Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Not All Kilns or Firings Are Alike

Bluebird Flower Pot

Here's the inside of the Bluebird Flower Pot even the base is layered. Notice how blue the glaze is, not what I expected.

 Textured Pot

The glaze on these first two pots didn't fire like I wanted them to. I used my slow cool and same firing schedule but I guess not all kilns or firings are alike. Perhaps the kiln needs to be broke in? 

This is the way the glaze should have turned out. More shiny with green and gold. The top two pots were on the top shelf, maybe I'll see how that glaze does on a different shelf. 

Here are the cones from the glaze firing, cones 5 and 6. I'll have to go back and check my blog posts from my previous kiln and see if the cones were the same. Could have fired a little hotter perhaps.

The bear and owl bowls came out great but the rest had debris in the clear glaze. I think the lid of the kiln had residue that dropped into the glaze.

The green (sage green) of the luna moth platter (in the background) is too dark but I'll make another one and use a different green. I do like how the orange flowers on that platter turned out with the vine connecting them. Lori was right about that advice as that tied the design together. The front bowl has grit in the glaze.

Here's the grit in the glaze, can you see it? It looks like sand. I didn't use any sand in my firing either. Woe is me, that's three bowls and one platter for the smashing pile. Ugh. I can only fit two bowls or one platter on a half shelf. I didn't have any small items made to fill in the odd spaces. I'll have to correct that. 

I may need to get two more shelves to make my firings more efficient. What is the tallest post you have used with kiln shelves? I have another glaze firing cooling down, we shall see how those turn out. Up next details about my recent bisque firings. Thanks for reading and for all your comments and suggestions.


  1. how disappointing to have the dust/sand in the kiln :( better luck next time.. do you vacuum clean the shelves? I heard some people do that..

  2. The platters came out great! Too bad about the kiln crud. I hate it when that happens and it all happens on the pieces that were the most work.
    It's hard to tell from the photo, but would it be possible to lightly sand the rough spots and keep them for yourself? In the photo they look more like pinholes than crud.

  3. Hi Anna, thanks, I do vacuum the shelves but I think there was some residual stuff on the kiln lid from it being new, the load I just took out doesn't have the debris on the bowls and platters.

    Hi Michele, thanks, they feel like sand on the top of the glaze, I'm really not into sanding after the glaze firing unless there is one piece of debris. One bowl is like that and I may save it.

  4. I have used 12" 1 1/2" sq posts with no problem but prefer 2" posts, especially for tall stuff. Kiln bricks are 9" and are stable even if you have to add a short post on top.

  5. I think it's all wonderful. Do you ever have a sale stack. I'd put odd sizes left of a fabric I wouldn't weave again, for instance. Why can't you have a "seconds" place. It would go to someone who would love it.

  6. Hi Dennis, thanks, I like those two inch square posts too, I have a few of the rounded ones left over from an hold kiln but hesitate to use the tall ones. I just looked and I can get the 12 inch square posts which I will order.

    Hi Joanne, thanks, some of the sale items go to the Trash to Treasures sale but for the galleries I am in I only want to send the absolute best. Pieces with debris on the eating surface I don't really want to sell.

  7. Hello Linda!! I really love that plate with the bear on it :)

  8. Hi Keith, thanks, he's a sweet one for sure.

  9. Excitement, triumph and frustration in the same firing.
    And I like Joanne's idea. I would certainly buy them and suspect other people would too.

  10. Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, oh I know folks would buy them but don't want to put defective work out there.

  11. Hello Linda,

    This does all look and sound terrifically complicated. On the one hand one can be in for a wonderful surprise when one opens the kiln door, on the other, disappointment reigns.

    We have to say that we like the dreamy blue. It is so reminiscent of the sea and sky.

  12. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, yes with pottery it is often feast or famine as they say but I seem to have worked out the grit problem and this morning onto another problem, woe is me again, one wonder's why they keep going but it seems clay is a bit like gambling, one always hopes to hit it big. Ha.


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