Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kiln On Throne & Luck

The new Skutt is finally on its throne. Per instructions it's supposed to be 18 inches from the wall and 18 inches from another kiln and the controller's aren't supposed to be facing one another. In order to plug the new kiln into the new outlet, I need to move my old Skutt over a bit, which means we need to move a cabinet next to the old Skutt, adjustments will be made this week.

Look at the inside isn't it wonderful. It is 28 inches across and 18 inches deep. I got six corelite half shelves. I hope that's enough shelves. I'll just have to see how it all works out. I talked to the Skutt people and they said to use the same type of shelves for firing in the kiln for more even heating. If I need more I'll just have to get a few.

I'll unpack the shelves tomorrow and put kiln wash on. What do you think, is it better to make my own kiln wash or use premixed kiln wash?

Here's another jutting vase I made today made with Laguna terra cotta clay, WC 601, which I am now out of. I planned to make a different shape, but I just didn't have enough clay for what I planned. I've been in the process of testing four different clays over the past several weeks. I finished WC 606 and 607, and now am on to the sculpture clay, WC637. We'll see how they perform in the glaze firing. So far all have been OK in the bisque, except I haven't fired the sculpture clay yet.

I'd like to make a large totem for the front of our house. One that's made in sections. It's one of my goals, but maybe I'll put that off for a while, since I have three other projects I am working on. Hopefully progress will come more quickly for the projects now.

I made a small lidded box with the sculpture clay this evening. I think I'll make something big tomorrow. Might as well since the sculpture clay is supposed to be good for large pieces. Let's see my new kiln is 28 x 18, minus about and inch for room on the sides. Just kidding, but it might be fun to make something really big one of these days. A bench or an umbrella stand. I seem to have umbrellas on my mind, perhaps because it rains here so much.

I'm just reviewing the specs on the clays and it seems when I went to Bennet's Clay and asked for the sculpture clay, I didn't realize it is Cone 10. I was just thinking about my Cone 10 glazes sitting in the garage taking up space. Looks like I'll be driving down to St. Petersburg to have some pieces fired unlesss I use these for raku, pit, or barrel firings. This put's a kink in my projects; now I need more Cone 5/6 clay. Glad I wrote this on my blog or I would have been caught firing the sculpture pieces too low.

Wait a minute my new kiln will go to cone 10. Hum, just got to rearrange my project ideas a bit; I better put a mark on the bottom of the cone 10 pieces to keep them straight. Boy luck is running with me, I might have to buy a lottery ticket. Anyone know what cone 10 reduction glazes will do in oxidation? I've got celadon, tenmoku, teadust, and a few others. Sorry about the thinking out loud here. Comments, suggestions, and questions are welcome.


  1. 1 part kaolin to one part silica ... easy enough to mix your own unless you don't have both ingredients on hand.

  2. i don't have a lot of experience with ^10 in oxidation but jeff does. let me poise him this question and see what he says.

  3. Your new kiln is a beauty :) Have fun!

  4. Lovely to see the kiln, what fun!

    Tenmoku and teadust: many recipies should go OK in oxidation. Sometimes tenmoko recipes that are intended for reduction have a little less iron oxide in them, but what you have would be well worth testing. I always found that the tenmoko glaze itself worked really well, the main problem I had was with the stoneware clay looking really bland and uninteresting. I sometimes improved it a bit by adding a thin wash of yellow ochre, or a thin slip made out of an earthenware clay.

    A genuine celadon glaze (which is an iron green not a copper one) will turn out honey coloured in oxidation.

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  6. Hi linda- this is the same size kiln i bought for firing hand-built and tiles-cone6 and i love it.
    It works very well.
    I have fired some cone 10 in an electric kiln I would suggest you not use the same glazes for oxidation - they really need that carbon to develop depth to the glaze.
    Your clay body could probably go a tad lower-say 8 and do fine- it does not have to go all the way to 10. There are a lot of potters I know who fire some really nice cone 8 electric. Do some reading and look at the temps for your body.
    Also I read plug it in.
    We have all our electric kilns wired directly to the breaker box. They all have their own breaker.
    We cut the plugs off and don't use them.
    The first kiln we had after many uses started to melt at the plug.
    Go check out some of the pots at Cady Clay works they fire cone 6 and 10.

  7. The kiln is beautiful.
    I've got a huge list of ^6 glazes that look great in oxidation, let me know if you want any.

  8. I'm not a potter, but I was once married to one and that is a beauty of a kiln. I like it when you think out loud. Makes for an interesting read.

  9. YaaaaY! Look at your new baby :o)) I use premixed kiln wash because I bought a HUGE pail of the powder that you mix with water, not having any idea how much I would need -I wish we were neighbors and I could give you some of mine! I LOVE your jutting vase and the totem idea inspired me... I think Tracey Broome made one with some of her students that was really cool too.

  10. Hi Meredith, I hope my response didn't sound snippy; I didn't mean it that way, I meant that I don't want to think about any problems coming up with the kiln I just want to get firing, but I am glad you mentioned the wire as I will be keeping an eye on it. With this remodeling and it seems a lot of things it's one step forward, two steps back. Ugh.

    More research I must do I guess, I didn't really want to get into cone 10 or even 8 right now, just want to get some good results with the cone 5/6. There is a place I can take this clay and have it reduction fired, but it is quite a distance but I might do it if I make something I think would be nice with a reduced glaze. I wish I knew someone closer with a gas kiln. Perhaps something will magically appear to solve my dilemma. I'll check out the Cady site., thanks again. I learn so much from everyone but sometimes I think I should make 100 pinch pots with one clay and glaze them and see how I do.

  11. Looks great! Glad things are moving forward! To answer your question: I owned a floral shop and did live, silk, and dried arrangements and wreaths. Plus, a crafts shop, and did wood and fabric crafts, and gift baskets. I also paint with acrylics, mostly landscapes and still life.

  12. as long as the electrician knew what he was doing you should be fine using the plug on your kiln. i have never had a problem firing my electric kiln using a dedicated outlet... even switched from one kiln to another with no problems.

  13. Hi Marguerite, I just knew you were multi talented; isn't floral arranging fun. I miss my previous gardens where I had so many flowers I could bring in for arrangements. I've always wanted to paint. I've tried it a few times and even have a couple of acrylic kits; I have to make more time to dabble again. perhaps if I signed up for a class I'd have some time set aside for it; that's what I must do.

    Hi Michele, thanks, well the electrician was a professional electrical contractor and he has wired for kilns before, he put in a dedicated circuit and special outlets for each of my kilns. I just won't be running both of them together. I had a similar wiring for my last kiln and never had a problem, but I don't think it used as much power as this one.

  14. my electric kiln fires to ^10 like yours


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment