Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Reflecting and Error Code

This winter we are having what I call seesaw weather. It's cloudy then sunny, rainy then dry, cold then warm. Right now we are into a ten day stretch of warm weather with highs in the 80s during the day.

I was sitting at the kitchen table late yesterday afternoon and noticed a new born lizard. I went out by the pool to take his photo. The lizard is only three inches long including his tail.

Every time I see the pool I think how lucky I am to have such a place to relax and reflect on the peacefulness surrounding me. Since it was so warm I decided to let the cats out and sit by the pool and make a few sketches. That's Butter and Betty looking at something in the shrubs.

Here's Binky licking Betty's head. I don't know who enjoyed the time out by the pool more, me or the cats?

The cats walk around and around the pool and then they find their spot to lie down and relax. Butter found his favorite spot to reflect on his surroundings.

Betty found her spot too. Binky was on the other side looking at lizards through the screen. While the cats were lounging I made a few sketches of pieces I'd like to make in the coming weeks.

Here is a sketch for a sponge holder and a yarn bowl.

Then I sketched a grouping of towers. When I went back in the house I had renewed energy so I loaded a bisque in the kiln. Since it was all plates I didn't get much in there. I may order two more shelves or think about one of those plate stackers which makes firing plates more efficient. Late last night with the kiln at 823 F I got an E 1 error code on the kiln, so I had to stop it and let it cool down. Darn, just when I was going to get a whole bunch of firings completed which I've let pile up over the last month or so. This morning I'll check the elements and relay. Any advice you can give I would appreciate. I have done about 48 firings half bisque and half cone 6 since I got my kiln, does that sound right for how long the elements and relay should last? Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Hi Linda, it seems like you should get more than 48 firing before the elements or relays (or anything) goes bad. Do you have an environment to pull the fumes out of the kiln? Do you use a lot of wax resist (or latex) on your pieces? The fumes can cause premature aging. You might want to talk to the kiln manufacturer, they should be able to help you troubleshoot.
    Let us know what happens.

  2. Hi Lori, thanks, I do not use wax at all and no wax resist. I do use a hold and ramp down for the glaze firing. I may be underestimating the number of times I fired the kiln.

    I just unloaded the kiln and did a diagnostics. The error occurred at 815 F, the volts are 245/246 and switched on volts are 242, the amp for section one is 14, 2 is 0, and 3 is 14, I will call the manufacturer. I think the volts at 0 may mean I need an element in that section but I am guessing.

    thanks for your help.

  3. Your screened pool room is such great place for your indoor kitties. My Sophie would love a space like that, feels like outside but protected.
    I can't give advice about the electric kiln since we only bisque in ours. We replaced elements about 2 years ago. We fire often but it's a simple turn it up slowly and then shut it off when it reaches 1895 degrees.

  4. Sorry I haven't got a kiln, so can't give any advice there. Hope you can get it working without too much trouble. That screened pool is so peaceful and a great cat room. Lovely.

  5. Very nice to see your cat's. They look so comfortable.


  6. I have a cat who likes to swim, all my other cats have always considered water the devil, so this development was surprising. When I saw error code, I thought 404.

  7. Hi Michele, thanks, originally these three cats were all outdoor cats and they have been languishing at this residence much to my dismay, I feel they have been suffering without the outdoors, but potential vet bills and not being able to chase them necessitated them being indoors; the last two days they have worn themselves out on the pool deck and seem so very happy and I am very happy for them.

    Hi Barbara thanks, as long as I can keep an eye on them to keep them from drinking the water they are ok otherwise they start throwing up from drinking the cholorinated water.

    Hi Elna, thanks, they are loving the outdoor adventure for sure.

    Hi Mary, thanks, the cats only stay on the pool deck and do not swim at all they are much too fearful of the depths they can observe overlooking the edge, but are able to look at the outside surroundings and are having a great time. Yes it was definitely 404.

  8. Linda, what controller do you have on your kiln? If it's Bartlett, I can show you how to do a Full Power test to find out which element(s) is bad.
    Also, run a test firing. During firing, push number 8 key. You should be able to see 3 small dots on contoller. Each dots represent a relay. If a dot keeps staying on or never on, you then can tell which relay is not working.
    What you read 14 is resistance of element. Most kiln should have 6 elements. Try to check each single one, but not just by section. Remember unplug power before you do that. Let me know if you have any question.

  9. Hi Powen, thanks, I have a Skutt. After I posted this I read the manual and it told me how to run a test and then I talked to the Skutt technician and he said my middle relay is gone or wires are burnt. I won't be home today so I will have to check it tomorrow. Thanks so much for your help. If I run into problems I'll surely contact you. The technician said I don't need any elements.

  10. Hi Anthony, welcome and thanks so much.

  11. Your kitty's do look relaxed by the pool side. :)

  12. Hi Dee, thanks, yes they know how to relax for sure.


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