Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 16th wedding anniversary. We celebrated by Jay leaving for work extra early at 5:00am at which time I started firing the cone 10. I planned a special dinner of Jay's favorite dry-rubbed turkey breast and fresh blackberry cobbler.

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to fire this kiln. It's so frustrating. I follow the directions in the Bailey manual, and the initial climb is too fast. I can even out the temperature top to bottom, and reduction starts smoothly, but at a certain point, the kiln stalls and my attempts at keeping the rise and the reduction appear to be floundering. Jay has some theories as far as how much fuel I need to get the kiln to temperature. I am trying to be open minded, but am I forced to pit efficiency against quality. Will the results be favorable firing at a higher gas setting for a shorter period of time versus lower gas over a longer period?

Green flames up the chimney!
This firing took nearly 14 hours, not including the overnight candling. I was aiming for Val Cushing's method of firing only with the damper after body reduction. He recommends 8 hours minimum from cone 08 to cone 9. On the other hand, John Britt's book suggests the same temperature range can be covered in 4-5 hours. Previously I have had trouble keeping the climb steady while retaining a reduction atmosphere. Although Jay thinks the firing took too long, I think I have confidence in *most* of what I did.

Caffeine has been my friend today. Time to offset that with a couple of beers so I can sleep tonight. I'll be able to post kiln results early next week.

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