[Clayart] Kiln elements and firing

Judith Lee judylee947 at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 21 19:37:25 UTC 2022

I read clayart postings as frequent as I can, but only have commented/posted a few times. My question concerns bisque firing,
I keep a log of all my firings on the Cress kiln (ETS28 9.9cu ft). I log issues, successes, replacement of elements/thermal couples each time I fire. I now have 504 firings logged on this kiln…about 232 since last element change.  I use witness cone s on bottom, middle and top shelves every time I fire. This kiln is so consistent in all ares of the kiln!  My elements have finally weakened to the point they’re not getting hot enough and I’ve ordered new ones. My issue is that on the first firing for a bisque load that may have been 3/4 full, the temperature stopped rising about 1442°F. I restarted it thinking there might’ve been an issue, but it never raised higher than that so I turned it off .

I took everything out of the kiln and reloaded about half a load of new greenware to be bisque fired, and stacked, and also fit in the previously-bisqued pieces. This load was fired and would not go higher than about 1224°F.  I now have a few shelves full of partially-bisqued ware that has been unloaded from the kiln. I’ve ordered new elements, installed a new thermal couple and have new relays on order also. Now I’m trying to find someone to help install the elements, since it’s really hard for me to get down into the inside without damaging the edge of the kiln bricks.

Question 1: can I just go ahead and glaze the pieces that have not been fully bisque-fired? Then fire to my normal ^6 with slow cool? Would the partially-bisque fired pieces affect my normal glaze results?
Question 2: should I re-bisque them all in one load, and then glaze all for glaze firing (probably three glaze loads)?

Thanks for all the answers over the years!
--Judy Lee
Sent from my iPad

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