[Clayart] mel's chimney saga

David Lyons lyonsd at plbb.us
Sat Oct 1 21:39:44 UTC 2022

When we finished rebuilding the chimney, I had every confidence that it would work well.  I thought the initial rebuild was very close to the original.  But when Mel told me about the firing that followed and its inability to fire in oxidation, I was amazed at how little of a change in the chimney resulted in such a major change in results.  I wish I was there to help with the second rebuild just the see the change in configuration  
Dave Lyons

Sent from my iPhone

> On Sep 30, 2022, at 12:44 PM, Hank Murrow <hmurrow at efn.org> wrote:
> Well Mel;
> It is good news that you are able to laugh at yourself while fixing a problem of your own making.
> That is a sign of maturity, that many of us might emulate as we face our own shortcomings in the 
> studio. During Covid Time, I allowed my studio to get way out of order, and then I had a fall which injured my right shoulder, so it will take the balance of the Fall, and some help from three old potter friends to right the ship, pare down the glazes to twelve, and toss a bunch of stuff I have been saving
> for projects that I will never complete. I do hope that I can laugh at myself throughout this process, and keep the atmosphere fun as we do it. 
> Thanks for the wise counsel, Hank in Eugene
>> On Sep 30, 2022, at 7:44 AM, mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com> wrote:
>> I try to always confess to stupidity.
>> My stack on the small stoneware was getting really old.
>> My friend Dave Lyons gave me a four foot section of new
>> spiral pipe with liners included.  Wow, all I had to do
>> was take out the old pipe, add 6 courses of new brick and
>> all would be new and shiny.
>> I took down the old pipe and realized I had sprayed that pipe with
>> ITC. Those liners were like new. The metal was dirty and stained, but
>> actually rather strong.  But, I was not going to re/install.  So
>> I added the six rows of brick, added the new pipe...caulked it, screwed
>> everything to the metal roof.  GOOD TO GO.  (I did not go on the
>> roof of the shelter. My daughter would have hit me with a brick if
>> she found me on the roof.)
>> fired the kiln...slow it was...total reduction back pressure.
>> The pots fired for an extra hour and half, and when opened, the
>> pots were heavy reduction...The kiln would not go into oxy.
>> Damn.  I did not spread the six rows of new brick wide enough. The
>> kiln was choking at the new brick stack.
>> I took it all down, cleaned the brick...and luckily the metal new pipe
>> stayed in place as it was well installed to the roof.
>> I added another brick to each row. used mortar, put a gasket between the
>> brick and metal pipe and liners. (I basically had made a six brick stack
>> corbel that would fit the ten inch liners. I opened it up and perfection.)
>> Problem solved. As I have written for years...Stacks are critical. Small
>> variations, location of the kiln, wind direction all can play havoc.
>> In this case my own research came back to bite me in the butt.
>> I am glad it was me.  I got it back in order in no time. And, as I say
>> so often about kilns...."if something seems wrong...FIX IT NOW!"
>> MEL
>> website: www.melpots.com
>> www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML

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