.30 first heavy smoke from chimney at 860°C
First flames from chimney at 975°C
1.00 1000°C 7hrs
2.00 1100°C 8hrs Rain for next hour or so
3.00 1160°C 9hrs Heavy smoke
3.20 1170°C First soda in
3.30 1175°C Temperature fluctuating
3.35 1170°C Second soda in. Cone 5 mid kiln down, cone 5 at side spy hole bending
3.55 1200°C Last soda in.
4.00 1215°C 10hrs
4.20 1213°C Cone 7 mid kiln down, cone 8 beginning to bend
4.30 1220°C End of firing, start to fire down for hour or two
5.00 1100°C 11hrs brick up fire box, leave mouse hole open
6.00 905°C 12hrs reduce chimney hole to one brick, seal mouse hole.

I feed wood into the fire box and then reduce the draft by putting a brick in the fire mouth.
The kiln seems to stall somewhat at about 1080°C at which point I stop using the brick in the fire mouth.
After this I have to rake the embers to keep them down to get sufficient draft through the mouse hole.
I used about 500g bicarbonate of soda, mixed to a thick past with water. I put this onto thin pieces of wood, dry them out on top of the kiln and introduce them into the fire box one at a time. When the bright orange sodium flame diminishes I add the next one.
It wasn’t the most peaceful of firings (that was the very first) as Bertie the dog went to visit his girlfriend and R had to search for him (therefore the tea wasn’t supplied so regularly), then was some chain sawing and car hovering, but at least I could shut the radio up.


  1. Thanks for sharing your detailed firing log. Best wishes on firing your kiln.

  2. thanks for the good wishes. Not sure when the next firing will be, probably end of March weather permitting.