[Clayart] Loading kilns/stories

mel jacobson melpots at mail.com
Mon Nov 14 14:46:15 UTC 2022

My thesis this week has been about "What happens when
fuel oil is $6.00 a gallon.?"

I don't have to teach David or
Vince how to load and fire a kiln.
They have hundreds of firings under their belts.

But, when costs rise and time is often limited, to
save half the propane cost per firing is a big deal.
And, what if your fuel kiln fires in two less hours???
Think of two one million btu burners on full for two
extra hours.

Loading for turbulence and less total weight
and firing fast is like a foreign language.
It is emotional.  New Ideas on how to do anything make
people get sick. "A flat topped Kiln...you guys are
crazy...Kilns have arches...jeez, lock them up, they\
are crazy".  I have talked to people that had foaming
mouths over flat tops. I adore new ideas.

Nils would call me with some idea, I would say, "let's do
it."  The gas electric kiln with itc coatings worked...it
too made people think we were crazy.  The list is long.
We laughed a lot.  And making Hare's fur worked out rather
well for Mel and Joe Koons. And the biggest doubter was Nils.
"Mel, don't waste your time, it cannot be done."  He said,
send a batch of pots with the glaze on them and I will fire them
in the "East Creek" anagama..wood fired...They came from the kiln
like charcoal lumps.  Firing Oxidized was part of the answer...but then
we have talked about that before...so be it.  My early thought was
how come the Ming Porcelains did not have ash and snot all over them.
And that clear blue green glaze...clear is spring water...Oh, they were
fired in sealed boxes...saggers. The kiln was full of smoke and carbon
but those pots were oxidized. The kiln shelf did not exist. That was
my "light bulb moment".
ps  I am reading a great book about breaking the rules...Roger Welsch, from
Nebraska.."Weed them and reap"  eating food from the earth, WEEDS...It is his
passion and hobby. From the neighbors to the city inspectors....they
wanted to "roundup his yard"  An old idea that works, reborn, drove the
folks crazy.

website: www.melpots.com

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