9 March 2011

Firing 14 - refiring most of firing 13

Another 5am start, pitch dark but starry. Gas burner on.
7am   100oC   gas up, weather is still, overcast and damp
9am   310oC   gas still on, damp wood, damp kiln, did not do a warm through yesterday, kiln steaming - low fat pots?
10am  480oC  gas off, hard work to keep this fire going. Am I tired? not really enjoying this
11am  616oC  south west breeze. Now the fire is more beguiling, it becomes a reason in itself to continue. The kiln has ceased steaming
noon   730oC
1pm    878oC   using large slab wood, strong s.w. breeze
1.30   1004oC  reducing for a good half hour
2pm   1024oC 
3pm   1088oC   first soda in. Cold s.w. wind blowing into fire mouth,
3.30pm              closed the big doors for shelter
4pm   1088oC    then at 4.05 up to 1126oC
5pm    1145oC
5.30    1165oC   Andrew stopped by, just to check that the flames were intentional
6pm    1166oC  
6.30    1200oC   cone 7 bending
7pm    1203oC   cone 8 bending, 7 down
7.30    1211oC
7.45    1187oC   cone 9 beginning, cone 8 down
8pm    1215oC
8.15    1220oC   cone 9 down, last big stoke, start clamming up the kiln, a few slivers of wood added during this.
9.15    1078oC

I didn't make a note of when I put the fire mouth door on, probably around 1000oC to assist the reduction. It made a big difference to the comfort of my knees which would be scalded without the door. It was along hard firing this one, the longest so far at 15 hours, damp wood, cold south westerly wind all having an effect. The rain held off. I thought that the wind in this direction would speed it up as it blows directly at the fire mouth, my perception is the opposite. Will have to try it again with drier wood.

happy kiln = happy potter,
  This was a much better firing, even though I could hardly walk the next day - 15 hours on concrete in the wrong shoes.
will post some results next.
I think this blog is getting repetitive, not enough crises with this kiln. By the look of the interior it will need a rebuild before the chimney wall slumps.
Meanwhile I have been planning an anagama firing at Higham Hall in Cumbria for November.

5 March 2011

Firing 13 - lucky for some

But not for me!
Work to go in 

7am, 90oC after 2 hours, turn up the gas, cup of tea, breathe deep
Gorgeous day, Nice, easy and steady climb to 1200 then 15minutes of lost concentration and I never got it back above 1180. I knew the cones were telling me to keep going but after 13 hours the lure of fish and chips at the pub was too great (and there was a bit of applied pressure from R pushing me in that direction).

Lesson learned - instead of only another 2 hours to get to temperature I now have a whole 13 hour firing to do and on my own as R will be away. I think I'll go to 15 hours just to be sure. Have to say I'm hacked off. Not getting enough results to feed the passion. And to continue the misery, the kiln is showing distinct signs of ware, but that's another blog

Orton 7 8 9 & 10, obviously underfired, 9 should be well down
 However, I look at the photo of the sunrise and find there the consolation.