[Clayart] firing electric kilns

Ginger Dunlap-Dietz gingerpots at gmail.com
Mon Apr 18 23:54:23 UTC 2022

On Fri, Apr 1, 2022 at 8:51 AM mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com> wrote:

> knowing and understanding your own kiln and having confidence
> in it is essential to perfectly fired pots.
> if your kiln is in order, it will fire in X time, to X cone.
> It should take almost the same time, over and over.  if it is lagging
> behind, then there is something wrong.  fix it.
> on the kiln sitter, there is a small timer. use it every time.  i set mine
> for
> about a half hour extra time.  so, my small kiln fires glaze in about 4.5
> hours.
> i set the timer for 5 hours.  then memorize..."there is no fail safe.
> only your own
> eyes". i do not leave my kilns running without me there. never.
> about every six or eight firings i clean with very fine emery paper the
> weight
> and claw. i clean the cone holder too.
> my newer big paragon kiln has a 220 low amp plug in on the side of the box.
> i have an extension cord from that plug to my studio. When the kiln is
> running
> that light is on.  i use a standard 220 light bulb. IF THE LIGHT IS ON,
> at hopkins high i had a 220 light bulb above my desk. Light is on, kiln is
> on.
> I could leave school and the janitor knew if that light was on...shut off
> the
> main power to the kilns.  It was a sure thing. my office lights are off,
> if that
> bulb was lit...something wrong.  if the janitor failed to turn things off,
> the
> janitorial department had to pay for repairs.  he cleaned my room every
> night at 6.
> we did not have problems.
> orton tells me that cones can age. so, don't use that box of cones from
> 1958.
> if you own a newish controller kiln it does not mean you can just walk
> away from the
> kiln.  remember, "planes crash".  kilns do not shut down properly all the
> time.
> safety cones work well. your eyes work well. being near the kiln works
> well.
> my large electric has a controller. it is screwed to a 4x4 post in the
> room. the 220
> box is next to it. i can switch during a firing from cone sitter to
> controller by
> unplugging and changing things. i pick the system i am going to use. and
> often put
> a cone in the sitter, and use the controller just to test things.
> I have a analog pyrometer on the kiln. there is a digital pyrometer on the
> shelf.
> I have a 60 amp breaker painted red. i have small fans running, and the
> kilns have
> their own room. go in and check, and get out.
> it is so easy to be safe, and have your brain plugged in too.
> mel
> website: www.melpots.com
> www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML
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